Remember the last time somebody included you in a mass email and then other people in the recipient list replied to everyone? Reply-all is the scourge of business productivity and should be avoided whenever possible. Here are the easiest ways to make sure you're not the one infuriating others because of making this dumb mistake.

1. Use "Undo Send" in Gmail.

In Gmail, you can recall an email you sent. It will delay the email being sent by 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds, giving you time to undo sending the email within the grace period you designate. This feature is in your Settings which you can access by clicking on the gear icon. From there, look in the General tab.

2. Download an add-on for Outlook.

It's straight from Microsoft itself and called the " NoReplyAll Outlook Add-in." The download adds buttons to the Outlook ribbon that disallow people from replying all or forwarding your message. It also checks for things like missing attachments or subject lines.

3. Use blind carbon copy (Bcc) if you must send a group email.

The whole point of Bcc is to keep people from seeing who's receiving the message. Therefore, reply all doesn't work when you send messages this way.

4. Mute a group email in Gmail.

If you're the unfortunate recipient of a group email which is wasting your time, you can simply "mute" the email. Muting keeps future responses to that thread out of your inbox so you can focus on important messages. If you decide you want to reference that email again, you can type in the search box "is: muted" and all muted conversations will appear. You can also unmute conversations by opening the email, clicking "More" in the upper right corner and selecting "Unmute."

5. Enlist the help of your IT department.

Assuming your organization is large enough to have an IT department, the smart individuals who work in it often can set up your email system to do things like disallowing reply-all altogether. Or, in the very least they can employ an add-on which asks a user to confirm whether or not he or she really wants to use the reply-all feature.

Published on: Jul 24, 2017
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