Why I’m wishing you ‘All the best’

Director of Computing, Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity Paul Stephens muses on the best way to sign off an email…

I don’t actually sign my emails. Call it laziness or ultra-efficiency but it’s easier and takes fewer keystrokes to automatically sign off.  If I’m forced to, for example, when I create a meeting and my email client doesn’t automatically add a signature I might grudgingly add a ‘P.’.  Instead I have a couple of signatures set up:

  • a nice all-singing, all-dancing one with a sign off followed by my full name, job description, contact details, inside leg measurement, etc. for when I’m emailing someone new or they might need my information; and
  • one for replies and forwards with just a sign off.

For a long time the sign off I used was:



This worked well enough for the most part but is a bit terse.  Over time though it turned out that some people really didn’t like it, and for those guys I found myself either having to create different signatures or worse still deleting and rewriting the message!  This defeated the purpose of my having a sign off in the first place and so I began looking for an alternative.

I wanted to avoid the overly formal such as ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Faithfully’ and decided I didn’t like anything ‘warm’ or ‘kind’.  I did like ‘Cheers’ but found it a bit informal.  “Best wishes” was another candidate but it was a bit greetings card-y.  ‘Best’ was good but seemed to just stop…best what?  I finally settled on ‘All the best’.

It works informally and formally.  It’s something I might actually say and for the most part it’s probably what I do want to wish you.  So that’s what you’ll get on the bottom of all my emails now and if you don’t you’ll know that you have offended me enough to type more than I’d usually like!

All the best,


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