It seems like very few people really love email. After all, if you use email in your professional life, you probably spend a good portion of your working day dealing with it. It’s been a few years since I was getting inundated with so many emails that I had to make changes to the way I dealt with them. The changes I made to my email management were a success. If you are having trouble with email, I encourage you to read that post.
Also in that vein, Chris Anderson has published an Email Charter. It consists of “10 Rules to Reverse the Email Spiral”. Are these 10 rules new, or a real breakthrough? No. However, if we could just get most people follow them, our email lives would be much easier. I’m going to spread the word, I’m even thinking of putting a link to the site in my (nonexistent) signature.
By the way, David Pogue has put forth a few additional rules of his own:
11. Don’t Use Mailbocks. You might think that you’re clever by signing up for one of those anti-spam services that require e-mail senders to take a test on a Web page, proving that we’re human. But you have a lot of nerve sending me an e-mail question — and then blocking my reply. I don’t have time to take your little humanity test. The worst part: I don’t discover that you’re blocking my reply until AFTER I’ve gone to the trouble of writing it.
12. Use BCC for Your E-mail Blasts. When you send out jokes or those insipid ‘heartwarming’ anecdotes, don’t just put everyone you know into the To: line. Instead, put all your addressees into the BCC (blind carbon copy) line. We’ll still get your e-mail blast, but we won’t see each others’ e-mail addresses. You’re preserving our privacy and saving us the scrolling through six inches of address information.
13. Clean Up Your Forwards. On the same topic (jokes and insipid tales): before you pass them on, clean up those carets (>>>>>>) that have accumulated from all the forwarding. They make the things impossible to read. (Paste the message into Word; use Find and Replace to search for the “>” character and replace it with nothing.)
14. Omit the Legal Vomit. I roll my eyes at the nine-sentence legal disclaimer that some companies insist on stamping at the bottom of every single message. I’ve got news for you: that confidentiality disclaimer has never wound up protecting a company from whatever it’s supposed to protect them from. When your actual e-mail message is only a fraction as long as your legal disclaimer, you look like an idiot.
15. Intersperse Your Replies. If you’re replying to a message that had a lot of different statements or questions, consider clicking after each response-requiring sentence, hitting Return, and typing your answer there. The result looks like a conversation, and makes it clear what you’re referring to. (But if you’re supplying only one response, put it up top so we don’t have to scroll down.)
P.S. I’m really glad I’m not the only one that uses “EOM“.