To: All Faculty and Staff
From: Kathy Gallagher, John P. Harney
Re: E-mail Etiquette
Date: January 5, 2006
Below please find guidelines to support the optimal
performance of our desktop technology and reap the full benefit
from our communications investments. It is the responsibility
of each of us to ensure that these guidelines are followed to maintain
the professional image of our organization and maximize our technology.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
1. Avoid overloading the system with items
that consume unnecessary storage:
Eliminate background colors, borders, stationery
formats, and downloaded or extra symbols (i.e., smiley faces, budding
flowers, etc.)—these extras can also corrupt the e-mail system.
Stick with the standard format.
Eliminate signatures from e-mail salutations.
However, including standard contact information in a preset e-mail
format is often helpful.
Do not attach or include insignias or logos in
Avoid unnecessary cc’s, and use “Reply
to All” only when all really need to hear back from you.
Delete unnecessary messages and folders periodically,
and archive the ones you need to keep.
If a Word document asks if you wish to do a Mail
Merge, you should generally say “no” unless you intend
to use this feature.
2. Be mindful of security and confidentiality.
Do not forward e-mails to other e-mail systems
outside the Medical Center firewalls—this creates information
If you are asked if you wish to “Update
Macros” embedded in an attachment, click “no”
unless you are already familiar with them.
Do not download screen savers…they are
an easy means for virus infiltration.
Do not open e-mails or attachments from unknown
Remember that messages you store in public folders
are accessible by other users on your server.
3. Format your documents so they will
be easy to consult on the receiving end.
Preview your work in black-and-white format (use
print preview) before saving and sending.
Use different symbols and gray shading on your
graphs to make them easy to decipher.
Format any file you send so it can be printed
if needed, This avoids wasteful printing of many trial-and-error
pages, as well as repetitive formatting by your recipients
Use plain white backgrounds for reports and presentations,
both to facilitate clear copies and avoid distracting from your
Remember, when saving an Excel spreadsheet, that
the cursor will point exactly where you left it when your recipients
open the file.
4. Waste not…
Color printing (which costs about ten times more
than black on plain white paper) is to be used solely for high-level
presentations where its use is essential to convey the message.
Turn off your monitor when you leave at end of
the day. This saves energy and avoids burning images into the screen.
5. Remember that courtesy is as important
in an e-mail as in any other form of communication.
Always include a subject line.
Use the spell-check feature (F7 is the function
key to do this) and be aware that many similarly spelled words may
not spell check correctly.
Avoid e-mail replies that simply convey receipt
of the message. (Do you really have to write back just to say OK?)
This is not to discourage expressing appreciation via e-mail!
Saying “thank you” is never superfluous!
UPPER CASE messages convey anger and should be