I love email

I do, really. I love any form of online contact. So why do so many people bang on about what a burden email is? To be honest, as with so many things, it is more about them than it is about email.

The main problem is that the information fire-hose is just going to get bigger and bigger and will do whether you are using email, IM, Facebook or Twitter. At the end of the day we only have so much time and attention available to us and whichever tool you are using you are simply going to have to be more disciplined and say no to more people more often!

Most of the time I have NO emails in my inbox. If it creeps up as high as ten I get really uneasy. How do I do this? I unsubscribe from things that don’t add value, ask people to stop sending me unfunny jokes and spam, delete ruthlessly and don’t use my in box as a to-do list.

The other thing I do is write really short emails and think hard before I send them so that I don’t add to other people’s burden. Have you noticed that those who make the most noise about email invariably see it as “them” who are the problem?

[end of rant]

8 thoughts on “I love email

  1. Well said, I agree you have to be totally ruthless at unsubscribing, I now have mine down to just a few a day and thank goodness for gmail catching all the spam that arrives at 1 minute intervals!

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  2. Agreed. I’m always amazed when people say their inboxes are overflowing.I’ve found the filtering system on Gmail really useful. Anything that is a social media update – everything from a new follower on Twitter to a Facebook query skips the inbox as is filed away out of sight.I use the filter to get rid of anything that I may have inadvertently signed up for but don’t now really want. Anything from updates from t-shirt companies to job details.In short, anything that isn’t mass produced rather than a genuine message is filtered away.Email is great. Being on the other side of the world from my family, it’s great to be able to rattle off a lengthy letter. By freeing up your inbox every email that you do open becomes much more valuable.

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  3. I agree. Looking at email overload a few years ago for a large firm, I came to the conclusion that the real issues werea) the cc function – if you have to cc many (more than one?) people, you need to ask why, and then is email the right medium?b) associated with a) – the "reply to all" buttonc) and as part of the bigger picture some agreed (within organisation at least) sense of when do we use what medium. Preferrably with the alternative media provided and supported, e.g. Instant Messaging for one liners, forums, wikis and blogs for thought pieces and collaboration.

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  4. I also try to write short emails in an attempt to save both my time and the reader’s. But some people misinterpret that as rudeness. The funny thing is that the most verbose are the first to complain. ;-)Have you experienced this too?

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