If you’re tired of spending all of your time writing email, or feel like your email requests never get properly fulfilled, give this military-based system a shot.
Photo by Oregon National Guard.
Email is filled with fluff, takes up your time and doesn’t always get the right message across. That’s why Kabir Sehgal, US Navy veteran, Lieutenant in the US Navy Reserve and author of Coined: The Rich Life of Money And How Its History Has Shaped Us, suggests you adopt some email tips from the military. Start by using keywords in the subject of your emails that states the purpose of the message itself. Sehgal offers some examples:
- ACTION — Compulsory for the recipient to take some action
- SIGN — Requires the signature of the recipient
- INFO — For informational purposes only, and there is no response or action required
- DECISION — Requires a decision by the recipient
- REQUEST — Seeks permission or approval by the recipient
- COORD — Coordination by or with the recipient is needed
Now the recipient knows the exact nature of your email. In addition to that, Sehgal suggests you follow the Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) protocol and make the important information the first thing they see. Here’s an example Sehgal shares from the Air Force Handbook:
BLUF: Effective 29 Oct 13, all Air Force Doctrine Documents (AFDDs) have been rescinded and replaced by core doctrine volumes and doctrine annexes.
In a matter of seconds, your recipient knows the who, what, when, where and why. Not only will this system reduce the amount of time you spend writing email, but it will save other people’s time as well. You can learn more great email tips at the link below.
How to Write Email with Military Precision [Harvard Business Review]