Polite chit-chat takes a lot of typing. Signatures take a lot of typing, and answering the same question over and over and over takes typing. Fortunately, there are several most excellent solutions to your e-mail woes.
Today, we’ll answer a question that came in on the voicemail line:
Hi Stever, I love your podcast, it’s been a great help so far, but I have a question. I work for an elected official, and politeness, and public image are always very important, so when I send an e-mail, I can’t just launch into my question or polite answer. I have to do a little of that polite chit-chat at the beginning ant the end of the email, but I send so many e-mails that I end up spending a lot of time on that, and I think that it’s wasteful time, but yet, it’s necessary. Do you have any suggestions on how I can cut back the amount of time that I spend on those things, or what is the appropriate amount of politeness at the beginning of an e-mail. Thanks very much, and I look forward to hearing your answer.
Easy E-Mail Writing
I feel your pain. Polite chit-chat takes a lot of typing. Signatures take a lot of typing, and answering the same question over and over and over takes typing. Fortunately, there are several most excellent solutions to your e-mail woes.
Use Stationery E-Mail Templates
Stationery, also called a template, is a completely pre-written e-mail message. A macro is a character or short word you can type that magically turns into a much longer sentence or paragraph. And signatures are things like, “Sincerely, Jane,” that get added automagically to the end of every message.
Stationery is useful when you have a lot to say and you say it often. If you get the same question over and over, set up stationery with the answer. Next time someone writes in with that question, call up the template, change a few words to fit their situation, and send it off. You work for a politician. You could prepare stationery with standard replies for common issues. You might have one template that addresses “The Mayor’s position on traffic lights for children.” Or you could have one template to reply to people who want traffic lights, and another template for people who like watching kids dodge cars as run across the street.
If your concern is the polite chit-chat at the start and end of messages, you could set up stationery with all the polite chit-chat in place and type into the middle of the letter. Or, you could use macros.