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Just the Fax Please!

I used to think the fax machine was dead, but it’s very much alive. One day last week we received two emails from two different accounting departments of our clients, both asking us to fax them materials. And both had the same problem in their messages: no fax number.

Because we like to receive payment of our invoices, we immediately and politely called both clients to ask for their fax numbers. Of course, this extra step took time from us–and them.

Based on last week’s experience, I suggest a new autotext entry for people who often need information faxed to them. It goes something like this: "Please fax us the information at this number: xxx-xxx-xxxx."

Yes, just give me the fax number please.

Syntax Training

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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.