It is not compulsory to send an email on every occasion. Emails certainly have many uses, but they need not automatically replace other modes of communication which may be far more appropriate for the task in hand.
- How many times have you exchanged anything up to half a dozen emails just to arrange a meeting with a colleague at a convenient date and time? Why not simply pick up the phone?
- Does the entire college need to know that one particular laboratory is being redecorated, or is the message only really relevant to staff in the science department?
- Is it necessary to send the weekly menu for the staff canteen to all staff by email every Monday morning, or would it be better added as a page to the intranet?
All it requires is a moment’s thought as to whether email is really the best tool for the job. If it is, great – but don’t forget there are other options if it isn’t.
The advantage of this is that if everyone sends fewer emails, everyone will receive fewer emails. This then starts to reduce the burden that attempting to manage email often becomes making it easier to control those you do receive and hopefully resulting in fewer mistakes of the type mentioned above.