Over the past 2.5 months I’ve been to parts of Asia 5 times for work. That’s a lot of travel. More on why later.
All this travel has forced me to manage a lot more by email than I would normally prefer.
It has also led me to develop a new system for inbound and outbound email communication with the Fab team.
Here it is. I’m curious your thoughts.
On all emails that are sent to me, I now ask that Fab’s team members put one of the following in ALL CAPS in the subject line:
- UPDATE: (subject xyz). This signifies that the email is just an update, informational, no action required.
- DISCUSSION: (subject xyz). This signifies that the email is requesting input and debate but is not yet ready for a decision.
- DECISION: (subject xyz). This signifies that the email is requesting a decision.
- URGENT: (subject xyz). This signifies that the email requires an immediate response.
I have then setup filters in my gmail such that I first review all URGENTS, then all DECISIONS, then all DISCUSSIONS, then all UPDATES.
On emails that I send, I’ve also started creating a standard structure for what I put in the subject line:
- FEEDBACK. Means I am providing my feedback and input on a topic.
- ACTION ITEMS. Means I am requesting someone(s) to take a specific action, usually with a specific deadline.
- IDEA FOR INPUT. Means I am throwing out an idea that I’d like input on.
And, my favorite of all, is a simple 2 words that I use most frequently in response to emails from members of our management team:
Go = 2 letters that = the ultimate empowerment.
GO! means run with it.
GO! means take that idea of yours and make it happen.
GO! means take risks, invent things, make mistakes.
GO! means get shit done.