With all the “smart” devices out there, and the fact that people are often “on the go”, people are more frequently checking their emails from their phone or tablet, either, of which likely has a relatively smaller screen than their computer.
For communicating effectively when you know that someone is on-the-go or out-of-the-office (and, thus, will likely be checking their emails from their phone or other device), try sending them shorter, truncated messages by stating everything that is pertinent in the subject line of the email and then ending the message with EOM (End of Message). This way, the recipient does not have to open and download the email and sort through lengthy or detailed discussions about matters (on their tiny devices) when you only, really, need a short answer or want to communicate a simple thought. Especially, this can be an effective method of dropping quick/nonintrusive FYIs, for example, when you know that the recipient is in a meeting or court hearing. It is also effective to send such messages FROM a phone or tablet, because, as the sender using a small device, one does not ending up having to pound out a long paragraph or page of information.
If you keep in mind that you are limiting your words and, simultaneously, communicating the most information that you can within a singular sentence, you can recognize and do things that can be done to further promote efficiency, such as inserting telephone numbers or other pertinent information into the subject line (because people can use their smart device to click on the number and instantly call someone back – just make sure your recipient knows the full name of the person and reason they would be calling)
Examples of EOM messages might be something along the lines of:
- Joe Schmoe returned your call Re Deposition – call back is 123-456-7890 – eom
- Able Attorney received your letter re settlement offer and would like a call – number is 987-654-3210 – eom
- Your Doctor Called to Confirm tomorrow’s appointment at 3pm – eom
- Please schedule appt with CPA in the Smith case – 2 weeks or so – eom
- URGENT: Director called and needs to speak with you by end of business day – advise if you want a conference call – eom
- URGENT: Catering for international meeting fell through – meeting is in 1 hour – please run for bagels and coffee and bring them to Room 211 – eom
The secondary part of this truncated method of communication is the sender knowing that the recipient received the information. Clearly the communication is important for one reason or another, but the recipient should always reciprocate (once free to do so) with a simple “received” or “got it – on my way”.
Once this is done, the sender knows that s/he has accomplished the sending of the pertinent FYI, and the recipient has acknowledged receipt of the information, which, in turn, alleviates anxieties or concerns for the sender. The sender and recipient can catch up later, or check-in with each other when time permits, to review whether the necessary call-backs or other tasks have been done. In the meantime, though, effective communication of information has transpired.