Have you ever sent an email…then wished you hadn’t?
When composing an email, most people work from top to bottom.
So you likely do this:
- Click/tap New Message
- Enter the recipient(s)
- Maybe add a Reply-To address
- Enter the email subject
- Compose message
- Add attachments
- Perhaps select or type your Signature
I suggest you do NOT create an email in that order.
Think about it…
It’s always easy to get distracted, especially when traveling.
While traveling, you’re likely working on an iPhone/Android, maybe a tablet — a smaller screen than when working on a desktop/laptop computer.
You are more rushed when traveling because who wants to do email when the world awaits.
It’s far too easy to send your words prematurely before you’ve thought them out
To avoid embarrassment, create your email this way instead…
- Click/tap New Message
- DO NOT enter anything in the To, CC, or BCC fields. Skip that!
- Note the addressee(s) in the Subject field or at the start of your message body.
- Optionally, enter the Reply-To email address
- Compose message / add attachments: They are both message content. For those of you who see your images in the email body, they feed off one another so do that part together.
- Optionally, select your Signature or type/dictate one
- Proofread carefully for content and emotion. If you dictated your message be sure to check for incorrect words and punctuation.
- Only now, should you enter the people you are sending to in the To field. You can copy this from your Subject or Body, or type and allow auto-filled to add the address(es).
- Delete the sending-to people from the Subject or Body
- Consider your content and enter a descriptive subject in the Subject field.
- Send or schedule to send your email.
Hold off a little while
I also recommend saving the email as a draft and not addressing or sending it for a little while. Give yourself time to reflect on your words. You may have forgotten a point, or written in the heat of the moment with emotions running hot. You may remember something else when you ruinate on it a bit or just by switching tasks.
That’s it. Basically, by not adding your recipients until the very end, you eliminate the opportunity to send them an email that was not really ready for their eyes.
A cautionary tale about dictation errors
I have often recommended a website called Booking.com or given advice about booking accommodations or events.
I am not in the habit of cursing, especially when composing anything written. But Siri developed a habit of hearing something else when I say “booking.” I can’t write the word here, but let’s just say Siri only got the “ing” part right and what Siri wrote would never be a good word to use.