Email Charter Lays Out 10 Rules To Save Us All From Drowning In Email

Email Charter Lays Out 10 Rules To Save Us All From Drowning In Email

We’re all suffering from email overload and it’s just getting worse every day. TED’s Chris Anderson has created a charter with the hopes of reversing the underlying cause of the email mess: emails that take longer to read and respond to than they take to write.

We’ve covered good email etiquette before as well as the worst email habits and annoyances, but the Email Charter is about a community solution to a shared problem. The solution only works, Chris writes, if lots of people agree to it.

Among the “10 rules to reverse the email spiral” are very clear instructions, like celebrating clarity:

Start with a subject line that clearly labels the topic, and maybe includes a status category [Info] , [Action] , [Time Sens][Low Priority] . Use crisp, muddle-free sentences. If the email has to be longer than five sentences, make sure the first provides the basic reason for writing. Avoid strange fonts and colours.

Using EOM (end of message) in the subject line and ending notes with NNTR (no need to reply) are other gifts you can give your email recipients.

To read the whole charter and support it, head over to

Email Charter [via TEDChris]


  • Some useful points here. Improving email etiquette in business is all common sense – but not always common practice! Emailogic give the following suggestions to drastically reduce email overload:

    Stop checking for new email constantly – turn off all alerts both visual and audible
    Only copy people in to emails who need to receive the information
    Unsubscribe from all the junk that you never read (or use your email package to automatically divert it to folders)
    For some useful advice subscribe to Email Insights

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