I love exploring all the things available to us in various software programs but there are some things I prefer not to use, although they were designed to make my life easier.
Read Receipts for example – I don’t necessarily want people to know the minute I’ve read their email so I have my program set not to process read receipts, even when someone requests it. Which is probably frustrating for them. I had one person contact me on the weekend and said she was using them because she wanted to make sure I was getting her emails – that I can appreciate but I still don’t like Read Receipts. My story from long ago will give you a good idea why. Why not have a look and see? Email Etiquette III
Auto responders are ok if used responsibly (see Email Etiquette II to give you a good idea why you might not want to use them – at least coupled with other tools) but if you are going to use them, because you are going away on leave, then please be kind enough to go ‘nomail’ on all the chat forums you belong to. Otherwise the other members continuously receive your autoresponder to say you are on leave – we know you are, it doesn’t have to be rubbed in! Or, if you use them in the daily process of your work, ensure you use a different (unconnected) address for your groups and forums so that the autoresponder does its job without increasing email traffic unncessarily for everyone else.
If you’re going to run a business online (as VAs do) then it’s in your best interests (and that of your business) for you to learn how to use your daily tools as much as possible – they really can be your best friend!