My Short List of E-mail Etiquette Do Nots

I must have a lot on my mind. That or just a lot of time to get out all the stuff in my mind on to my blog. This post is directed towards my family and friends from whom I (love to) receive e-mail.

There are quite a few articles proliferating the interweb regarding the topic of e-mail etiquette. Here is my short list of do nots to save us all (mainly me) from inbox download hell (in no particular order):

  1. Never, ever send an e-mail with an attachment of a video that can be found already, for free, w/o bandwidth costs, online at, videos, or countless other online video hosting resources.
  2. Never, ever send an e-mail with (or without) an attachment of conspiracy theories WITHOUT having checked,, or another, well respected urban legends resource for it’s authenticity (or veracity).
  3. Never, ever send an e-mail with embedded images that total MORE than 1MB (megabyte). Granted, a single download of 1MB is not a big deal. However, if one receives 7 or 23 of these per server synchronization, this becomes problematic and should be avoided at all costs.
  4. Never, ever send an e-mail with an attachment or forwarded content of an article, blog post, or any other form of content that can easily be located on an online web page. Instead forward the URL to the actual article. There is no need to replicate something that has already been published.

The easiest way to facilitate the resolution of all the above listed do nots is to open your favorite search engine (mine is Google), and query the subject you are so adamantly interested in sharing with everyone. For example, today I received (no offense Annika) a great e-mail about some guy who turned a garbage truck into a home on wheels. Included were 1.2MB of embedded images.

As I found it quite interesting, rather than click my forward button and cause megabytes of additional traffic on the web, I spent a minute (or two) and googled “garbage truck home“, finding an article on about a “garbage truck camper” (first result actually). In turn, I was able to locate the actual company (yes company, not individual) that manufactures the house on wheels, UNICAT. Now that I had the actual URL to the UNICAT Terracross TC59, I decided to write about it in my blog rather than e-mail everyone in my Outlook contacts list. This way, those of you that actually come to my blog (those that are interested in me) can benefit from your genuine interest in my information RATHER than sending megs and megs of unsolicited files to everyone I know.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love to get e-mail. I love to get your e-mail. Just remember the Skowronek short list of e-mail etiquette do nots the next time you are tempted to e-mail anyone.

I imagine, over time, this list will grow and refine itself. For now, it suffice.

Feel free to pass this on to your friends if you are in the same boat as I am.


2 Responses to “My Short List of E-mail Etiquette Do Nots”

  1. JR Says:


    It occurs to me that part of why these etiquette issues are so important to you (and me) is centered in our excessive and constant bombardment of work-related email. When one has to make a living out of managing what flows through the inbox, minimizing the less effective or superfluous becomes a big deal.

    I appreciate the post.

  2. Skowronek Says:

    Interestingly enough, it doesn’t really eat at me that much. I am more passing on tidbits of knowledge that I have acquired in my time being online and dealing with all the inherent issues with e-mail. This was finally just the time to say something about it. Plus it’s content. Content, content, content!!!