Get Rid of Inbox Clutter With Process-Oriented Email

Zero mail box can be a pipe dream for most of us, but less clutter in email, the better . In this spirit, author and professor Cal Newport suggests writing longer, more detailed emails.

On his blog, Newport describes what he calls “Process Oriented Email.” This is how it works in simple terms:

  • Define a Purpose: What is the purpose of the email conversation? This could be scheduling a meeting, developing a startup strategy, etc. Have a clear idea of ​​the ultimate goal.
  • Come up with a process : how to achieve this end goal with the fewest emails?
  • Explain the process: Tell the recipient about the process so that both of you are on the same page.

Newport offers an example of how this works in practice:

For example, suppose a friend sent you a note that says:

Would you like to have some coffee soon?

Resist the urge to answer, “Okay, what suits you?”

Of course, this message could be written quickly, but it does not clearly describe the process that minimizes the number of messages sent and sent. Indeed, it will likely send you into a long chain of distractions.

In contrast, here is a process-oriented answer:

Sounds great. I suggest we meet at Starbucks on campus. Below I have listed four dates and times for the next two weeks. If any of this works for you, let me know and I will review your response to confirm that the appointment is made. If none of these steps helped, call me or write me on my mobile (<number>) at one of the next business hours (Tue / Thursday from 12:30 to 1:30), when I will definitely be there. and we’ll find what works.

Yes, it makes emails longer, but it should also mean fewer emails. This way, you get down to business without wasting time wasting time back and forth, dragging out things for several days. For more details, navigate to Newport’s complete publication at the link below.

Write Long Emails | Cal Newport via Globe and Mail


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