Despite the fact that email ranks number one on the list of top time suckers, it may not be practical to completely avoid email. But is there a way we can minimize the damage and turn it into an asset? Yes – with a little common sense and some basic rules that I have been diligently following. Taking a clue from the agile manifesto, I decided to put them in the same format and set-up a my own email manifesto which I solemnly swear to abide by and hopefully will be able to influence a few good people to adopt the manifesto as well along the way.
- Will explore and exhaust all other communication channels before choosing to email. Including but not limited an in person communication, a phone call or an IM chat.
- Check and process email only at specific times of the day or better specific days.
- Will maintain a zero inbox daily or as often you check and process email.
- Use email just as a communication tool. Email shall not be used to store and retrieve information as document management or as a task management system.
- All email will have a clear and a specific subject and the content in the email will stick to that subject and only that subject.
- Will be mindful when including attachments in email. Including both type and size of the attachments.
- Will NOT SPAM, will be mindful when doing a ‘Reply All’ and when forwarding email messages.
- Emails threads will be limited to 5 or less. If a subject cannot be covered or resolved within 5 email threads it will be taken off to a different forum.
- Will include the only the people whom the email is addressed to in the TO section. Will use the CC section only in rare cases and will NOT use the Blind Carbon Copy (bcc) option.
- Will not be disrespectful,abusive,coercive, dishonest, manipulative or misrepresent facts in my emails.
In the spirit of keeping this manifesto live and flexible your feedback will be very helpful. Would like to hear if you agree/ disagree or want to add in to the manifesto. If nothing else signing the manifesto would be cool as well