Email Catchup and Blackberries

    April 1, 2005

One of the things that’s a real chore when you get back from a trip is catching up with email. I got back late last night from a 3-day trip to the UK and encountered 248 emails when I turned on my PC this morning.

And that total excludes the spam stuff my spam catcher, Cloudmark SafetyBar, intercepts.

Yes, I’d logged in to my Gmail account a couple of times while away, but I’d not been able to check email on my primary domain, which is where most email gets to.

Back at base, I no longer do what I used to do when returning from a trip – look at all the email subject lines, spend a little time on the ones that definitely need immediate attention, and just ignore the rest.

It’s always struck me as the height of total non-productivity that you think you have to spend hours and hours dealing with all email when you get back to the office. My philosophy has been to just deal with the stuff you have to. If you haven’t replied to other email, well, the sender will follow up on it when he or doesn’t hear from you. Right?

Well, not really from a social behaviour point of view. As an email piler not a filer, I’m still mindful of Jason Clarke’s admonishment on dealing with email:

You respond to your voicemail in a timely fashion, don’t you? If you can’t be bothered to adhere to a system that ensures you respond to the email you receive, you’re being rude.

That was a pretty powerful post, Jason! So I now do try and get to every email. It does take a bit of time, though.

One thing I’m currently looking at is a new service from Vodafone that launched in The Netherlands a few months ago – Vodafone Blackberry WebClient. You get a brand new Blackberry 7100v as part of the deal. While I don’t see how it would help me address all the email volume, at least I’d have a very cool gadget and can strike the right pose sitting in a Starbucks or wherever discreetly doing email.

Of course, what I should be doing right now is more of my email, instead of writing this post. Ah, but, you see, such things are an integral element of yak shaving

Neville Hobson is the author of the popular blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly the VP of New Marketing at Crayon. Visit Neville Hobson’s blog: