Here are links to the previous issues of Point Lookout that touch on writing and managing email. Bookmark this page. Or browse the Point Lookout archive by date. Subscribe now.
- Coming March 29: Time Slot Recycling: The Risks
- When we can't begin a meeting because some people haven't arrived, we sometimes cancel the meeting and hold a different one, with the people who are in attendance. It might seem like a good way to avoid wasting time, but there are risks. Available here and by RSS on March 29.
- And on April 5: The Fallacy of Division
- Errors of reasoning are pervasive in everyday thought in most organizations. One of the more common errors is called the Fallacy of Division, in which we assume that attributes of a class apply to all members of that class. It leads to ridiculous results. Available here and by RSS on April 5.
Other topical archives:
August 3, 2022
- Significance Messages
- Communications about important matters must provide both the facts of a situation and the significance of those facts. The facts often receive adequate attention, but at times the significance of the facts is worthy of more attention than the facts.
October 28, 2020
- Notes to Self
- Many of us jot important reminders to ourselves on sticky notes, used envelopes, scraps of paper, and whatnot. Often we misplace these notes, or later find them too late to serve their purposes. Here's a low-tech alternative that works better for some.
June 10, 2020
- They Don't Reply to My Email
- Ever have the experience of sending an email message to someone, asking for information or approval or whatever, and then waiting for a response that comes only too late? Maybe your correspondent is an evil loser, but maybe not. Maybe the problem is in your message.
March 28, 2018
- Four Overlooked Email Risks: II
- Email exchanges are notorious for exposing groups to battles that would never occur in face-to-face conversation. But email has other limitations, less-often discussed, that make managing dialog very difficult. Here's Part II of an exploration of some of those risks.
March 21, 2018
- Four Overlooked Email Risks: I
- Working together to resolve issues or make decisions in email is fraught with risk. Most discussions of these risks emphasize using etiquette to manage emotional content. But email has other limitations, less-often discussed, that make managing email exchanges very difficult.
February 20, 2013
- On 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
- Inbox 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
- Email Antics: 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
- Email 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
- Email Antics: 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
- Email Antics: 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
- Email Antics: 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
- 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
- Email 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
- Avoid 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
- The 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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