Write emails from bottom to top
In the years I’ve composed emails, I was initially finding it a little hard to go through the top-down steps of adding people in the To field, CC field and coming up with the subject line. There were two problems with this workflow:
It broke my flow for composing an email
I’d have a vague idea of how to express my thoughts into words and that flow was broken by filling out these fields.
I used to be trigger happy in sending the email.
In most email clients,
Alt+Enter) is the keyboard shortcut for sending email. I’d be so used to hitting these that I’d sometimes hit them in the middle of the email. This was particularly a problem when I was using IntelliJ IDEs quite heavily. Because,
Option+Enter in an IntelliJ IDE would insert the currently suggested hint.
So, I figured out a simple fix for this: Write emails from bottom to top. Basically, do the following in order:
- Write the body of the email first and you get all your thoughts out.
- Then fill the subject line which is now easier to summarize.
- Add people in To and CC fields.
The best part about this workflow is, hitting
Option+Enter at any point during the process (except once you start filling the To/CC fields) would do nothing, because there’s nobody to send the email to. This turned out to be super useful hack that I have been using ever since and has worked out really well.