How to Finesse Email Reminders

In an Email Intelligence class the other day, attendees brought up the question of reminders:

If something is due at 5 p.m., is it okay to email someone at 4 p.m. with a reminder?

What do you think? If you were working toward a 5 p.m. deadline, would you appreciate a 4 p.m. email reminder?

And if you were the person expecting the work, could you stop yourself from worrying about it before 5 p.m.?

A class participant proposed the ideal solution:

If you need something by 5 p.m., give a 4 p.m. deadline. That way, if you have not received it by 4, you can comfortably nudge the other person.

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What is your opinion on reminders? Please share it.

Syntax Training


  1. Emailing reminders to an individual can communicate a lack of trust and can seem like micromanaging.

    Those problems are drastically reduced, however, if the reminder is sent to a group. If I am part of a group that receives a reminder, then I do not feel singled out as someone who could not get the job done if he did not get a reminder.

  2. Treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself. I know I certainly wouldn’t appreciate receiving an email like that!

    I agree that group e-mails take the sting out a little – but these are not always appropriate to the situation.

    I find it’s better to show some trust in the people you’re working with, at least until they’ve proved themselves undeserving of it!

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