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Read “Stop the Email Madness”

There’s a great article in today’s Wall Street Journal Online, and it’s available to nonsubscribers–at least for now. Writer Jason Fry warns that the biggest threat to email is not spam. It is the internal junk we send to our coworkers and managers. He offers five whimsical suggestions for how to reduce the dreck.

I do take issue with one of Jason Fry’s statements. He says it is legitimate to use an organization-wide email to tell people that flushing one of the toilets will cause it to overflow. Not so! Rather than sending an email, just put a sign on the door to that toilet. Better yet, lock the door of that stall. (Some people won’t read even a giant red-lettered sign!) That way, you can keep both the floor and email inboxes clean and neat.

I appreciate Fry’s link to this blog and his efforts to improve the business world’s email.

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

One comment on “Read “Stop the Email Madness””

  • My husband and I laughed out loud at Jason’s proposed puppy name, “Remove Me From This List!” Thanks for sharing that gem of a piece.
    TITLE: Making email boring follow-up
    BLOG NAME: EmailTide – Observations and insights on the challenges and risks of managing corporate email and IM.
    DATE: 04/07/2007 11:02:27 AM
    I was just referred to a great article in Mondays Wall Street Journal by Jason Fry, titled Stop the Email Madness! (hopefully this link remains accessible for none-subscribers). Jason further elaborates on the sins of occupational …

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