E-mail has changed the way we do business and made us more efficient. Instead of endless memos and phone calls, we can e-mail a quick question, an invitation to a meeting, or a request.

As helpful as e-mail is, however, we need to follow certain rules:

1. Don't use all caps when writing. It's the equivalent of shouting in the cyber world, and it's difficult for our eyes to read.

2. Conversely, capitalize words when appropriate. Using all lower case shows disrespect and sloppiness.

3. Use a subject line that's pertinent to your e-mail. "Question on Line 81 of Budget" or "Marketing Meeting Set for January 17" subject lines catch the eye more easily and are easier to find at a later date.

4. Instead of indenting paragraphs, use two hard returns between them to make it easier to read. Reading on a computer screen is different from reading print.

5. Number multiple action items. If an e-mail has four things numbered from 1-4, it's much easier to see what you need. It's also less likely that something will get forgotten or missed.

6. When replying to an e-mail, include only the information you're referring to, and write your response underneath. That way, it's much easier to follow the trail of the conversation than getting an e-mail back three days later with "That's fine."

7. Remember e-mail isn't 100% fail-safe. If you don't receive a reply to an e-mail, don't assume the person is ignoring you. With technology glitches and spam filters, e-mail doesn't always make it to its destination.

8. Never write in an e-mail what you wouldn't say in a letter or a direct conversation. It's not anonymous or confidential.

9. Don't write an e-mail when you're angry or frustrated. Feel free to compose what you want to say to vent off some steam, but beware the SEND button. Better yet, write what you want to say in Word, save the document, and revisit it the next day when you've had a chance to cool off.

10. E-mail isn't the cure-all for every situation. Sometimes you actually have to pick up the phone or walk down the hall and have a conversation, especially if the matter is controversial.

Author's Bio: 

Dawn Shuler, Content Creator Extraordinaire, helps entrepreneurs and authors convey their deep message into compelling words, whether it's marketing material or a book, as well as to create powerful content to increase their credibility, visibility, and profitability. Her soul purpose is to help entrepreneurs unleash their authentic selves into their businesses through their content. She created the Writing From Your Soul system to help business owners connect more powerfully, reach more people, and make a difference. Download the free, 13-step system at www.WritingFromYourSoul.com.