All emails deleted/addressed on Friday’s

December 26th, 2008

I wanted to share a very interesting and proven technique used today by some of our major IT leaders on handling email.

I was speaking at a conference a year or so and met up with a leader at a very large software company here in the Seattle Washington area. This leader told me that every Friday by end of day, he addresses every email he has in his inbox before the end of the day. So going into the weekend, he has zero email in his Inbox. He as no folders, does not keep his sent mail and if there is something that he can’t get too, he simply adds it as meeting item on his work calendar and makes time to address the particular email. Something he needs to research or simply does not have the time to address at that time.

What an amazing concept? He literally has no emails when he leaves the day on Friday. He will watch his email over the weekend on his phone, and as he goes into the work week on Monday, he is basically back to normal processing the x amount of email he gets every day.

Can you imagine that? Can you imagine being in a position to not have to save email or defend what you have sent? This is just amazing and 100% true story that I thought you would like.

I love your work Tim, have all your books, actually, have multiple copies..

One of your biggest fans…

Thanks
Bill Dow, PMP
dowbill@hotmail.com

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Drop some email weight!!

December 19th, 2008

Here’s an excerpt from the upcoming video training release: The Dirty Dozen Rules of Email Management:

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Work offline, get stuff done

December 12th, 2008

We live in distracting times, where any task can easily get derailed.

We surf the net, recheck pages, answer emails, juggle cell phone calls…and then there is the real world.

Today, I believe our greatest productivity challenge comes from these distractions.

There’s one distraction you can get rid of: Incoming information.

When I need to work on a task, say writing this blog post or creating a marketing plan, I turn off incoming email (work offline) and close my web browsers. My phone is set to silent. When the task is over, I turn everything back on and retrieve my emails.

This process works.

Many of you say, “I don’t need to turn off the distractions, just ignore them.” But you can’t. The Yahoo home page is too tempting to refresh (stocks, scores, news). You cannot ignore that little envelope that says, “you’ve got mail.” You can’t let a ringing cell phone float into email. You can’t. That’s why you need to turn it all off.

Here’s a side benefit to sole-tasking: You decrease stress in your work life. In 2006, I co-authored a study with Heartmath that measured the relationship between being constantly interrupted and work place depression. It is an eye opener. Check out the study results to see if you have NEDS.
Study on New Economy Depression Syndrome

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Never Sip and Send

October 23rd, 2008

19drunk-600

Last week, the New York Times ran a side splitting story about people who send emails or texts while under the influence of alcohol (Drunk, and Dangerous, at the Keyboard).

Funny, but true, we can wreck our lives over email if we’ve been drinking!  In the study behind The Dirty Dozen Rules of Email Etiquette (an excellent program to bring into your company), we found that grammar and syntax errors jump almost 50% when users send emails after having a single cocktail or a few beers.  Their use of profanity jumps too. 

The lesson:  Never assume you can master email while tipsy.  Much like driving, alcohol will give you a false sense of security. 

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ABC Reports on “No Email Fridays”

September 8th, 2008

Click here for a link to ABC News Report on No Email Friday?

So US Cellular has implemented a company policy, “No Emails on Friday.” They thought it might be a neat idea if employees met face to face or better yet, picked up the phone and talked to someone.

Hmmm, a phone service provider is trying to dissuade workers from using their email and suggesting instead they use the phone?  Seems suspiciously like a marketing ploy they hope will catch on, perhaps with US Cellular subscribers….

Okay, call me cynical.  But unless Google tries to get us to use the encyclopedia once a week, or starts a “Go to the Library on Fridays” campaign, then I might be on to something.

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Master Your Subject Line

August 20th, 2008

Face it; your emails are part of a snow storm blowing into someone’s Crack berry.

Your carefully worded opus is part of a day’s load of information that you expect to poke through, get read and hopefully elicit a response.

If you want to jump out of the e-noise and improve your readership with your email buddies you need to hone your skills at writing good subject lines.

The basics are:
* Vague is bad
* Hey! is not a real subject line
* RE: RE: FW: FW: is not attractive and will not be read right away

When I know someone well, I will make a call to action in the subject line if my email is intended to get someone to do something. If I need to change a call, I put it in the subject line. If I need you to send me a file, I put it in the subject. You’d be amazed how your response rates jumps.

When I am in a less intimate business relationship, I work on a three to five word subject that zeros in on why I’m sending the email. If we are working on an event together I’ll put “About the sales conference” in the subject.

When you reply, feel free to start a new subject (too often we just reply and the subject line stays the same, except now with a RE: before it.) Let the new subject line redefine where the email thread is going. This not only helps to focus the email exchange on a real outcome, it keeps the conversation going.

This is especially true if many of your email buddies are on black berry. They scroll through subjects and make their choices almost on impulse. Most of the devices (like the TREO) will just show you subjects, not authors and you have to open it to know more.

In those cases, you can be the most effective just putting your name in the subject line. When I’m reconnecting with someone, for example, I always put “From Tim Sanders” in the subject line. Again, I’ve noticed a much quicker response.

All the comments on the blog are helpful and I’d like to invite readers to contribute their best advice for writing a subject line that gets results! This is an advice blog, so let’s start cross sharing advice — espcially if it can improve our email lives.

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Share one of your email tips or stories with us and win!

August 13th, 2008

When I created this blog (and the company behind it), the whole idea was to create a knowledge community around how we use email in our business life. Email is a huge part of how we communicate, and it dominates our digital life. To master it, is to become much more effective.

Have you got an email horror story to share? Have you figured out a special tip or technique that helps you be successful in your email life? Have you found a solution to a common email related problem?

If so, write a post for this blog, and if I use it — I’ll send you an advance copy of “The Dirty Dozen Rules Of Email Management”. This DVD is not available anywhere yet, but you get one with a thoughtful post.

Thanks in advance!
Tim Sanders, CEO of Deeper Media Inc.

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Don’t get bit by a spider

August 8th, 2008

Never post your email address online. Ever.

If you have a blog, post to bulletin boards or write articles for online distribution you might be doing this right now. When you do, you open yourself up to mega spam.

Why? Many spammers or list houses use webcrawling programs, spiders, to collect email addresses posted online. Once caught by a spider’s web, your email address gets sold dozens or even hundreds of times to a variety of companies that want to sell you something.

On my site I use a contact form. If you want to contact me, you fill it out and I receive it in my inbox. Spiders don’t fill out forms. Also, you can post your email address with an insertion that only a human would understand. If your email address is bozo@yahoo.com, you should post it online as bozo_nospam@yahoo.com. Tell the reader to take out _nospam to reveal your actual address.

You can also use the free service at Address Munger. It scrambles the coding so humans see your email address posted on a site, but the spiders don’t.

Unless you like to get the latest news on mortgage rates or sexual performance, follow this simple advice as you live online. Yes, it is important to be contacted easily via email — but it is just as important to reduce the spam clutter in your life. I’ve seen too many friends have to change their email address to escape the spam that even the best filters cannot catch.

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Email Joy

August 6th, 2008

A well-crafted, sincere expression of appreciation over email can be a fabulous surprise. Take my friend Rose. Rose’s work is demanding. Because her company’s headquarters is 3,000 miles away, Rose often struggles with feeling isolated in her work.

Recently, I met Rose for lunch and she was beaming. She told me about an email she received from her colleague expressing deep appreciation for some of the specific contributions she has made to her program’s success, as well as for how much fun it was to work with her. Rose memorized this missive, saved it, and, later, read it to me.

It’s amazing what a little appreciation can do to revive a drooping spirit. Rose liked her company and her job better after receiving that email.

Expressing gratitude for others’ contributions vivifies biz life and ripples outward to enliven the organization.

Think about how you might use email to make someone’s day. Try to send an expression of appreciation to somebody different everyday.

And… mix it up! Expand your attitude of gratitude to phone calls, face to face meetings, and tangible cards, notes, and letters.

Jennifer Gordon, Cool Breeze Marketing

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I need down time!!

August 3rd, 2008

There was a story in the LA Times recently about email invading our downtime (LA Times story on email). I thought it was right on.

People can not and should not be expected to work seven days a week. Much less after regular or normal business hours. We all need time off to recharge our batteries. Which brings me to Rule #6 of the Dirty Dozen Rules to Email Etiquette, Don’t send email at unprofessional hours. Don’t send an email at a time of day you would not call on the phone. Did you call thirteen times on your managers honeymoon last year?

Well, that’s what you did when you sent him thirteen emails. Research shows that there is a 40% higher turn over rate in service companies were employees get emails and work calls after normal business hours. Research also shows that a manager that sends their people late night emails will cause them to log on more and more and work later and later.

Late night emails breed anger and contempt. Keep it simple. No emails after hours. Please no sipping and sending! Sipping and sending emails are usually very poor quality and much better never sent.

Page Moseley
Certified EmailAtoZ Trainer
paqe@emailatoz.com

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