Some us receive our fair share of cc’d emails, meaning we receive a copy of an email primarily intended for somebody else. At best, we can be sure that the email is only intended as a FYI, and in order to not have to process these emails amongst all other messages that continuously stream into our inbox, many choose to create rules that direct these emails automatically into a special folder (which we have a look at once in a while to stay up to date).
But we can never really be sure that others regard and use cc’d emails the same way we do. What if someone addresses us directly and ask us to do something even though the email was not specifically sent to us and we only received a cc?
The other week one of my clients shared how he has made sure that he does not miss if someone addresses him directly in a cc’d email. To complement the rule that sends cc’d emails to the special folder, he has also created a rule that re-directs the emails in which his name is mentioned in the content (not in the subject line, but in the body text) back into the inbox. This way he will process the email as if it was sent directly to him. The rule works since we can assume that if our name is mentioned, the content somehow concerns us.
If you want to follow my client’s good example and make sure that you read what is intended for you specifically, even if it comes disguised in a cc’d email, you can also create a rule that directs emails in which your name is mentioned back into the inbox.
Place the ”back to the inbox”-rule after the ”send cc’d emails to separate folder”-rule so that it is applied after the first rule has sifted through your inflow of messages and directed the cc’d mails to the separate folder.
If you create a rule along these lines, the risk of missing information someone intended for you to receive but sent it to you in a cc’d email, decreases significantly. With this in place it will not matter as much that others might treat cc’d emails differently than you do, and you will avoid situations in which someone (such as your boss) thinks they were very clear when asking you to do something, but it went right by you since you did not receive the information in the right format.
What rules do you use?
How have you made sure that the different usages of cc’d emails no longer pose a problem at your office, so that you no longer have to experience uncomfortable misunderstandings? If you have any good ideas, feel free to share in a comment.