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.
A macro is a keystroke or short set of characters that turn into something longer when you type them. Let’s say your boss has you saying “No” to a dozen different requests each day: a dog show invitation, a request for money, and someone claiming to be a long-lost child, asking to be added to the will. These are pretty different. You want to respond to each individually, but your responses can have paragraphs in common. All might start like this: “Mr. Boss appreciates your letter. Your tragic plight is touching.” Then you add a paragraph or two crushing that person’s lifelong hopes and dreams, and you finish up with, “Mr. Boss regrets that he can’t do more for your deeply troubling situation.”
Automatic E-mail Signatures
Signatures are just what they sound like, “Sincerely, Senator Duzzalot.” You set a signature in your e-mail program and it gets added to every outgoing message. You’ll never have to type “Sincerely” again. Depending upon your boss, this could save your integrity.[[AdMiddle]
The specifics for setting up stationery, macros, and signatures depend on what computer and email program you use. Search your help file for the words “stationery,” “templates,” “macros,” and “signatures” to find the details. I’ve prepared a handout with step-by-step instructions for some common e-mail programs that you can download from a link in this episode’s transcript
If you have questions about how to Work Less and Do More, e-mail your question to email@example.com, go to the Get-It-Done Guy section of www.quickanddirtytips.com, or leave it on voicemail at 866-WRK-LESS.
Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!