The S.M.A.R.T. Email Credo – The R

Part4The R in S.M.A.R.T. stands for Recipient Focused. Effective use of e-mail requires focusing on how your recipients will receive your e-mail and what they need to know to be fully informed by it. We might term this empathetic sending because we need to put ourselves in the recipient’s shoes to ensure we are communicating effectively with them.

Transferring the information in our heads to our recipient is difficult in any medium. Leaving out important context, background information, and companion information leaves the recipient without all the pieces of the puzzle. Including the pertinent information increases the effectiveness of our communication and reduces the inefficient back-and-forth required when clarification is needed.

E-mail is particularly susceptible to the risk of insufficient supporting information. It’s a silent form of communication—the thoughts we are communicating start in our head and transfer to our fingers. Our fingers will never work as quickly as our thoughts do. Thus, there is the inherent risk of information loss along the way. Moreover, we treat e-mail as a quick form of communication, and quick does not guarantee effective or inclusive.


Search is No Savior for Overloaded E-mail Inboxes

Last week, the New York Times ran an article titled 5 Easy Ways to Stanch The E-mail Flood.  As an author and speaker on time management who spends a lot of time taking about and dealing with e-mail for both myself and my clients, I am always interested in new tips and tricks for making e-mail more manageable and more productive.  Moreover, I am generally loath to take issue with other people’s positions on how best to do this.  However, this particular article left me with a sense of surrender and failure that has nagged at me for days.  So, on behalf of myself and all my clients, this is my response.