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To Whom It May Concern

Is your correspondence wasting others' time?

This story appears in the June 2000 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com.

Are you phoning when you should be e-mailing something? Would an overnight package be better than a 25-page fax? Ask yourself these six questions to determine if you're making the best use of your time and your clients' while corresponding.

1. Are you simplifying everything you write? When a two-paragraph e-mail will do, stop there. Brevity is the key to effective communication, so be concise and get to the point immediately. Think in terms of an inverted pyramid. The first level has the "meat" of the correspondence; subsequent paragraphs are less important. If your correspondence is cluttered with unnecessary words, future missives may be ignored or given lower priority.

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