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April 7, 2011

Best Use of Email Resolution: Stop Email “Reply-All”

This is going to be short and sweet.

E-nough already.

Let’s resolve to stop using “reply-all” in e-mail.  Every time I make that suggestion when I’m speaking to large audiences, I get applause.  The first time I said it, it was just a wish of mine.  Now, based on all the feedback I get, I sense is could make a significant difference in our work lives.  And I get the feeling many agree.

How do you know on that rare occasion to use “reply-all?”  When the people copied on the email must – absolutely, positively -- have the information to succeed, meaning to do the task at hand, to find the right location for the meeting, or to provide a mission-critical alert.

One of my wishes is fewer emails I don’t need.  I feel compelled to read (or skim) key emails in my inbox so I don’t miss critical details.  In many cases, we don’t need to follow each step of a key task, and the corresponding email; we need updates at key milestones.

Best use of email: Do you use “reply all” more often than you might need to?

- David Grossman


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