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I’m always thinking about ways to help people send email that’s more effective. My latest idea is AAAAA email.

A – Accurate subject line (not outdated, not too general)

A – Action is requested near the beginning (not at the end)

A – Accessible information (not buried in thick paragraphs)

A – Answers reader questions (doesn’t leave out essentials)

A – Any attachment is actually attached!

Why not try posting the five A’s on your computer? Before clicking SEND, check to be sure your message deserves an AAAAA rating.

Best wishes,


Other search spellings: emial, writting, wirting, writng

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

2 comments on “AAAAA Email”

  • Thank you for asking. In headings, many email systems include the Date and get you started with From, To, and Subject. After that your outline should include:
    1. A statement of why you are writing.
    2. What you would like your reader to do, if anything.
    3. Details.
    4. Where your reader can get more information.
    Short paragraphs with short sentences work best in English, with some courteous language including “Please,” “Thank you,” and “Have a good day.”
    I am not sure what the word “engind” was intended to mean in English. Sorry–sometimes translations are not as successful as we would like.
    Let me know if there is a special type of message you want to write.
    Best wishes,
    TITLE: AAAAA Email
    BLOG NAME: Manage Your Writing
    DATE: 04/16/2006 08:09:13 PM
    Lynn Gaertner-Johnston provides a spiffy mental checklist for effective e-mail: Business Writing: AAAAA Email.

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