Friday, November 6, 2009

Reducing Volume Of Email

No, your are not supposed to worry about reading the fine print.

I am fortunate in having attracted a small but extremely competent team of beta-testers and evaluators. It is possible that only an isolated programmer can appreciate this. It's a cliché but true: It's lonely here with no human to whom I can turn and ask "What do you think of this?", or "Please check this for me".

I have much to ask and tell of this team, but they each have their own lives, jobs, families, not necessarily in that order.

I hit on the idea of issuing ONE email early each morning to the group. My five precious colleagues will get one email from me with general information about new releases, updates, bug fixes etc., and with a bit of luck any further emails will be from and to individuals.

If Lily is bored and wants to bat emails back and forth, that is OK with me; and if Jaime Lee is frantically trying to finish a project and remains silent, that's OK with me too.

Instead of sending 6 separate emails on six separate issues, as the gurus recommend, I'll send just one, anticipated daily digest and be done with it.

Today is Saturday. This day's email went out at 6 a.m., and since then, at intervals during the day, I've been accumulating snippets of news in an email whose subject line reads "Chris Greaves - Sunday 11th October 2009".

By 6 a.m. tomorrow, I will have read and re-read it through, and perhaps something that was relevant at 6:30 this morning will no longer be relevant at ten p.m. tonight, in which case it can be deleted from the draft without ever having bothered five busy people.

Lest it be all work and no play, I try to pose a work-relevant riddle as the last item on each email, thus:

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