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01 Nov

When others do not cc: as you think they should

Datum: 2017-11-01 14:32

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.

Do this
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.

If you are unsure of how to cre­ate rules, there is a guide of how it is done in Out­look here, in Gmail here and in Mail (OS X) here.

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.

Few­er fails
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.