Tag Archives: email etiquette

When Email Isn’t Enough by Kimberly Law, AICI CIP

For centuries, handwritten letters delivered by messengers or post were the only form of written correspondence. Over time typewriters became the norm, but the delivery system remained the same. Now with the explosion of email we are able to correspond at lightning speed. Even though it is fast and easy, there are times when electronics just won’t do.

Thank You

If you are given a gift, are the recipient of a favour, have received excellent service or have been interviewed for a job, send a thank you as soon as possible. Even though email is a fast and easy way to say thank you, a hand written thank you note, letter, or card shows you have taken the time to put it in writing and will come across more sincere.


Sympathy is not the right time for email. If you are close to someone whose family member has died, send a handwritten sympathy letter or card as soon as you hear the news. If you learn about the death of someone who is connected to you in some way, the card or letter is sent to the person you know the best.


When you have hurt someone’s feelings, pick up the phone or apologise face-to-face. For an extra nice gesture follow up with a handwritten note.

Email definitely has its place. It is fast; it is easy; but in some situations a call or handwritten note is more effective. Before going to your computer, take the time to consider the purpose and consider the person you are corresponding to.

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Texting and BlackBerry Etiquette – Kimberly Law

About a year ago three teenage cousins were invited by their grandparents to go out for dinner and then to a play. They all seemed excited about the activity until they arrived at the restaurant. After they arrived, two of the three girls received text messages. Instead of shutting off their cell phones and enjoying the company of their grandparents and each other,  they started text messaging their friends and each other. This left the grandparents and the third cousin sitting there feeling left out, annoyed and uncomfortable. At the theatre they continued text messaging throughout the play. Each time a text was received the phone would vibrate and the light came on, annoying the people around them. It was also embarrassing and insulting to the grandparents.

Unfortunately this is a commons story and it happens often. When it comes to cell phones and text messaging we often forget our manners and etiquette. We don’t consider how the people around us might feel. Think about the last time you were kept waiting while somone you were with had an non-important texting conversation.

Some people think that portable devices such as BlackBerry’s used for texting, emailing and planning your day follow different rules of etiquette then should be followed for chatting on a cell telephone. I think that most would agree they are generally less annoying then being forced to listen in on a cell phone conversation just because you happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, just because they are more private and less disruptive then cell phones it, doesn’t mean you should use them at anytime. Checking and responding to e-mail, text messaging or planning your day on a portable device during these times is just plain rude!

  • During a meeting, public event, lecture or in a classroom.
  • Restaurants. (Unless you are alone)
  • Places of worship, weddings & funerals.
  • In someone else’s home or office.
  • While socialising with others face-to-face.

When using any kind of electronic conversational device for texting, emailing or talking, consider the people around you and on the other end of the conversation.