Gmail’s New Compose Window: Write Emails Faster & Easier – Guest Post by Tracey Bauer

I always like to have other experts featured on our blog – read Tracey’s great post below…

Gmail is the go-to email client for many people nowadays.  It has a wide variety of features and is super easy to organize.  Now, Gmail goes further in its never-ending quest for a user-friendly experience.

Have you ever used the chat function, Gchat?  It’s pretty simple: click on a contact name marked as available (as indicated by the green dot next to the person’s name) and a nice little window pops up and lets you chat right from your inbox.  Google aims to make email exchanges this simple too.

Gmail will now have a pop-up compose window.

Before, we all had to click the “Compose” button and leave our inboxes to type a new email message.  Now, users have the freedom to stay on the inbox page and type an email at the same time.  You can chat with friends on Gchat and write an email in a different window!

Now, while the new compose function is similar to chat, the window is a little bigger.  After all, no one wants to write a lengthy message and have half of it out of sight because the window is too tiny!  Some of us like to go back and check our spelling, which is much easier to do when everything is in view.

Running Man Green Character, Fast And Efficient Services Concept

This is an awesome update from the folks at Google, because users can navigate to other messages to reference information while they compose.  Check out the official announcement for more information!

Tracey Bauer has written on the topics of Gmail productivity, social media, software for email management, and much more.

Does the Boss Really Want Copies of All Your Emails?

As you go up the corporate ladder, the number of email messages received seems to increase exponentially.

While its understandable that the air becomes more rare, and there are fewer people in each hierarchical level, we have to question whether some of these emails going to the boss are truly valuable to him or her. Of course, the boss needs to know what’s going on in the organization. Of course he or she needs to be briefed on problems and their resolution. But are individual emails the best way?

With senior level execs getting 150-200 e-messages a day, do you really believe that all of them will be read thoroughly? Do you believe that by merely sending a copy of that message, he or she will “get what’s going on?

Or – let’s get real now – are you covertly trying to get in good with the boss. Or even worse, are you delegating upward?

Here are a few thoughts…

If you’re trying to keep that great boss informed by simply adding him or her as a copy, consider alternatives. How about a daily digest? How about an executive summary? Or how about forwarding your sent mail with a quick summary at the top?

If you’re trying to get on the boss’s good side, think again. You might be seen as a pest, a brown-noser, or suck up. At minimum, be cautious about becoming a nuisance. The more emails you copy to the boss, the fewer will be read. Kinda like the boy who cried wolf.

And if you’re copying the boss as a way of abdicating responsibility, stop.

Bosses want people to to be accountable, to take responsibility. Your including them as a cc doesn’t delegate to them – at best, it annoys them.

Time is precious. Involve the higher ups in the most efficient effective way. If you are considerate of their time, it’ll circle back to you.

Email AutoSignatures: Signature Best Practices

One of the questions we receive every now and then is “what is the best autosignature?” The answer is – keep it simple, and give them the efficient ways to get in touch with you. This, to me, includes your email address because people have software that instantly captures your autosignature into their databases.

Here is a great post on the subject that we hope you’ll find useful:

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Hope you find this useful.

Productivity: Working More or Working Smarter?

There are so many things on our to do lists, that we’ll never get it all done.

While the challenge is to work smarter rather than longer, sometimes it is didfficult to know what that means.

Here is a great post that may enlighten you:

12 Tips for an Organized Desk

OK OK. We all know that the more organized we are, the more efficient we can be…

But what does that mean?

Here are 12 Tips that you might consider to organize your desk,  from the blog Productivity 501

Clean Out Your Inbox Week – Friday's Free Resource – "Reduce Your Email, Reclaim Your Productivity"

Today’s free resource comes with a slight hitch.  For you to receive this five-page PDF of e-mail best practices, you have got to have an empty inbox!

After all, it is Clean Out Your Inbox Week, isn’t it?  Email that screen print to us at, and we will send you a link for this five-page PDF, entitled “Reduce Your Email, Reclaim Your Productivity.”

Good stuff — we promise!

In the Job Market?

In the job market? Set up a separate email address for contact with prospective employers.

Managing your first impressions is critical to your job hunt. With all the free email services out there, there’s no excuse for you to have an email address that could hurt your prospects.

Many times there is great comptetion for an open position. Everything about you and your application is fair game for pass or fail to the next step.

I’ve actually seen email addresses such as partygirl@aol, baseballmom@yahoo or vodka1@gmail.

Instead, create one such as susansmithresume@gmail or susansmith@yahoo or ssmithMBA@aol. Make it professional.

The added benefit all is that you’ll be able to keep of your career related correspondence in one place.

Always Use a Subject Line

OK, so you’re wondering why I’m taking up blog-space for this tip. Well, there’s a good reason…

When you fail to complete a supject line, spam filters think you’re spam. And your message won’t get through. ‘Nuff said.

Write very specific subject lines

By incorporating detail into your subject lines, you enable the recipient to more easily sort, categorize, prioritize and file your message. “Please bring the attached handout to the Tuesday, 2/10 staff meeting” is much more precise and efficient than “Staff Meeting.”

As an added benefit, when he or she responds, you will know exactly which memo is being responded to.

Sometimes, the entire brief message can be in the subject line.  By placing “EOM” (abbreviation for End of Message) at the end of the subject line, the reader will know that there is no need to open the email. 

Excerpted from Inbox Detox, Acanthus Publishing, 2009

Email Tip: Assume your readers skim.

Whether you read every single word of every e-mail you receive or not, a recent study showed that most people read only about 50% of an e-mail message.  So, when crafting your message, take extra caution to make sure your request is very clear, very easily found, and direct.   The shorter the email, the more likely all of its content will be read.

Excerpted from Inbox Detox, Acanthus Publishing, 2009