Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Email is so amazing! The fact that we can communicate privately and instantly without sending a stamped letter is awesome!
Email saves so much time when it comes to reviewing contracts for my clients. I am able to review a PDF version of the contract, email my changes back and receive a revised contract within a day or so. The final contracts are then either sent snail-mail, or I print copies to send to my client, or I forward the contract to my client to print.
Email also allows us to process our thoughts before “speaking” them. It’s true that emotion is harder to read in print, but a carefully-written email is usually better than a phone call. Emails sent back and forth also allow for a written history of a conversation.
I could go on and on about how email is fabulous, but I want to focus the rest of the post on how we can make email communication even better for us as we all pioneer the publishing world’s new directions. We need to take advantage of this gift of email as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Because email is such a quick way to communicate, it can take over our time. It can be overwhelming and frustrating. Sometimes I’ll open my email box, and 15 messages will be one word replies (“thanks,” “lol,” “smile”) to something I had written. When this happens, I usually groan and go forward with filing them, and I wonder why I had to spend time opening them. The problem is that I’m also guilty of filling other people’s in-boxes with “thank yous,” “lols,” and “smiles.”
I’m working toward making each email count in some way. The occasional brief thank you is appropriate, I think, but I overdo it with always being the one who has the last word. I encourage all of you to work toward the same goal–ask yourselves if an email is really necessary before you send it. We’re all struggling with overwhelmingly full in-boxes. And each of us can help everyone else to be more productive by limiting the number of emails we send. Pretend that each email costs a stamp. The time that’s taken to compose and read a message is worth more than a postage stamp anyway (even if you value your time at only $10/hour, spending 3 minutes on an email is already worth more than a stamp), so let’s save time and money together!
How do you streamline your emails? What’s the best thing about email for you? What’s the worst?