Keep It Short

As entrepreneurs, the only resource we have is our time. We know this is not the first time you've heard this, but it's important that we use our time efficiently. One of our favorite -- yet very simple -- strategies is to write short business e-mails. Whenever we can, we try to keep them to no more than three paragraphs, and we use pre-written templates whenever we can. Think about it: with the amount of e-mail that gets sent these days, we could spend all day just answering e-mail, and that wouldn't be very good for our business.

Dagy is infinitely better at this than Judy, who tends to be a bit more verbose. However, we both try to keep it short. This not only save us time, but also benefits our clients and colleagues, who are also quite busy. After all, who wants to have to scroll down when reading an e-mail? In addition, as translators, we are also writers, so we might as well demonstrate our abilities by writing concise and to-the-point messages. Looking for another way to get the most out of your time when writing e-mail? Become a faster typist. There are a lot of great online programs that will help you do just that. To find out your current speed, try TypingTest


Carbone Traduzioni on July 1, 2011 at 1:37 AM said...

I think it's extremely important to write short e-mails, especially to adress to potential clients. I read on a book that part of the strategy is writing the most important things in the first lines and, obviously, trying to be original. Give people a reason to remember of you!

José Carlos Gil on July 4, 2011 at 5:25 AM said...

For templates within Gmail, the best option is an app from google labs called Canned Reponses. It's saved me lot of time since I use it.

You both speak Spanish, right? :)

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on July 4, 2011 at 8:40 AM said...

@Carbone Traduzioni: great point. Yes, make the e-mail memorable from the very first line -- excellent advice! Thanks for commenting and reading.

@José Carlos: mil gracias; excelente idea. Yo creo que nos va a ahorrar un chorro de tiempo en el futuro; gracias por compartir esta joyita. :)

Riccardo on July 4, 2011 at 9:36 AM said...

Yes, but...

...what about "sorry for the long letter: I didn't have time to make it shorter" (attributed, variously, to Pascal, Voltaire, Mark Twain and Bernard Show).

I also try to write concisely and to the point... and often succeed, when I have enough time for revision.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on July 4, 2011 at 11:21 AM said...

@Riccardo: too funny; that is definitely something I can see Mark Twain writing/saying. And it's very true, of course. It's more challenging to write a short e-mail than a long e-mail. ;)

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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