We’ve all heard that the secret is in the sauce. Well, when it comes to email attachments, the secret is in the system. (Or if the word “system” sounds scary, just think of it as a routine.) The point is that as long as you always follow the same steps, you won’t forget the attachment. Here are two super simple systems you can start using today:
1. The pre-draft attach – Attach your documents before you start writing the email. A lot of times, we’re tempted to draft the email and then add the attachments, but that method makes it too easy to hit “send” without including them.
2. The word trigger – A colleague of mine shared that as soon as she’d write the word “attached” in her email, she’d pause and include the related attachment. That word was her trigger for ensuring the attachment always made it. This approach is great because the word “attached” or some variation should always be in your email if you’re including an attachment.
Easy, right? All you have to do is pick one and stick with it! And yes, there are software add-ons and other features built into Gmail or newer Outlook versions that can also remind you to include attachments. If that’s your cup of tea, go for it. However, I love that the systems above work regardless of your email client.
As for my system, I’ve been using the “pre-draft attach” ever since that embarrassing day in college, and it has served me well. On the rare occasion that I do forget an attachment, it’s only because I carelessly ignored the system. Thankfully, I don’t break out in sweat over it anymore. I just get a fresh appreciation for the value of the system.
Do you have a great system for remembering attachments? Don’t keep it to yourself! Please share it in the comments.