Lifehacker suggests writing e-mail backwards. That’s not exactly what I do, but the effect is about the same.
Most people get way too much e-mail, and working in shops where that wasn’t true got me in some bad habits. In my current job, I quickly learned that I needed to put what I’m asking for right up front.
So the trick is to re-read before hitting send, ask yourself what you want, then put that right up front, and then why right after that. Ideally, “why” should include some benefit for the other person as well.
The improvement in my effectiveness and productivity was enormous and immediate.