Scott Hanselman

Note to World: Stop thinking that "Recall this message" will work. It NEVER will.

December 09, 2004 Comment on this post [5] Posted in Musings | Tools
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If I had a nickel for every time someone sent an email followed by an attempt of "Fred would (desperately) like to recall this message."

Sorry Fred. I already saw your "I'd like one" or "Me too" or "Joe is a jerk" email that you Big-R'ed rather than Little-R'ed.

  • Stop recalling your messages. It just looks bad and chances are it's already been delivered to your boss's BlackBerry.
  • Set a "Delay" Rule in Outlook that holds your email in the outbox for 1 minute. This saves me weekly.
  • "Little-R me" means Reply. "Big-R" means Reply to All.  Don't Big-R if you've been BCC'ed. It kind of shatters the mystique of it all.
  • Check twice if you are thinking of attaching something. Then check again, especially if it's your resume.
  • Use punctuation. And Capitalization. im glad youre h4pi to be lazi but pls don't inflict your inability to use the "Shift" key on me. And don't blame your carpal tunnel. Just Shift.
  • The P4-3.2Ghz1G can also check your spelling. Look into it.
  • Subjects in emails are nice. "Dude...check this out" isn't a subject.
  • If it's a throw-away comment, chat me instead. Ignoring you is easier than deleting.
  • Think about a utility like SSW LookOut. Not the LookOut search engine, this is a tool that catches your swear words, complains if you use the word "attach" then attach nothing, and generally enforces Netiquette.

Thank you.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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December 09, 2004 14:09
I'm a bad speller. A really bad speller. And spell checkers are wonderful. Until you have to go back to using Outlook 2000 where for some reason having "Check spelling before sending" causes Outlook to hang 90% of the time you hit send, and thus lose your message,
December 09, 2004 15:42
Good points! Especially about using the subject line, i think. I would like to add that you generally shouldn't begin the message body by continuing the sentence in the subject. Looks stupid and assumes that you always read them together.
December 09, 2004 19:14
> This saves me weekly.

Weekly? For me, like, hourly. :-)

As for Capitalization, it's a Wash; People like to Capitalize randomly anyway, so I wouldn't go out of My Way to Encourage it.
December 09, 2004 23:58
Totally agree. I find the recall being used more in the fasion of "Hey, I know you read that email, but I meant to recall it - and here's the proper email." it doesn't work like "hey, don't read that message!" because everyone WILL read "that" message. I wonder if people would be ok with "recalls" if they actually deleted the message regardless of wether you've read it or not. like Exchange (server) functionality rather than Outlook (client) functionality.
December 10, 2004 18:59
If you have trouble spelling, check out It hooks into the OS and corrects you spelling as you work. It is not a perfect system, but with a little creativity I have set it to not get in the way when coding. I am lost with out it.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.