Email Communication and Etiquette: How to Use Email Productively with Your Team

Email Communication and Etiquette: How to Use Email Productively with Your Team #Productivity

"One look at an email can rob you of 15 minutes of focus." – Jacqueline Leo, American magazine editor and media producer. Email has revolutionized global business, allowing for detailed 24-hour communication where telephone communication isn't practical, freeing us from bending over backwards to match up times zones across a large planet. Most of the same people who understand its advantages probably also consider email the bane of their existence, since they receive hundreds of messages a day. Like most technology, email has proven a double-edged blade, its nearly miraculous advantages often offset by pure annoyance. With a few precautions and a modicum of care and protocol, email offers invaluable benefits for team communication ( ←CLICK TO TWEET), whether your team works together in … [Read more...]

Triaging Time: Four Timewasters that May Not Occur to You

Triaging Time: Four Timewasters that May Not Occur to You by Laura Stack #productivity

I'm a big believer in recovering lost time by killing timewasting behaviors, jettisoning useless tasks, and tightening work processes. But no matter how well you've triaged your schedule, you can probably do even more. That's because most of us engage in small, thoughtless actions or omissions that cost us time. Let's look at the worse time-nibblers you may still engage in. 1. Randomly checking email. Even if you've made a commitment to spend less time on your email, it's too easy to log on to see what's come in just before you knock off for lunch or take that much-needed break. Before you know it, you've lost 15 minutes. Clamp down on this temptation, unless you're expecting an important email that requires a prompt response. Spend time planning out a project instead. 2. Failing to … [Read more...]

Stemming the Email Tide

Stemming the Email Tide by Laura Stack

Email may be the ultimate double-edged sword of the Information Age. It's never been easier or cheaper to communicate, which seems wonderful at first glance. Productivity should come easier than ever, right? In many ways, it does. But ironically, cheap and easy communication also means the signal-to-noise ratio is worse than ever. With email, we have to filter out the productive datapoints from the static of spam, lengthy threads, endless CC strings, single replies of “thank you,” and noisy “Me To” people. On the one hand, we don't need email adding more to the information blast we face daily. On the other, we do need email to receive new tasks, deliver our work, stay informed on developments in our field, maintain contact with coworkers, network with colleagues, serve our customers, … [Read more...]

Email in Black and White

Sometimes technology seems more trouble than it's worth (e.g., the spam clogging our email inboxes). You already know how to blacklist spammers, marking them as junk or creating a rule to send them straight to Deleted Items. But do you whitelist? Set up a new email address dedicated to inbound messages from your work team and protect it with a whitelist. 1. While in the secret account, open your e-mail client's Whitelist feature. You'll usually find the Safe Senders option under Filters or Junk Mail settings. 2. Create your whitelist. Add ONLY the addresses of project teammates, your manager, key partners, and major clients who will use the “secret” email address. 3. Change the FROM field when responding. One click sets the From field back to your regular email address, so … [Read more...]

Laura Stack’s “Staying on Top of the Inbox” course on

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The Productivity Minute #8: Channels of Communication and Unproductive Email

Email, voicemail, and conference calls have revolutionized how we communicate in corporate America and around the globe. In today’s fast-paced business environment, companies depend on technology to link virtual teams across cities, states, and countries. Yet most companies don’t provide training on how to productively communicate with these resources. Whenever I find myself on the receiving end of an email volley, in which an email has repeatedly gone back and forth, I will simply pick up the phone and end it right there. Some people don’t put enough thought into which technology they will select to effectively communicate their message. For any given purpose, one channel (or medium) will be more effective than another. (C) 2009 Laura Stack. All rights … [Read more...]

No Email Days?

Would you be more productive by taking a day off each week from emails?  Some companies have tried to implement no-email days and have received mixed feedback.  This story from ABC News tells of co-workers who discovered that they were across the hall from one another rather than across the country.  It takes time to adjust, but taking a break from email can actually boost productivity and enhance your business relationships. While it may seem quicker to dash off an email, taking the time to pick up the phone to contact a client or walk down the hall to see a co-worker personalizes the contact.  In this era of “crackberry” communication, it seems like a rare thing to have actual conversations with people.  What would your office be like if everyone took the day off from email and just … [Read more...]

Me, You, and the Handheld

These days, most of us use handheld technology in all aspects of our daily lives, blurring the boundaries between work and home. Has this made you feel more overworked and less energized? If so, you need to learn how to break free from technology, turn it off regularly, stop letting it control you, and unplug in ways that boost your energy. Let's chat about your electronic habits, and about how to regain control. 1. Plan your screen time and stick to it. It's unnatural to focus on a computer or TV screen for hours on end instead of interacting with people. Yet this is precisely what most people do -- and the subsequent feelings of social isolation and depression can be quite damaging to your energy level. 2. Put your life first. Don't let technology eat up your free time; technology … [Read more...]