PC World was kind enough to offer a nice list of bad habits we folks in the tech world are often guilty of. When it comes to bad habits, I’ve usually got most of them, but in this case I’m proud to say that when it came to the section about email etiquette, I was a champ (for the most part).

How will you fare?

Here’s a summary of the worst email habits and how to fix them.

1.  Full Inbox

When you walk to your mailbox at home, do you glance at the mail then leave it in the box? No, and in fact, you can be fined for mailbox obstruction if you don’t pull the mail out (I speak from experience). Once you’ve got the mail inside your home, do you look at it and throw it away or do you organize it? You need certain things, but what about coupons and junk mail? Do you keep that? Some do, but few should.

Your physical mailbox is no different than your email box. There’s no reason why it should be full. If you’re using Microsoft Outlook, you have dozens of organization options. You can create special folders for important emails, you can mark important emails, and you can even color coordinate them. You really have no need to keep emails that are no longer relevant, so delete them after you read them. If it’s important, mark it or put it in a labeled file. Keeping your inbox empty is a key component to keeping yourself organized, and being organized is a key component to productivity. Don’t obstruct your email box.

2.  Responding to Spam

First, if you’re getting spam, you need to make sure your spam filter is on. If you don’t have one, there are a few free spam blocking options. If you’re already receiving loads of spam, it might be that your information is in the wrong hands. In this case, it might be worth your efforts to change your email address or use a new email service—there are loads of great and free email services. If you do get something that looks like spam, don’t open it, and definitely don’t reply to it. Not all spam is advertising, some of it contains malicious content like Trojan viruses and malware—the only thing you should do with emails of this nature is delete them.

3.  Answering Instantly

This is a growing problem with the proliferation of social media and instant communication. Many of us strive to quickly reply when a message lands in our inbox. For the sake of brevity, they often go out before we take the time to think of everything we should say. We omit details and we sometimes forget to add attachments (I’m notorious for this). Certain inquiries take a bit of thinking and it’s always better to express your whole idea in one email than following up with the second half of an idea later. Sometimes it’s better to mull things over and decide on the best response. Decide wisely what you’re going to say before sending communications—you’re a professional, after all.

4.  Reply to All

People in general are over-emailers—excepting those that, for some reason, never answer emails (they’re probably the most productive among us). You don’t need to over-email. There are situations where replying to all is useful and situations where it’s simply a waste of time and space. Don’t reply at all if you don’t need to, and definitely don’t hit “reply all” if your answer to a question is “I don’t know.” Let somebody who has answers reply. You probably don’t want people clogging your email box with responses that aren’t relevant to you, so don’t clog theirs either. Anything that isn’t useful is simply digital junk mail and if you’re anything like me, you’ve got plenty as it is.

5.  Email Backup

If you came into work and email wasn’t up and running, what would you do? What would your company do? The worst bad habit of all is not taking email server backups. It’s essential that any company backup their Microsoft Exchange server or other email server. Communications are essential to a business, and there are certainly companies that rely completely on email to function. Having backups and failover plans in place ahead of time can help avoid untimely communication breakdowns, so make sure there’s a plan in place.