Archive for the ‘Module 2 : Email tasks’ Category

Module 2 : Email tasks

August 26, 2009

1. What information about a user’s email, the origin of a message, and the path it took, can you glean from an email message?

Most information can be gathered from the email metadata line that appears in your inbox, including sender, time sent, size of email as well as a subject line which perhaps in the most subjective item as it’s at the discretion of the sender. You can also see who else has been sent this mail (if any) as well as its importance ait can be flagged in some tools like Microsoft Outlook to indicate an immediate response is required.

You can also see if you open the email the path it came to you from including if it was an original forward (you can see this from the subject line as well) and you can note comments made along the way to the original mail if included.

2. In what cases would you find it useful to use the ‘cc’, ‘bcc’ and ‘reply all functions of email?

The most common scenario is to Carbon copy or “CC” other on a email when you want to include others in the conversation this can be because you want to invite someone who might be interested in a concert you’ve been invited to as well as cc your manager as someone from another team has asked something if you that you think they ought to know about.

Blind carbon copy is a trickier scenario as its’ not totally professional to copy someone in blindly but you might do it in a social scenario where you want someone to see a response from a crush or respond to someone who you think is a bit silly without wanting to advise them you’ve added a bunch of other people to the e-mail. Its not something I would use often but something I would use one if it was a way to keep people in the loop without alerting the other party or just to play a joke on someone.

Reply all is a function is use constantly as you would want all involved to be kept into the loop if it was a work issue or if it was a social invite then would want everyone to know what I thought. I sometimes might not reply all if I just want to respond to the original sender, especially if the “To” list is long but I more often than not reply all to emails I receive.

3. In what ways can you ensure that an attachment you send will be easily opened by the receiver?

I first ensure its zipped so it can be received by more severe servers who have size cut offs. Before I zip the file I try to name it to indicate its contents and try not to send cumbersome files that to internal work colleagues. I instead point them to a shared directory they can view it on as its taking up space as is and there is need to clog both out mailboxes if we can view on a shared drive instead.

If a file has to be sent I clean it up of formals (if its in excel) and delete unnecessary tables and diagrams to make the file more compact. I also try no to use specialized software files as the recipient might not have access to the same technology. Finally I try to use ht oldest version of the software I have (specifically important for Microsoft products) to ensure they can open it at their end with ease.

4. What sorts of filters or rules do you have set up, and for what purpose?

I have rules to move emails from certain recipients to certain inboxes so my main inbox will remain clutter free and I will focus on what’s important first. This is especially true of email subscriptions I have which always used o clog up my mailbox and make me spend time moving them after scanning them. This was time consuming so now I have them go into a specific folder and look at them when I need a break (which was the original intent) and save time when its critical that I get things done.

5. How have you organised the folder structure of your email and why?

I always organize the structure of my folders to have easy access to what I need without having to perform in depth searches to find an email, which I could find, and minutes faster if I had it in a special folder. I do it specifically at work where I deal with several different groups of people and where emails can be cumbersome. It becomes even more problematic when you look at archiving to save space where you have thousands of emails.

what are the pros and cons of email lists versus discussion boards & Are there certain kinds of communication or purposes more suited to one than the other?

The pros of discussion boards are that you can post at any time and its easy to keep track of everyone’s thoughts as its visible to all and in order of input. Emails are more subjective as some might not reply all some might reply to the right mail they see and not the latest missing crucial information.

However discussion board mean that you have to keep checking them and they aren’t alerts like emails sent to your blackberry or desktop forcing you to acknowledge them. Both are useful perhaps discussions for real time and for having an ordered process for discussion and emails for more immediate response or to have guaranteed delivery to all participants.

TASK OPTION – Other chat options:

I wasn’t able to meet with group members as I travel for work and usually do my assignments in the middle of the night, so I got family members involved on yahoo messenger and we talked about how easy it was and also what bothered us about the program.

It was certainly easy to install for those of us that didn’t have it but it was frustrating for my sister as she didn’t have Yahoo mail and had to have a yahoo account set up which was annoying and now meant she had an extra id she would never use.  However it was great to have real time chat when she was in the US, I was in New Zealand and my cousin was back in Melbourne. It all goes to show how important technology can be in helping us communicate better and without too much drama.