No internal email: Next steps.

# internal emails sent past 7 days: 7 (down 90% since before making the break)

OK, I’ve not been able to eliminate all the internal mail I send: it’s just impractical to print off a supplier’s email and then walk it to accounts payable, for example. But I am chuffed by the drastic reductiion.

Now, I want to start working on getting others to stop sending emails–to me first and then each other. As I’ve said in earlier posts, a few colleagues are starting to think twice about hitting send and coming down to my office to have a chat. Early results suggest a 20% drop in internal emails landing in my inbox But I still get a lot: 10 – 15 a day. 

We have a problem with sending everything through email: shared resources, friendly reminders, project tasks, you name it. But more urgently, faculty are using email to call for classroom support. Email just ins’t the right medium for this as people are not always near their computers. I’ve turned off alerts on my iPhone simply because I get so many external emails in a day my ohone would never stop buzzing.

So after some good back and forth with my wife, @theseboots, a professional communications expert and assistant director of public affairs and media relations at Simon Fraser University, I came up with the following interim step: I’ve configured the autorepsonder in Gmail to send the following canned response:

Thanks for your note.

I check my email a couple times a day, usually when I step into my office and again before I leave at the end of the day. If you need an urgent response, please call me directly at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Then I set up my phone to call forward from my office number to my personal cell, which goes with me everywhere. 
I started this Thursday last week and I’m still waiting on my first call. Maybe that means there aren’t so many urgent calls after all?


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