How to enhance email communication by implementing military precision in structuring emails. This approach is comprised of three main tips: utilizing keywords in subjects, leading with the ‘Bottom Line Up Front’ (BLUF) statement, and maintaining economical word usage. By adopting these practices, emails become more straightforward and effective, thus improving professional communication.
- Use Keywords in the Subject: Keywords like ‘ACTION’, ‘SIGN’, ‘INFO’, ‘DECISION’, ‘REQUEST’, ‘COORD’ characterize the email’s nature and expected action from the recipient. This helps the recipient understand the email’s purpose even before opening it.
- Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): This military practice involves starting the email with a short statement that immediately presents the purpose of the email and any required action. The BLUF should answer the five W’s: who, what, where, when, and why.
- Be Economical with Language: Keeping emails short and direct aids in their effectiveness. The use of active voice makes sentences shorter and clearer, making it easier for the recipient to understand the intended message.
- Provide Background Information: If an email requires more explanation, it’s suggested to list background information as bullet points after the BLUF. This format allows recipients to quickly grasp the main message.
- Link Attachments Rather Than Attaching Files: To prevent clogging inboxes and ensure security, it’s recommended to provide a link to an attachment rather than attaching the file directly to the email.