Monday, June 11, 2012

Add Your Signature But Make It Meaningful - Part 6 in a Series

I have to tell you I'm already noticing a difference in my email.  For example, my Subject Indicators like "Response Requested" and "Action Requested" are making a difference.  I find I'm getting replies back quicker and that means I'm getting work done more efficiently.  I'm appreciative of my recipients taking the time to respond to my emails so quickly but I have to say it's the subject indicator that is the big difference.

I spent the time today setting up folders.  It was WONDERFUL to see that empty inbox!  I use Outlook at work and love the flag indicator to pop the email into To-Do tasks quickly and also the add to calendar feature to add reminders to my calendar!  Instant organization.  The time I am working on email I feel is more productive now!

For part 6 of our series, some of you may feel you already have this taken care of but read on because there is a twist to the step!  The next step is to:

Add a signature to your emails AND add a message that supports the work that you do as an educator!

Here's an example:  In my job (and because I'm passionate about this), classroom webpages are important.  Our District goals include websites that are updated regularly and used as educational tools.  So, my signature contains the usual information such as my name, title, school, and phone number but it also includes a "teaching message."  I have the following question:  "Have you updated your website lately?"  It is a simple reminder to my coworkers to update their websites, a gentle reminder if you will.

So, let us say that you are a science teacher!  How about adding a current vocabulary word definition to your signature...nothing more..just the word and definition?  Administrators, how about adding information about an upcoming school event for the community, a PTO meeting time and date, or an invitation to visit TAKS resources on the school's website with a direct link to them?  Are you a District trainer?  If so, how about adding  a brief blurb and link to a great educational site?

Also, don't forget that you some programs allow you to have multiple signatures so you can easily pick different signatures dependent on the person you are writing to! Check out your own email program to see if yours has this ability!

You get the idea!  You may already have a signature but do you have an INSTRUCTIONAL signature?

You may be asking how this improves management of your email and that is a fair question.  Well, the fact is that when you include your contact information, you reduce the need for anyone to email back with questions like "What is your extension?" or "What is your official title?"  Every second counts when it comes to email management and every email that you don't have to respond to is a step in the right direction.

For Outlook users, I'm including the instructions with a demo for adding an email signature for your convenience!  You may find it at:

I'm going to change my signature tomorrow!  I'll let you know if there is any reaction!  Let me know how these steps have been going for you!  Thanks for reading!

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