Monday, August 25, 2008

Reply All

"You have to train people how to work with you. I have used the auto reply tool in Outlook to let people know when I will be responding to e-mail..."

Edited by Jena McGregor, "Making Every Hour Count," Business Week, Aug. 25-Sept 1.

Two of the most abused email functions are "auto reply" and "reply all." Staff in organizations now worry about e-mail overload, not about the piles on their desks. I still have both problems.

I've had multiple conversations in the past few weeks about these devilish functions and how they clog e-mail with irrelevancies. Ever have day-by-day updates on the vacation plans of colleagues you don't know? I'm sure there are clever Outlook techniques that most of us don't know that deal with these problems. For me, I figure people can wait without more information.

Unfortunately,this article on time management didn't break much new ground. And we still seem completely focused on beating time in some fashion. In Nonprofit Leadership I devote a chapter to treating time as a friend, not just an enemy.

Like the in the following advice: "Sometimes it's best not to answer all e-mail promptly. When a message contains an issue that the sender should solve, it may be best to let them figure it out."

1 comment:

Josh said...

Love that advice, Bob. That is something I do all the time, just hadn't thought it though.