I sent a brilliant email earlier this morning. I’m sure you know the kind. You spend a good few minutes planning it in your head. Then fire up the word processor. Re-editing makes sure your killer points are to the fore. Headings are added and emboldened, bullets introduced, italics deployed for emphasis. Re-reading ensured the grammer was spot on and had the desired reading age beyond that of a celebrity photomag gawper or ‘ur perm txtng adict’. Cut ‘n paste then off it zoomed.
The purpose of the mail was to provide preparatory info for attendees at a Monday morning meeting, two of whom I’ve not yet met.
An hour or so later, I was struck by an error I must have made. At regular intervals during the mail, I cite a relevant weblink (typically to a blog article as it happened). Yet it suddenly occured to me that the order they appear in my narrative is perfectly logical. And therein lies the problem. The important ones, the couple I really wanted them to read before the show, are nearer the end of the email. My eyes screwed up in the horror of the best of the links going sadly unclicked.
Next time, there’s a neat solution. It’s so obvious I’m grumpy it didn’t smack me at the time. Take a leaf out of proper academics and the way they quote references. Instead of an instant link, there’ll be a bracketed/asterisked number. All the links will be removed from the main body of the text. I’ll create a list of links, number-bullet them, and crucially, list them in my perceived order of importance, at the foot of the email in a final, separate section.