When you’re busy crafting an important email, perhaps to a prospective hiring manager, accidentally sending it before it’s ready is the single easiest way to screw up. Maybe there’s a glaring spelling error—you could’ve sworn it wasn’t there before—or you’ve forgotten to attach your resume. Instead of going off on your merry way, now the manic follow-up email process begins. “So sorry about that,” you write, before fixing the problem in writing.
Here’s an obvious tip that’s worth reiterating now and for your sanity: Never start an important email by leaving the recipient’s email address in the “to” line. It’s all too easy to hit the “send” button by accident and find yourself spiraling after shooting an email you really wish you didn’t send. When replying to an email, I generally remove the recipient’s email address immediately to avoid this altogether, which is generally the go-to advice here.
Our Vitals editor, Beth, puts the email address as the first line of the body. “That way I can cut and paste when ready, and I don’t take up the subject line field,” she said. “In the old days, I used to just stick an x at the end of the address ([email protected]) but Gmail doesn’t like to let you do that.”
Or, you could do what Verge features editor, Kevin Nguyen, confesses to doing to preserve the quality of his emails. “I draft all my emails in a text editor because I am always afraid I will accidentally hit send too soon,” he wrote on Twitter. If that seems like too much effort, why not use one of these convenient but polite canned email responses instead?