Thursday, 12 July 2007

Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPublished by Alfred A Knopf - A Division of Random House.

Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home is one of those books that belongs on the bookshelf in every home. Within the pages we have the introduction - a real eye opener - in which we learn why we email so badly. This is followed by seven chapters titled: When Should We Email?, The Anatomy of an Email, How to Write (the Perfect) Email, The Six Essential Types of Email, The Emotional Email, The Email That Can Land You in Jail, and last but not least, S.E.N.D.

Each of these chapters holds a wealth of information to guide the reader through the perils of emailing. In When Should We Email we are shown when it is appropriate to send an email and when we should use the alternative means of communication such as phone, instant message, letter (yes, surprisingly some people do still use these) and so on. In The Anatomy of an Email, we learn how to correctly put together an email and address it to the right people. It sounds simple right? I actually learned a great deal from this section and I loved that it teaches the correct use of the CC and BCC fields.

How to Write (the Perfect) Email deals with grammar, punctuation (probably my biggest flaw if I am honest), paragraphs, emoticons and more. In The Six Essential Types of Email we are shown how to better express ourselves when sending emails dealing with Requests, Answers, Informative emails, Emails of Thanks, Emails of Apologies and lastly, Socialising Emails. The Emotional Email is probably my favourite chapter. Cyberspace can be a challenge to communicate within. There are no tones of voice or facial expressions to guide us in understanding the intention of words directed at us. When things get emotional, things can spiral out of control at an extremely fast rate. The Emotional Email helps us to discover how to prevent this from happening.

The Email That Can Land You in Jail covers the many things you can do to protect yourself while using email. Changing subject lines, being specific in email (none of those "Can we talk about that thing" comments), keeping emails that shouldn't be kept, sharing emails that shouldn't be shared, and so on. Lastly, in S.E.N.D we are taught how to use that simply phrase to perform a mental checklist on our email before we use the send button, a process that will save you from many embarrassing or inappropriate moments.

This is a great book that everyone should read. Whether you have been dealing with email for a very short time, or a great number of years, I would be surprised if this book didn't teach you something new. It is written in a very clear and concise manner and is extremely easy to understand, regardless of your computer literacy level. I highly recommend this book. My only regret is that this book didn't come out around 10 years ago. I could have saved myself from so many embarrassments. *grins*.

Also check out the book's website at (they have a hall of shame for bad emails which is pretty funny!).

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