Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Avoiding the "Ouch!" of emails

I know you've done it too:
  • Clicking Send and forgetting to attach that file.
  • Clicking Send and forgetting first to save the attached file.
  • Clicking Send and forgetting to check that the attached file is the one you mean to send?
  • Clicking Send and forgetting to spell-check the attached file.

Here's the solution:

Don't click Send.

Simple, isn't it?

So obvious; if you don't Send, you can't Send an incomplete email.

If, like me, you have set your regular mail checker to check for mail once every 2 hours(*) then it will be a simple additive addictive step to issue, or Send, your outgoing mail at that time.

Here's how:

From now on, each time you click Send, say to yourself "Ouch!", and resolve to use Save (or Close) next time.

By the end of today, you'll be saving instead of sending.

And no one will know the difference.

Let's be honest: How many of your emails are truly time-critical(*)?

I thought so.

Let's continue being honest: How many times a month do you say "Ouch!" just after you've sent an email to someone you'd like to impress?

I thought so.

(*) When I am working in "immediate mode" to resolve a client problem, I set my intervals to be 5 minutes, or just leave my mail programs running and check mail as soon as the client says on the phone "It's on its way".

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