How I Email: Sarah Evans, Digital Correspondent and Consultant

Email is a non-negotiable part of everyday life. For some, it’s an unruly time suck, but enlightened email users have systems to ensure they’re not a slave to the inbox. We’re asking smart thinkers to give us a peek inside their inboxes, share tips, ideas, gripes, and everything in between.

Sarah Evans is a digital strategist and global brand correspondent who has worked with companies like Paypal, Cox Communications, MGM International, Adobe, and others. An early adopter and digital trendsetter, she tweets prolifically often sharing her tool obsessions of the moment (including GMass!). We asked about her must-haves for email and her most embarrassing inbox mishap.

What’s your daily email routine like? 

I check my email at specific times of the day. It’s usually something like, 5:30 AM, 8:00 AM, 10:45a AM, 12 PM, 3 PM, 5 PM and 7 PM. If someone needs to reach me urgently, they can text or call me.

That said, my email tab is typically always open on my desktop, but I’ve conditioned myself to only check it at specific times. It helps me to actually get work done instead of getting lost in the email abyss.

What are some of your favorite Gmail-related tools or features? 

I use GMass, of course, and also love testing out new Gmail tools, like:

Sortd – Trello for Gmail – Transform your email into organized lists

Meetingbird for Gmail – It lets you schedule meetings from within Mail

Boomerang for Gmail – I can send emails later – which is great when I’m working at odd hours or need to send emails to reporters at a specific time.

Flipping your fun question on you — what’s your most embarrassing email story?

I have a few embarrassing stories. Who doesn’t after using email for 20+ years? 😉

There’s one that I still obsess over — When I was a new manager I was sending an email to male executive to assist him on a project we were partnered on. In my first email I hit send too soon and the last sentence in the email was “Checking to see if you wanted to get it on”

He never addressed the mishap and I was too embarrassed to bring it up.

I was trying to see if he wanted to get someone on an upcoming agenda. Eek.

Any email pet peeves? 

My biggest pet peeve? When people use “text abbreviations” in email. I treat email as more formal and try to use good grammar, punctuation, etc… when I’m communicating that way.

From a business perspective, my pet peeve is senders who truly don’t think about their email “tone.” It’s so hard to understand tone in written word, but there are things you can do to help the reader understand your point of view. For example, when brands reach out and tell me I “have to do something,” versus seeking collaboration, it takes a toll on the quality of work produced.