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Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
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MasteringEmail
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MasteringEmail,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/7/2013 | 4:55:50 PM
re: Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
Really nice thoughts and consideration of the issues around email burden, many of which I address in my book, Unload Email Overload.
Let me pick up on the idea that poor email practice, like CYA, provides an opportunity for management to develop employees and improve performance. Thank you, Bob
Yolk Recruitment
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Yolk Recruitment,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/1/2013 | 12:37:35 PM
re: Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
We're trying to instill a company culture where people pick up the phone rather than email someone. We're so far as cutting off emails for a week to show there are better methods. We're hoping it will also encourage our clients and candidates to get in touch more as for meeting someone face to face is still the best way to understand their needs. Follow our experiment here http://emailepidemic.yolkrecru...
Joel Blaiberg
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Joel Blaiberg,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/10/2013 | 6:46:14 PM
re: Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
Jonathan, some great points in this post. I covered similar ground in a recent blog post here: http://sandhill.com/article/we... My issue with many of the 'zero inbox' products in the marketplace today is that they put the onus on the recipient while doing little to nothing in combating the actual root cause of the 'oversending' of mail. Additionally, those that use algorithms to prioritize mail are great until they get something wrong...

There are users who will always use maill to communicate no matter what, even if there are other platforms available that make team communications and collaboration easier (IM, forums, discussion boards or even the phone!) Distribution groups, notifications from services and mailing lists etc. all acerbate the 'information overload' problem. In essence, it has become far too easy to send mail! In fact, I believe that all organizations should introduce a 'Good Mailing Ettiquete'! I took a stab a providing afew 'common sense' rules here: http://communities.quest.com/c... and there's always this flowchart to follow :-) http://www.fastcodesign.com/16...

Joel Blaiberg
Dell Inc.
anon6540999749
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anon6540999749,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/3/2013 | 10:18:24 PM
re: Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
Most IT employees keep a "Pearl Harbor" folder of emails they have received from the manager and emails that they sent to their manager. I have worked under managers who would delete my emails on project status and then want me to send it again because their manager needed a status update and my manager didn't have a clue. I have worked under managers who would deny receiving any oral communication and the only "CYA" that I had was to send emails on everything.

Perhaps a bursting email box is a symptom of direct reports feeling that they have to "CYA" to keep their jobs.

Retired now so I don't have to put up with it, but I feel sorry for the people I left behind.
dlavenda
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dlavenda,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/3/2013 | 6:04:46 PM
re: Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
David, I am currently working on an academic study looking at the perception of information overload in organizations in the era before email and immediately following its widespread adoption. I am looking at the impact that email had on how organizations responded before and after email became a reality. If you want to stay abreast of the findings, let me know.
Mike_Acker
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Mike_Acker,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/3/2013 | 1:07:32 PM
re: Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
i use 3 e/mail addreses: (1) Junk (2) Business (3) Personal

I use the Thunderbird Client so I can monitor all 3 inputs concurrently. Business and Personal get white listed: if I don't know you you message goes in the "junk" folder . The Junk e/mail address uses a time-out set at 2 days . if i havn't read your junk mail in 2 days oh well it goes to the Legendary Bit Bucket .

I use several differnet e/mail providers: all of them have outages at times; some worse than others.
ANON1247561180385
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ANON1247561180385,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/3/2013 | 2:09:23 AM
re: Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
I think the reason that at least some of us c.c. ourselves on sent messages is to enable us to add an Outlook reminder to the message so we can follow up with recipients who are notorious for not replying. Even if our incoming mail was in the 10s instead of 100s it would be impossible to remember everything you've sent in the last few days and follow up on messages you haven't had a response to. Yes, I could scan my Sent mail, but that doesn't tell me if I've received a reply or not. The other reason for using email instead of a walk-up or the phone is because unless you're one of those fortunate (?) people who has an incredible memory one needs to make a record of the conversation anyway to be able to remind ourselves what was agreed if there's any confusion later (to a certain extent that's CYA behaviour, but it's also a means of documenting collaboration that protects against faulty memories - um, is that the same thing as CYA?).
Stephane Parent
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Stephane Parent,
User Rank: Strategist
1/2/2013 | 11:04:34 PM
re: Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
I remember an enterprise architect that used to reply to all on emails sent to broad distribution lists.

When I asked him to desist, he told me would not. His goal was to generate as much noise as possible; he told me it was up to me to separate the wheat from the chaff.

As long as we have people who think like that, we're going to continue getting lots of emails.
Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/31/2012 | 6:21:06 PM
re: Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
That's a great point, Mike. I can't count the times that I have gotten emails from people sitting 2 feet away from me. And these emails didn't include the kind of info that needed to be documented or archived. I think email inertia sometimes just takes hold.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
Mike_Acker
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Mike_Acker,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2012 | 12:14:38 PM
re: Email Overload: Disease Or Symptom?
i spent 40 years working in it using everything from BTAM to v.22 to SNA, DecNet and TCP/IP, HTML and HL7

during that time I heard "Computers don't talk to each other " ad nauseum

the real problem: *people don't talk to each other*
they like sending demands but are generally poor when it comes to listening, colaborating and compromising


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