Communication via email is powerful and, for sure, nowadays we are misusing it (at least in my organization).

There are some practices that could help in lowering down the noise we have in our inbox.

For example the misuse of CC: we tend to add many people in CC. People on CC often feel that they need to answer or give some sort of feedback (why?). Sending a single innocent email generates a flood of threads of discussions.

Here are some advices I try to follow:

  1. no CC. If you need to let someone know about something, wait for the end of the thread (we usually have one) and send conclusion putting the person in To;
  2. no Reply to All: I’ve deleted the Reply to All button from my email client. Replying to All is just amplifying the noise. Reply just to who has asked something: if he wants, he can forward your email as he likes;
  3. use Bcc instead of CC: to avoid the Reply to All effect, I sometimes put people in Bcc declaring this fact in the email. Who answer to my email can manually add who cares;
  4. put just one person in To if you are asking questions or assigning tasks: if you need an answer, define who is responsible for this answer and make it clear. If it’s not you have two possibilities: no email traffic but no answer or many people giving their ideas.

Do you have some other advices to add?


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