Email has become one of today’s most common forms of communication. In fact, 83 percent of Internet users say their primary use is email. “And email will become an even more dominant form of communication in years to come,” explains Tammy Wright, editor of the book Off the Internet for Everyone. Unfortunately, with the increased use of email comes confusion. Luckily, Wright shares six simple ways to make email easier and more effective:
1. Print emails on colored paper (use the same color each time) so you can find them quickly when you are searching through a file of paper documents.
2. Keep your email replies in order. Put your initials and the number of responses in front of the subject line the sender has created. For example, put your initials and “reply to” in front of the email’s subject line. If it’s the second reply, put your initials and “2nd reply to” in front of the subject. In the examples below, a person with the initials ABC responded twice to a meeting invitation:
Subject: (ABC’s reply to) Can we meet to discuss the transaction?
Subject: (ABC’s 2nd reply to) RE: Can we meet to discuss the transaction?
3. Invest in a virus check program that scans all your computer’s drives and the files you download. This is also beneficial if colleagues send you CD-ROMs or other disks for use on your computer.
4. Eliminate spam, which is the electronic equivalent of junk mail. These websites will assist you in doing this:
5. If your email service or Internet service provider doesn’t “unzip” attachments (expand files that have been compressed in size to be sent more easily) when you download them, invest in a program that does. There are plenty that can be downloaded for free on the Internet such as PKZIP and WinZip.
6. Learn to identify file extensions by their corresponding software programs. This will save you time and frustration when someone sends you an attachment.
|.txt||text file||Notepad, Microsoft Word|
|.doc||text file||Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect|
|.zip||compressed file||WinZip, PKZIP|
|.xls||spreadsheet file||Microsoft Excel|
|.exe||program file||runs itself|
|portable document file||Adobe Acrobat Reader|
|.jpg/.tif/.psd||graphic file||Adobe Photoshop, Acrobat
Reader, JASC Paint Shop Pro
|.gif||graphic file||Microchip’s Graphic Explorer, Navigator|
With these simple tips, you’ll enjoy easier, more effective email communications, allowing you to work smarter.
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