Successful Nonprofits: 14 Helpful Email Acronyms You Need

14 Email Acronyms You Need to Know ASAP

by Ro

14 Email Acronyms You Need to Know ASAP

by Ro

by Ro



f you’re like me, you are always on the lookout for ways to simplify tasks and save time. And few tasks seem to take more time than reading and responding to emails. 

I learned several years ago that a few commonly used email acronyms are an essential way to save time and communicate more effectively. After all, acronyms shorten the body of your email while communicating key points succinctly. And that has an added benefit for the recipient: your emails will be easier to read. 

For this reason, I wanted to share my favorite email acronyms that probably save me (and my recipients) at least a couple hours every month. 

Before you start using these acronyms, however, it’s a good idea to check in with your team about email. Probe to find out if email is also a source of frustration for them and ask what acronyms they’ve used effectively. Your end goal should be to create a list of acronyms both you and your team will use. 


Stands For

Use this



Bottom Line Up Front

At the start of an email that is longer than a couple paragraphs. In one sentence or less, it summarizes what the reader should know.

BLUF:  We have ten days to respond to the IRS about an incorrect 5500 filing


End of Day

In the subject line to indicate when something needs to occur by the end of the day.

All time sheets must be submitted by EOD


End of Message

In the subject line of an email when the email body has no text

Subway stalled; 10 minutes late EOM


In a meeting

Auto reply for internal email messages (messages from within your organization) to let senders know you are in a meeting and unavailable.

IAM until 4:00 PM


Leaving Early Today

Auto reply for internal email messages so your team members can plan accordingly.  

LET @ 3:00 PM


Let me google that for you

To respond to a question that your colleague could have googled. This one is a bit snarky, so use with an emoji to soften.



Let Me Know

At the end of an email so readers know to reply with their opinion.

Those are the three reasons I think we should postpone this meeting. LMK


No Reply Necessary

In the subject line to discourage recipients from replying “just to be polite”

Funder onsite tomorrow at 9:00 AM – NRN


Out of Office

Auto reply for internal email messages so your team members know you’re out all day.

OOO Tu-Wed-Th


Off Topic

To let readers know that you are changing the topic without starting a new email.

Yes, lets meet at 9:00 AM tomorrow morning to discuss our aging AR.
OT: Are you picking up the birthday cake for Tyler?


Please reply by

In the subject line of the of an email so recipients immediately know the deadline for responses

Scheduling poll – PRB Fri @ noon


Too Long To Read

When you’ve received what feels like a small novel over a trivial matter. It tells the sender to edit the email for length or draft a brief summary. This one should be used sparingly.

TLTR – please revise and resend


Take Your Time

When you want feedback from the recipient but don’t have a deadline to receive it

Please send the financial statements for the proposal due in five weeks. TYT


Yes or No

In the subject line of an email to let the reader know that just the word “yes” or “no” is necessary. With no explanations.

Y/N – Are you available in 5 minutes?

Why I Am Writing About This ?

Executive Directors I coach often complain about how overwhelming their email inbox is. That overwhelming feeling leads to stress. And stressed out leads to burnout. One way to combat overloaded inboxes is to simplify our emails, and using acronyms is one of many methods that I recommend. If these 14 aren’t enough for you, check out even more acronyms here! 

And if you are an executive director feeling overwhelmed about things beyond just your inbox, reach out to me, I’d love to help!

Additionally, if this post was helpful, check out these other great Successful Nonprofits® resources on increasing your efficiency:

Episode 145: 5 Hacks for More Effective Board Recruitment

Episode 165: 4 Tips for Efficient and Effective Fundraising with Patton McDowell

Episode 177: The Secret to Low Stress & High Efficiency with Susie Hayman

Blog: Six Tips for More Effective Meetings


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