Have you ever sent an email to someone that is right across the hall from you when it would have been better to just walk to their office, down the hall? Have you ever received an email notifying you of a meeting cancelation just as you were preparing to go? Have you ever sent an email devoid of greeting or signature to convey a feeling? How about sending an email that you were supposed to forward but instead you hit the “reply all” button? Maybe you’ve sent an email to clarify a process or procedure. Email is truly magic and it’s hard to imagine life without it. Yet just a few years ago (well maybe more than a few years ago) we didn’t have email and for the most part we got along just fine. Email has made communication more accessible, timelier and more far reaching. An email can be sent from my office to colleagues around the world in the time it takes me to finish writing this sentence. There should be no doubt that email is a powerful tool that speeds the time of business, keeps us closer connected and is relatively easy to use. Quick communications, reminders, clarification and many other forms of communication are used quite successfully with email. As with any powerful tool, it should be used appropriately. I would even dare say we should probably be trained to use email to its greatest benefit. Imagine being like me and having a top of line food processor yet only use it to make pesto. Taking the time to learn all the many valuable uses of email will give us a better grasp of the tool to use it to its fullest benefit. Even the best of us can at times use email inappropriately. The list below includes a few selected gems on the effective use of emailing: • Don’t send an email when a face to face conversation would be better • Don’t send an email if you are too angry to craft it carefully • Don’t send an email without checking for spelling and grammar • There’s no shame in having an email proofread, sometimes 4 eyes are better than 2. • Don’t send an email to the wrong person, check your addresses. • Email in its simplistic form, is an extension of you, don’t try to be someone you’re not • Email can be a huge time trap, dedicate certain times of the day for reading and replying. Take the time to master the art of email; it can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal.