This is the fourth in a series on The Basics of Organizing For Data Science.

In this series:

Why The [ACTION REQUIRED] email tag in the subject line

  • Because you are calling out that an action is required;
  • Because you are calling out that a specific email is important;
  • Because clarity is more likely to cause action;
  • Because it is not always clear which emails are important and which are not important.

Where to use [ACTION REQUIRED]

  • In the subject line of an email.


  • The Addressee is asked to undertake an action that is important, but not always urgent;
  • The Addressee may have a number of choices;
  • The Addressee may be on the critical path of a major decision, situation, or consideration, and it is in everybody’s best interests if they get off that path.


  • In the subject line of an email, type¬†[ACTION REQUIRED]
  • At the top of the email, state the action that is required;
  • Beneath the action required, state the degree of importance and/or urgency associated with the action that is required, including a hard deadline if one exists;
  • Beneath the degree of importance/urgency, type out intuition and/or relative facts that are pertinent to the situation.


  • When action is required;
  • If action is not required, and you are informing somebody of something with no action item, use the [FYI] subject line tag.

Who should use [ACTION REQUIRED]

  • Whoever is alerting The Addressee, that action is required.


  • People are bombarded with email of varying quality and clarity;
  • Sometimes important action is required;
  • You can assist other people in understanding the importance of an action that is required by using the [ACTION REQUIRED] subject tag.