Information Services – IT Services


Email charter

We can help reverse the problems of email overload. Are you in? Be part of the solution not the problem!

1. Respect recipients' time

Make your email easy to read. Use our plain English tips to save others time AND make your communication more effective.

2. Short is not rude

It's ok to be brief and not give wordy responses. Don't take brevity personally and know that others won't. We all want our lives back!

3. Celebrate clarity

  • Subject line: write a short subject line that clearly gives the topic.
  • Opening line: make it the basic reason for writing.

4. Slash CCs

Only CC someone who really needs this message. Don't thoughtlessly 'Reply all': choose individual recipients.

5. Tighten the thread

If you need to include the email trail showing the context, cut what's not relevant. If it's long, summarise or make a phone call instead.

6. Reduce attachments

Don't use images like logos in your signature - they come as attachments that people will try to open. Don't attach text if it's possible to write it in the email. 

7. Cut contentless responses

You don't need to reply to every email. An email saying "Thanks for your note. I'm in." doesn't need you to reply "Great." 

8. Instant responses aren't needed

Don't feel you need to give an instant response and don't expect to get one. Use Skype or pick up the phone if something is urgent.

9. Disconnect

If we all agree to spend less time doing email, we'll all get less email! Can you calendar half-days for email-free working? Have email-free evenings, weekends, holidays. Have an 'auto-response' that references this charter.

And don't forget to smell the roses. 

This charter was adapted from, which is no longer available.




IT Services, University of Kent

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Last Updated: 07/03/2017