Etiquette Tip of the Week: Planet Scan-it
By Callista Gould, Author, and Certified Etiquette Instructor
We think about etiquette in terms of in-person interactions: first impressions, who
exits the elevator first or when to place the napkin in our lap.
So, how does etiquette apply to writing an email?
Since etiquette is about being aware of the people around us and attentive to their
needs, we need to craft emails with the other person in mind.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned from working for a successful tech start-up,
InterTech Media, is that people now take their information in small chunks. Emails,
texts and online content are not read for detail. We have become, "Planet Scan-it."
Do you read email newsletters? Or do you file them to read when you have time? (Meaning:
Our emails should be:
Easy to read quickly
Clear and concise with excess words eliminated (After you draft it, half it!)
Targeted to the reader
Edited for spelling, grammar and punctuation
A quick scan for spelling is especially important when it comes to the name of the
person we're emailing. Does Michelle have two “ls” or one? Is it Jeff or Geoff?
If we find ourselves writing a long email response to someone, it might be time to
pick up the phone. Or walk 20 feet to where the sender is located and converse in
To craft the ideal email, keep the other person in mind. On Planet Scan-it, brevity
Culture and Manners Institute