When to Phone, When to Email – 3 Quick Tips to Know the Difference

You need information. You need to connect with someone else to get it. But when does the situation merit a phone call? Here are questions to ask yourself to know when to email versus when to pick up the phone and call.


How soon do you need a response?

If you need information quickly, call. You can’t control someone else’s response (general life principle), so if …Read More

Eliminate Email Irritants

People frequently send me their pet peeves about email. And as you might imagine, I have a few complaints of my own. So rather than rant and rave another day about the productivity problem this email glut causes, I’m tossing out three tips not mentioned in previous blogs or interviews:
Put the Action in the Subject Line
When you send an email with a subject line that …Read More

5 Email Productivity Tips

Email threatens to engulf us. Yet it’s also a boon to productivity if used efficiently. The key to making it a productivity booster rather than drain lies in a few time-saving tips I’ve discovered along the way.

1. Post It and Provide the Link or Attachment

As a writer and speaker, I get the same questions over and over—about editors, ghostwriters, agents, PR firms, speaker bureaus. Chances …Read More

Subject Lines Should Say Something

All too often they don’t. A quick scan through the subject lines of the messages in my inbox provides very little useful information. 

The subject lines read…

A Quick Question  (They never are…)
Time Sensitive  (What isn’t?)
May I Ask a Question?  (No, I don’t have time.)
Are You Available Friday at 3:00?  (It depends.)
CRD Coding  (What about it?)
Registration Details  (Are you giving them? Do you want them?)
Following Up  (With what? About …Read More

CIO Puts Email Users on a Diet: Organization Gets Leaner

CIO Tony Murabito, of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, got an earful this year when he surveyed his employees about their IT systems.  Typically, employee comments focus on IT issues.  This year, they focused on email irritants.  One respondent’s comment summarized many: “Let’s blow up the Reply-to-All key!”

If you’re equally annoyed at your coworkers for cluttering up your inbox, you may want to adopt this CIO’s goal:  Cut …Read More

Clogged Communication Channels: Are They Marring Your Image?

Last night I was working late at the office, when a call came in to my extension.  Thinking it might be one of our consultants stuck in an airport, victim of a cancelled flight somewhere, I answered. 

The stranger on the phone responded, “Uh, …oh, …it’s you.  I, well, I didn’t expect you to answer.  I’m not prepared.  I, uh, I was just going to leave …Read More

Is Your Thanksgiving Holiday Filled with Family and Fun—or Email?

Want to test yourself for email addiction?  See how many times you check your email during the Thanksgiving holiday—for business as well as personal.  Like Pavlov’s dogs, you may catch yourself clicking open an email every time you hear the “ding” of your email “in-box.”

That “ding” and the related chore devours about 2 hours of every professional’s work day, totaling 28 billion hours a year, …Read More

Your Emails Deserve a Second Look—Before You Send Them

A recent article by Dana Knight of the The Indianapolis Star ("Workplace: Your e-mail leaves room for misunderstanding") reinforces one of my golden rules of communication.

**Never assume your email will be interpreted exactly as you intend.**

Research published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows there is a 50 percent chance the tone of an e-mail will be misinterpreted.  One example given in the …Read More

E-mail Subject Lines DO Matter

Finally!  Stats to prove my point!  I’ve been on my soapbox for 25 years about using informative subject lines—whether memos, letters, or email (well, give or take a few years on the email).  Opening up Entrepreneur’s April 2006 issue, I find the article “The E-mail Effect” regarding consumer habits in email campaigns (source of the study:  Return Path).  The study reports that 43 percent of …Read More