Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stop the CC, BCC Craziness! - Part 11 in a Series

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Part 11 in our series on Email Management for Teachers and Administrators will actually be applied differently for everyone depending on their particular organization. However, regardless of your job environment, this step is still very important and can immediately impact and reduce the email management load.  Part 11 of our series is actually in two-part:
  1. Do not automatically hit "Reply All" when responding to emails .  Instead, consider who really needs to receive the reply and  do yourself and the recipients a favor by NOT sending them email that will simply add to their Inbox woes.
  2. When composing an email, learn the difference between CC and BCC and use them sparingly!  If in doubt, leave them out!  You can always forward the message later if necessary but we tend to add everyone that crosses our mind to the CC or BCC list and often unnecessarily.
Now, I know every organization has a sort of unspoken (or maybe it is spoken) protocol for this but I know that I receive email as a cc recipient often that really didn't need to include me.

Let's take a minute and review the various fields in an email.  
  • The "To" field is the person or persons that are your primary recipients for an email.
  • The "CC" field, short for Carbon Copy, allows you to send a copy of your email to anyone you include in this field.  Note:  It is important to note that everyone in the "To" and "CC" field can identify the email address of all of the other recipients.  So, when writing to others, you need to be very careful about maintaining the confidentiality of students, co-workers, etc.  You also need to watch including a huge list of recipients as we've all received those emails where there is a huge chunk of space taken just listing all of the recipients and their email addresses.
  • The "BCC" field, short for Blind Carbon Copy, allows you to send a copy of the email to someone (or multiple recipients) but the only email addresses visible will be the ones in the "To" field and, of course, the recipient and sender. Note:  There are some things to consider when using BCC and one of those is that you want to be careful about using it to secretly include others in the email.  Consider how you would feel if you knew that your email had been secretly copied to other recipients. 
Regardless, in all cases, try not to just arbitrarily include multiple recipients or reply to everyone in an email.  Consider who needs the information and include them only.  Sometimes it may be everyone in the original list, but often it only needs to be one of those in the original email.  You'll help yourself and everyone else in the process!

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