Notice And Comment: Email Management And Etiquette

Do you have any tips to offer me (or anyone else who struggles with email)?

If I owe you an email, I apologize. I live in a perpetual state of agita over email. I get stuck in these ruts of anxiety and paralysis, where I feel incapable of responding to even the simplest messages because I’m so far behind in correspondence—which of course makes me fall only farther behind. It’s a vicious cycle.1

So my first question for this latest installment of Notice and Comment—the feature here at Original Jurisdiction where I urge you to respond by posting in the comments (please, not by email)—is this: how do you manage your torrent of electronic correspondence? Do you have any tips, tricks, or best practices?

My second question: do you use a greeting or salutation, and if so, what? Some possibilities:

  • Hi David. (my default)

  • Hi, David. (with comma—some friends of mine use this)

  • Dear Mr. Lat: (with colon and honorific—I use this with fancy people, like judges)

  • Dear David, (with comma—I use this for especially heartfelt correspondence with non-fancy people)

  • [no salutation] (I do this with my husband Zach, or if I’m replying to a message and in a rush or lazy; if I’m starting a fresh thread of correspondence, I always use a salutation of some sort)

My third and final question: do you use a signoff? Some possibilities:

  • Best regards, (my default)

  • Best, (my default if I’m lazy or in a rush)

  • Sincerely yours, (I use this with fancy people or for especially heartfelt correspondence with non-fancy people)

  • [no sign-off] (I do this with my husband Zach, or if I’m replying to a message and in a rush or lazy)

I welcome your thoughts on these or any other email-related issues—in the comments to this post, not by email (unless you are okay with not getting a response). Thanks!

1

If I owe you an email, feel free to follow up by replying to your original email, which sometimes guilts me into action. You can also follow up with a phone call, text message, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram message, carrier pigeon, or smoke signal—anything but email. I have some weird mental block about email these days….