Tips and advice on email management
for internal and external emails
Please find below some recommendations on how to manage emails at Lund University. The aim is to streamline our communication channels and make things easier for recipients.
- It is preferable to send one email for each matter rather than several matters in one email.
- Avoid unnecessary emails. Think carefully before using reply all.
- Use an out-of-office reply when you are away from your computer for longer than one business day. Refer to a colleague if possible.
- It is a good idea to reuse standardised responses as templates for recurring emails, see example.
- Provide information on the processing of personal data at Lund University, see example.
- Think carefully about WHO is to receive the information.
- Avoid sending emails to recipients who are not directly involved.
- At the top of the email, specify the main addressee/s and who is copied e.g. ‘To all finance officers…’
- Clarify the subject in the subject line; this makes it easy to search.
- State the purpose of the email in the subject line, e.g. ‘for information’, ‘for sharing’ or ‘for action’, if relevant.
- Write clearly! Avoid using difficult or bureaucratic terms.
- Specify what is expected of the recipient, e.g., ‘Each unit is to respond to…’
- It is a good idea to use bullet points if there are several points to be made.
- When referring to additional information or registrations, always use a clickable link. That way, the recipient does not have to spend time looking it up themselves.
- If you have attached a file, state that in the text.
- Use exclamation marks and capital letters sparingly. Be polite.
- Sign off with a signature according to LU recommendations.
Forwarding of information
- When forwarding: remove any irrelevant information from the email, previous conversations and recipients etc.
- Specify what is relevant to the recipient. Clarify why the recipient is receiving the information.
- If you would like the information to be shared, prepare a final text for dissemination, which is easy to use directly. If possible, provide the text in both Swedish and English.
Personal data in emails (GDPR)
- Do not send personal data, for example, personal identity numbers.
- Question the need to attach documents containing personal data.
- If you receive an email with sensitive data, it is important that you delete it.
- If you need to respond to the sender, do this in a new email to avoid spreading data further.
It is not permitted to receive and send university-related matters from and to a personal email address.
It is not permitted to automatically forward emails to an external email address.
Only a limited number of personal emails may be received and sent from the University’s email address.
Public documents and archiving
Remember that emails you send (and receive) may constitute public documents. Which emails are public documents is determined partly by the content and partly by who the sender or recipient is.
- Emails that are sent internally between two employees within the public authority are, as a basic rule, not public documents. Exceptions may include correspondence that is part of the processing of a case.
- Emails that are sent from the public authority, or received from an external sender, are always public documents.
- The basic rule is that public documents should be saved. However, public documents of ‘temporary or minor significance’ may be deleted. Standard routine email correspondence falls under this rule.
- For emails that are not considered to be of ‘temporary or minor significance’ it is the content that determines what must be saved (and how) as well as what may be deleted (and when).
Email quick reference guide
- State the PURPOSE of the email (for information/for sharing/for action).
- Be clear about DEADLINES.
- Be clear about RECIPIENTS.
- Write CLEARLY. Avoid difficult or bureaucratic terms.
- Specify what is EXPECTED.
- Make things easy for the recipient; provide LINKS to further information if relevant.
- For information sharing, prepare a FINAL TEXT.
- Sign off with a SIGNATURE according to LU’s recommendations.
Anna [dot] Mansfeld [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se
Phone: 046-222 31 58