Section 7.7

Email on Smartphones

Workers on the move can enjoy the convenience of smartphones, which enable them to send and receive email from wherever they are. Unfortunately, it is not easy to compose articulate messages on these tiny devices. That fact is no excuse, however, for a lack of clarity or an unprofessional format. You should in most cases still adhere to the standard guidelines for appropriate email messages, setting up proper signature files, proofing for grammar and punctuation, and so on.

In addition, test your smartphone by sending a couple of messages to yourself and then scrutinizing their appearance on a normal-size monitor. The default format may need to be adjusted so that the smartphone-generated emails look as professional as the messages you send from your desktop computer.

If you are a regular user of a smartphone, you know how difficult it can be to compose careful email messages with those tiny keyboards. For email that doesn’t require an urgent reply, consider waiting until you are sitting at a desk with a full keyboard and monitor in front of you. If your work permits — and maybe it doesn’t — you might consider using the device primarily for reading messages and not for writing. Some people read email on their smartphones and then respond with a phone call, if appropriate.

Another strategy is to purchase a foldout keyboard, if one is available for your device. They are small and portable, and can make typing responses much easier.

If you are not yourself a smartphone user, but you regularly write email to people who read your messages on such devices, you may want to make some adjustments to your standard email habits for their convenience. Eliminating greetings, not necessarily skipping a line after a greeting, offering an abbreviated signature file, perhaps in some cases deleting the signature file altogether — all of these techniques can reduce the amount of time recipients must spend squinting and scrolling.