THE BLOG
10/14/2011 03:39 pm ET | Updated Dec 14, 2011

Avoid These Five Dumb Email Mistakes...

Considering how long email has been around and how ubiquitous it is, it's a source of amazement to me that some people still do not know how to use it correctly.

Last week, in the middle of a very busy time at work, I was getting bombarded with so many stupid emails that I sent out my own -- slightly crude and very angry -- email begging everyone to please stop the deluge. Yes, I had succumbed to email rage.

Now that things have calmed down, let me see if I can outline the 5 dumb email mistakes that drive me a bit crazy:

1. The All-World 'Thank You' -- A simple thank you is nice and polite of course but my problem is the 'reply all thank you.' If someone sends you something you desperately wanted and needed, please thank that person, not everyone on the list. The rest of us don't care -- really. One guy was even doing this last week in a foreign language. Do I really need a cute 'merci' in my in box? And it almost goes without saying that, for the love of all that's holy, please do not send a 'reply all you're welcome' message of, even worse, a 'reply all YOUR welcome' message. This is the reason I use a mouth guard at night. And all of this brings me to my next sinner.

2. Hitting 'Reply All' When It's Not Called For -- Step away from that button right now! 'Reply all' has gotten plenty of folks in trouble over the years. You don't need to use it unless there's a piece of information all of us really need to know. Otherwise, just send that info to the people you know really need it. That's it. If you don't know who those people are, resign from your job. Simple as that!

3. Email Diarrhea -- You need not send an email for every thought you have. End of story.

4. How 'Clever' You're Not -- This is a variation on the 'trigger happy' emailer. This person feels the need to show everyone how clever he is, as if that proves he's intelligent. If you do it once in a while, okay. If you're known in the office as 'that guy who sends those dumb ass emails,' then, uh, you're not.

5. The Black Hole -- There is such a thing as sending too much email and that's sending none at all. This is especially galling when it's an email aimed at an underling whom you've asked for help. If you ask someone who works under you for a specific request and they do not get back to you immediately to say 'I'm on it' or 'I'll get back to you soon' or some variation, then, in my mind, you're not the type of person who merits a promotion.

Now I'll sit down and take a few deep breaths. Thank you.