Like everyone, I send and receive a lot of emails. Many more than I should. To help understand how I use email, I created these seven rules. From courtesy to archival, they outline what I do, and do not, use email for. When I send someone an email, I will adhere to these rules. I ask that when someone sends me emails, they do too. Thanks!

  1. TO & CC - I use the 'To' field in emails for recipients I want to read (and action, if necessary) the message. Everyone else - those who are included as FYI, for example - is in the CC field. If you want to ensure I read your email, please include me in the 'To' field as those messages (versus the ones I'm copied in on) receive priority in my inbox.
  2. BCC - I don't use BCC. I don't believe it aids transparency, and it's messy. For bulk emailing, see below.
  3. BULK EMAIL - I don't send bulk emails from my email account. For people who have subscribed to receive updates from me, I use MailChimp to protect the privacy of everyone on that list.
  4. REPLY ALL - As a general rule, I will 'Reply All' to emails, removing those in the CC list unless each person requires the reply.
  5. FORWARD - When I forward emails I will CC the original sender as an FYI of where his / her email has been sent. I think transparency like this is important.
  6. SUBJECTS - As search has advanced, I don't use folders to archive and segregate my emails. Instead I use the search function. This is greatly helped by having clear and specific subject lines.
  7. GENERALLY BEING HUMAN - I don't send, and prefer to not receive: chain emails; spam; attachments larger than around 10MB (use Dropbox, it's much easier!); emails with ALL CAPS (it sounds like you're shouting); or emails with signatures that are images - because it makes the email look like it has an attachment, which is frustrating when you're actually searching for an email with an attachment.