But this post isn't about email etiquette or picking the right communication tool, even though those are great topics. What I am harping on today is making sure that, when you respond to someone, no matter the method, you forward the action. What this means is that your response somehow progresses the project or conversation forward in some way.
In today's world, we are all inundated with communications. There are times that it is completely appropriate to send back a response that is simply a thank you, but one should never simply pass the buck or use email as a way to procrastinate.
Here are 2 simple ways to forward the action:
1. Make sure that, when you respond, your response moves the project or task forward. If you can't get it done the same day, then rather than typing, “I will get back to you,” make sure to consider your basic project management criteria of who, what and when. For example, your response might look something like this: “I will get back to you with my edits by the end of day tomorrow.”
2. Instead of typing, “Let's get together to review,” and putting the burden back on the sender to complete the next task of scheduling the event, send a calendar invite, scheduling a time and place to review the work. You should always do this, rather than asking them to schedule it via an email response, especially if you are the manager. Scheduling a calendar invite is not something you should delegate;)