I know a lot of people who own a BlackBerry. And thus I receive a lot of email sent from a BlackBerry. There are some people who can type pretty efficiently on the BlackBerry keyboard, but most of the people I know aren’t among them.

I get emails all the time that are lacking some of the niceties that are usually (or should be) found in emails sent from a PC. I understand why. When you are typing with your thumbs, brevity is a virtue. The problem is that courtesy is often left out. Things like “please” and “thank you” are important in email messages. Necessary because the written word lacks the subtle and polite cues that voice inflection can provide.

Let’s take a look at a hypothetical email sent from a BlackBerry.

Mail Brief
Too Direct???

It’s short and it gets the point across. But I can’t tell, is the author upset that he doesn’t have the article yet, or is he just giving me a friendly reminder? It doesn’t take that many more keystrokes to write a “please”. And with the help of AutoText, it’s easy to add whole phrases with just a few keystrokes. Here’s another version:

A More Polite Version

In this version, Bob has added a greeting, and used AutoText to add a cheery signature, a please, and a thanks.

To access AutoText go to Options->AutoText. Your list should be pre-populated with a bunch of commonly mistyped phrases such as “adn”, which would automatically be changed to “and” while composing a message. But AutoText can also substitute whole passages of text, not just commonly mistyped words. This is where you can add in your own shortcuts so you’ll be back on the road to Politeville.

A nice signature is a good place to start. Short, simple, but polite. When you type a sequence of characters in an email, mysig for example, and hit the space bar, your associated text is dropped in to your email (Cheers, Bob). So to get the above email, Bob actually typed in this:

Hi Mike,

pl get me the article by 10 so I can publish it.



A few other suggestions:
pl     please
tvm     Thanks very much.
cya     See you later!
pthis     Please look at this:

## This Article Was Originally Published by AllBlackBerry.com