A Checklist for Every E-mail You Send

Run through this list and you’ll avoid E-mail mistakes both great and small.

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E-mail is not generally a deeply considered form of correspondence. It's a quick take, a snappy rebuttal, a last-minute lunch invite, or—sometimes—a stunningly inappropriate rant.

For help improving the thoughtfulness of our digital letters—here's a checklist from marketing whiz Seth Godin.

Some of my favorites from the comprehensive, 36-item list:

16. Is there anything in this E-mail I don't want the attorney general, the media, or my boss seeing? (If so, hit delete).

20. Have I included the line, "Please save the planet. Don't print this E-mail"? (If so, please delete the line and consider a job as a forest ranger or flight attendant).

35. Bonus: Does the subject line make it easy to understand what's to come and likely it will get filed properly?

36. If I had to pay 42 cents to send this E-mail, would I?

What questions are on your E-mail checklist? Or, better yet, what checklist suggestions would you pass along anonymously to a few folks in your address book?

(For more on major E-mail mistakes, check out the recent Freakonomics discussion.)

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