Do you know when to change the email subject (or appointment subject)?

Last updated by Brady Stroud [SSW] about 1 month ago.See history

Some email threads go on forever... sometimes the topic subtly changes... so when should you change the subject?

The answer is "cautiously" and early on before there are many replies. The reason is email threading. It's easier to search and find an email when its subject is accurate.

Remember the importance of a good email subject in improving communications.

When do you change the subject?

  • If the original subject was too generic, like "Reminder" or "Invoice".

    This is especially common on automatically generated emails, change the subject by adding the client or project name to the email subject.

    E.g. From "Invoice"

    To "Northwind website - Invoice for March [WAS: Invoice]"

  • When the original email topic has been superseded by new replies

    At that point change the email subject to a more relevant description of the content of the thread.

    E.g. From "Field of Study"

    To "Next Years Conference [WAS: Field of Study]"

    Note: If you are the one changing the topic, a whole new email thread is a better idea.

Be clear to show it was intentional

When you change the subject of an email or an appointment add to the first line: "(changed subject)"

Figure: Keep your email subject description up-to-date. Sarah Palin isn’t even a governor anymore

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