It’s 20-freaking-17. Everyone should know how to appropriately use the “Reply All” function in our email by now.
But, alas, some of us are still living in a Windows 95 world.
If you’re nodding or laughing or rolling your eyes because you can relate to that statement, then carry on. This is not for you.
If, though, you are not nodding, laughing or rolling your eyes … nor do you know what I’m talking about … this post is for you. Please keep reading. Please, please, PLEASE keep reading.
There is a difference between the “Reply” function and the “Reply All” function (in Gmail, it’s “Reply to all.” And just because you have received an email that was sent to more than one person does NOT mean you necessarily have to use the “Reply All” function.
Let me repeat … you do NOT necessarily have to use the “Reply All” function.
Let me give a couple of examples … and by the way, this isn’t just for work emails. It goes for personal, organizations, teams, groups, etc. Basically, everything and everyone.
- Your boss sends out an email asking what everyone wants to eat at the next staff meeting, the chicken salad croissant with chips or the grilled chicken salad and fruit cup. This email was sent out to ALL 50 employees. Do NOT use “Reply All.” DO NOT!!!!!!! I don’t need to know what all 50 people want to eat for lunch. The boss does. She’s placing the order, not me. *Also, I do not need to know that you’re choosing the croissant because the last time you ordered the company salad it gave you the runs. **Also, no one needs to know this. Not even the boss. ***Also, boss, I’d like to resubmit my request that my desk be moved farther away from the bathroom.
- Your boss sends out an email saying that you and three of your co-workers have been given an assignment to design a T-shirt to sell for the upcoming charity softball game. Each of you are to come up with a design idea, share the idea with one another and choose the one you all like best. She wants to “stay in the loop” so she can provide feedback as well. This is an appropriate use of “Reply All” so you all can communicate your different ideas with one another and your boss.
If you’re still having trouble, the New Yorker has a hilarious video that shows “What Reply All emails feel like” … Enjoy!