Use this email format to simplify your overflowing inbox

September 12, 2019

By Stephanie Vozza, Fast Company

Connection and collaboration are important buzzwords in today’s workplace, but that often means we’re available around the clock via email. While many of us complain about overflowing inboxes, maybe we’re our own worst enemy when it comes to its volume, suggests Dianna Booher, author of Faster, Fewer, Better Emails.

“Just a few years ago, not everybody could connect to their work email from home, but today, everybody has access on their mobile phones,” she says. “Bosses have let up a little on the pressure, but coworkers are working around the globe. We expect our colleagues to respond quickly. If we don’t, we can hold somebody else’s work up.”

All too often, we can end up sending six or more emails back and forth to work through a problem, when just one would have sufficed, says Booher. ”We expect people to be mind readers,” she says. “We leave out so many details, without thinking through the whole situation.”

Or there’s the opposite problem, sending an email that feels like a brain dump, says Booher. ‘They say, ‘Here’s this issue’ and dump out everything they’re thinking and end the email with ‘Thoughts?’ Thoughts about what?”

As a corporate communication expert and coach, Booher has trained clients from major corporations, such as Coca-Cola, Lockheed Martin, and IBM on a more effective way to email. She calls it the MADE format.

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