I hear a lot of people complaining about how email is the most evil part of their life. You ask them what they did that day, and what they dread most about tomorrow, and they’ll tell you, “email”.
But email isn’t the problem.
On the contrary, email is one of the most useful and beautiful technologies we’ve encountered over the last twenty years. It’s the most reliable, functional, simple, and effective communication tool we have. It’s robust and it’s easier to protect yourself from than say, a text message or phone call.
Email isn’t the problem. People are the problem.
I did an experiment a few years back in which I tried to email like I tweet. I wanted to write emails within one hundred and forty characters – professional email or not. A truly remarkable thing happened… I got short emails back.
You see, the thing is, people are busy. Way too busy to hear your life story in an email. The truest sign of a clear thinker is simple, clear and direct communication. If you want to be professional, respect people’s time. That’s being professional.
Whatever you do, please don’t do your thinking through email. Stop, take a moment to think through everything, and then write your simple, clear and direct thoughts. Things will happen faster and you’ll find that you don’t spend light years reading mundane text.
Let’s not waste each other’s time here. Write a short email. Think first, and for the love of all things beautiful, please watch your signatures (lose the images).
An email problem is a people problem. But it’s not without a solution.