The war on email

Maybe “I can has cheezburger” isn’t for work.

Everyone has, at some point received unwanted email, I don’t mean spam, I mean being included in the cc of an email you don’t want to deal with, or receiving those chain letters, or the latest internet meme.

The nice people at OnlineITDegree.net have created a handy decision tree in an appealing infographic format to help you answer the question “Should I send this email?” which includes a nod to one of the most famous internet paradoxes – millions of people do fantastic work and post it online, but it’s pictures of cats that get sent and viewed millions of times.

I like the idea, and I’ve written before about efforts to manage or limit email. But while it’s true that email can be a drain on our time it remains a great tool for many tasks. It also has the advantage of being much less disruptive than phone calls or visits. Yeah, it’s sad, I like email.

But that comes with a couple of provisos. Emails need to be clearly written, sent to the right people, work-related. That work-related means that the email should contain information I need to do my job, or something I need to act on.

I also like having conversations with my colleagues, and I’ve noticed that “coffee meetings” can be very effective – they rarely last more than 30 minutes and so people tend to stick to the point. Plus at our office they’re in an open setting so it’s easy to move away when the discussion is done, rather than be stuck in a meeting room because it’s “booked for the hour”.

Anyway given that people work in different ways I created my own infographic “Should you send me an email?”


(Thanks to land of web for the twitter coffee cup)

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