Using email well

A couple of months ago, Jan Barned, our erstwhile policy advisor on the ITM CoE, sent around an email from Jane O’Connor, the new editor of InTheBlack, that talked of the virtues of having ’email-free’ days in the office.

Most of us on the CoE had a slightly different view, particularly since what tends to happen is that if you have an email-free day, the next day is spent picking up the pieces of all the emails you missed the previous day.

Our mostly tongue-in-cheek responses ended up in the September ITB:

September 2008:  Downtime – a day away

In case you are wondering why there is a reference in Shauna’s and my email to a ‘Danish Rock band’.,  This is because, taking my own advice that I’m giving at the social networking workshop in October to use Google Alerts, I’d just received an email to alert me to the fact that my daughter may perhaps have joined a Danish rockband (it’s an occupational hazard, given the surname – I’m less Danish than Jock ‘Tag the Haggis’ McTavish).  This amused me somewhat, as she is only three and unlikely to join a rock band unless Dora the Explorer was the lead singer.

There are three types of email:  Email that is really a ‘for your action (fya)’, email that is really a ‘for your information (fyi)’ and email that is perhaps intended to amuse (‘ZOMG TMI’).

Such an email falls into the third category of email:  useless anecdotes intended to amuse.

I thought the article was genuinely amusing in its final form, not least because our emails came back to bite us in an unedited form :).