UVic Learn Anywhere

Virtual Centre for Student Learning

Email Tips

Information is provided by Records Management.

For more email help, contact rmhelp@uvic.ca


Simple Steps With Huge Impact

Use your uvic.ca email for courses and university business. Uvic.ca is backed up regularly, with servers located in Canada.

Send one email per subject

Writing about multiple topics in one message delays responses an complicates filing.

Be helpful in the subject line

If you are sending a message to a prof, try including the course name or number (eg. ECON 103, or Early Modern Medicine).

If the topic changes, change the subject line

You have the power!

Be professional in your writing

Your email could be forwarded, and your message could be misunderstood.

Send links instead of attachments where possible

Version control is easier and the message is more secure if there is an addressee error.

Password protect/ encrypt attachments containing personal information

Excel or Word password protection are effective – just don’t include the password in the same email!

Take out the Trash

What does “the trash” look like?


The conversation goes back and forth and soon the message chain adds up, when all you want is latest and greatest.

Check out the CLEAN-UP CONVERSATION feature in Outlook.

Temporary usefulness

FYIs; Listserves; Availability requests – you get lots of email that’s really important … until you’ve read it. And then it’s done.

SEARCH by CC to me, SORT by date, SENT BY or KEYWORD
to find the stuff you don’t want anymore.

The other stuff

You know your correspondence better than anybody; think of what identifies the trash in your inbox.

Transitory records are things we can get rid of because they are not useful any more.

Use SEARCH by Keyword or Correspondent, SORT, or ADVANCED SEARCH to quickly identify the transitory records:

Transitory Records (can be destroyed without written approval)

  • Announcing events
  • Arranging meeting times
  • FYIs – convenience copies or extracts
  • Correspondence drafts
  • Drafts or revisions when final is produced (unless needed for historical, administrative or operational requirements)
  • Rough notes or calculations
  • Working materials
  • CC or BCC recipients where you are not the primary UVic recipient

and then hit the delete button!


Want to organize your email?

Create these folders in your inbox:

1. Action

If you can do it in 2 minutes or less, do it, otherwise put it here for now.

2. Waiting

Before you can respond, you need information from someone else – or a “sent” email that you’re waiting a response for.

3. Read

That article or website that someone sent that you will read later (really).

4. Personal

You will have non-university email – segregate it here.

5. File

It fits none of the other categories but you know you want to keep it; it records a decision or a transaction that will be needed in the future.

This is the most dangerous folder. 

Messages have the potential hazard of being “out of sight, out of mind,” so review their contents regularly.

Periodically move the contents of the “@File” folder to more specific folders in your email system.

UVic Learn Anywhere

We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.