Just Not Sorry: Helping you write better emails in 2016

Last week we wrote a list of words that you should avoid in email. These were words that are often misinterpreted in emails, and can make the sender sound like they are lacking confidence or unsure of what they are doing. It turns out this was perfect timing, because in the last fortnight a great new Chrome plugin was released that can help you solve this issue.

Just Not Sorry is a Gmail extension that warns you when you write emails using words which undermine your message.

“We’ve found people that have started using it actually get a lot more mindful around the use of these words. That makes us happy.”
Tammi Reiss

The words and phrases that this extension detects include:

  • just
  • actually
  • sorry
  • apologize
  • I think
  • I’m no expert
  • does that make sense

Tammi Reiss, who came up with the idea for the plugin, said she chose these words based on the idea that many women use these phrases to soften their language in the office or to try to be more likable. The flipside of that is that in so doing they often devalue themselves. While the plugin was originally designed to help women in the workplace, these are phrases that we should all be filtering out of our vocabulary.

I’ll leave you with the pledge that the crew behind Just Not Sorry asks you to take on their website, justnotsorry.com. If you’re using Gmail give it a go, and tell us if it helps you to keep an eye on the language you use.

In 2016, I will be a more effective communicator. I will only use “sorry” in emails when I mean it. I will not say “I think” things that I know. I will be more conscious of my tone and it’s impact.