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Writing and Managing Email

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Balancing talk time and the value of the contributionComing March 29: Virtual Blowhards
Controlling meeting blowhards is difficult enough in face-to-face meetings, but virtual meetings present next-level problems, because techniques that work face-to-face are unavailable. Here are eight tactics for controlling virtual blowhards. Available here and by RSS on March 29.
kudzu enveloping a Mississippi landscapeAnd on April 5: Listening to Ramblers
Ramblers are people who can't get to the point. They ramble, they get lost in detail, and listeners can't follow their logic, if there is any. How can you deal with ramblers while maintaining civility and decorum? Available here and by RSS on April 5.

Other topical archives:

February 20, 2013

William Tecumseh Sherman as a major general in May 1865On Badly Written Email
Even those who aren't great writers do occasionally write clearly, just by chance. But there are some who consistently produce unintelligible email messages. Why does this happen?

June 11, 2008

Boston in 1826Inbox Bloat Recovery
If you have more than ten days of messages in your inbox, you probably consider it to be bloated. If it's been bloated for a while, you probably want to clear it, but you've tried many times, and you can't. Here are some effective suggestions.

May 4, 2005

Thor's Hammer, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USAEmail Antics: Part IV
Nearly everyone I know complains that email is a real time waster. Yet much of the problem results from our own actions. Here's Part IV of a little catalog of things we do that help waste our time.

April 6, 2005

Power poles after Hurricane Rita, 2005Email Ethics
Ethics is the system of right and wrong that forms the foundation of civil society. Yet, when a new technology arrives, explicitly extending the ethical code seems necessary — no matter how civil the society. And so it is with email.

January 14, 2004

Don't rely solely on your spell checkerEmail Antics: Part III
Nearly everyone complains that email is a time waster. Yet much of the problem results from our own actions. Here's Part III of a little catalog of things we do that help waste our time.

December 31, 2003

The three large pyramids at Giza, from left to right: Menkaure, Khafre, Khufu.Email Antics: Part II
Nearly everyone complains that email is a time waster. Yet much of the problem results from our own actions. Here's Part II of a little catalog of things we do that help waste our time.

December 17, 2003

An early Swedish dial phone ca. 1876Email Antics: Part I
Nearly everyone I know complains that email is a time waster. Yet much of the problem results from our own actions. If you're looking around for some New Year's resolutions to make, here are some ideas, in this Part I of a little catalog of things we do that help waste our time.

July 16, 2003

A stormEmailstorming
Most of us get too much email. Some is spam, but even if we figured out how to eliminate spam, most would still agree that we get too much email. What's happening? And what can we do about it?

September 5, 2001

A bumper stickerEmail Happens
Email is a wonderful medium for some communications, and extremely dangerous for others. What are its limitations? How can we use email safely?

May 23, 2001

A shouting matchAvoid Typing Under the Influence
When we communicate, we can't control how other people interpret our communications. Accidental offense is inevitable, and email is especially likely to produce examples of this problem. What can we do as members of electronic communities when trouble erupts?

February 7, 2001

Hard at WorkThe Tweaking CC
When did you last receive an email message with a "tweaking CC"? Probably yesterday. A tweaking CC is usually a CC to your boss or possibly the entire known universe, designed to create pressure by exposing embarrassing information.

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