Why “Bcc:” is your BFF when it comes to email

By What’s For Work?

Email Bcc

Do you send and receive so many emails, that sometimes it feels like you can never keep track of what’s pending a reponse from someone? If so, then “Bcc:” (Blind Carbon Copy) may soon become your new best friend.

Many of us are heavy email users, receiving and sending hundreds per week. But with so many emails coming and going, it may be difficult at times to remember who we’re waiting to hear back from, on something we emailed.

The Power of “Bcc:”

Compose your email as normal, but this time include your own email adress on the “Bcc:” line. By including yourself on the “Bcc:” line, you will receive emails from yourself, which you can then sort by. So as you work on your inbox throughout the week, you can look at emails sent by you to others, and see if they’ve replied. If they did, then delete this reminder email from inbox. If they have not responded, click ‘Reply to All’, and follow-up with something like:

“Hi, just checking in to see if you can please provide an update on my request below? Thanks”.

Since you’re clicking ‘Reply to All’ on the email to yourself, you’ll already have the original email and people on copy. After you add your new message, you can “Bcc:” yourself once again, and continue this process until your initial question is addressed. 

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. http://www.whatsforwork.com

Our Mission: Provide a community that encourages members, employers and providers to work together; to inspire and help each other grow.


Melody, the work email addict

by Melody Vaught

“Hi, my name is Melody and I am addicted to email.” If I were to join a help group for addicted email users, that would be my opening line.

Allow me to explain.  I am paid to work a regular 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday schedule and yet, I check and respond to work email multiple times, evenings, weekends, and vacations.  Part of the problem is my work ethic and my ego.  My ego is tied to being perceived as performing at a very high, and obviously, at a very consistent, level.  My email addiction shouts out to my supervisors and colleagues, you can count on me 24/7.  It is not uncommon for my supervisor, who is handsomely compensated for working long hours, and me, who is not, to exchange emails as late as 11 p.m., and, yes, even on a Saturday night, when we remarked to one another that our lives must be very boring if we were spending our Saturday evenings on work emails.  The turn-around time when an email enters my inbox is at warp speed, I definitely take care of business.

I simply can’t disconnect from work.  Believe me, I have read enough articles about the detrimental mental and physical health effects of the American work obsession and I am aware of the six week vacations and long lunch break siestas of our European counterparts.  Matching our productivity to those of European workers, we come out the winners, but at what price?

Katherine Graham’s quote resonates with me:

“To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?”

I do love what I do and I do feel that it matters and, at times, my work is great fun, but I wonder how much more creative and productive I could be if I permitted myself to disconnect and re-charge.  So, I asked myself, what could get me to disconnect, at least while I was on vacation, and then, I discovered an incentive; not just paid vacation time, but, a paid vacation.

Bart Lorang, owner of Full Contact, a contact management company based in Boulder, Colorado, blogged about his company policy of giving each employee $7,500 (before taxes) to go on vacation once a year.  His employees get a paid, paid vacation; paid for the days they aren’t at work and their vacations expenses are covered.  The rules are:

  1. You have to go on vacation, or you don’t get the money
  2. You must disconnect, no electronic devices.
  3. You can’t work while you are on vacation.

Bart acknowledges that it isn’t healthy to be continually connected to work and validates his position with a photo of the pyramids in the background, and him on a camel, working his phone.   He feels that it would be a better company if his employees would disconnect, at least for two weeks a year, and that everyone in his employ works hard and deserves a nice vacation.

You can imagine the comments regarding his blog which run the gamut from a United Kingdom worker with 23 paid vacation days who declares that the traditional 10 days of vacation a year is what keeps him from ever working for a United States company to the response from someone who theatrically writes that he is dropping to one knee to ask, Will you be my boss?

I might have a few more thoughts to write in this blog, but you must excuse me as Full Contact is hiring and being paid $7,500 to disconnect from work may be the cure for my addiction.  If you want to join me in applying for a position, visit Mr. Lorang’s blog.

About the Author

Melody Vaught

Melody Vaught is an Instructor at the Small Business Development CenterYouth Entrepreneurship Program and Counseling Instructor at Santiago Canyon College.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. http://www.whatsforwork.com

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.