Aaron Brethorst

Round peg in a square hole, rabid generalist.

Don’t Do What Donny Don’t Does: Email Edition

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I get a lot of email everyday. And by a lot, I mean that it totals into the thousands of items*. Seriously. Much of this is addressed to various internal mailing lists to which I subscribe, such as an Xbox Discussion alias, or Visual Studio UI discussions. But, even then, I probably get a few hundred mails per day addressed directly to me.

There are a few important rules of email ettiquette that, if observed, would decrease my incoming mail rate, and make my life far better. MSN Lifesyle for Men, of all things, describes these rules in explicit detail:

Some people think out loud on issues of moderate import for 300 e-mails. And I’m in on all of them, because some doofus copied me on e-mail number one. E-mail should be used to inform, to resolve an issue, to end a conversation, to pass along a job, or to get out of something minor, without the need for personal interaction.

Study these rules. Live them. Love them. You’ll make me (and your coworkers) much happier for it.

  • Despite its warts, Outlook is the best email application I have ever used. There is no way I could manage this glut of information with any other mail application. Period. Between the Search Folders and the new super-fast search mechanism, I’m actually able to stay on top of my mail. Whew.

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