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Email Productivity: A Charter and a Promise

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Managing email more productively is a goal of most every person and every thinking organization. That’s why one group has developed an email productivity charter.

This document is really more of an infographic. It starts with a friendly banner, as if to promise that it’s going to propose something that is bold but entirely reasonable.

The full email charter comes from a not-for-profit housing association based in the United Kingdom, just outside of Liverpool. In fact, the complete work is simple enough to be printed on poster and hung on a wall. Here it is:

Email Productivity Charter (Header) from Halton Housing Trust

We’ve covered email productivity many times in the past here on The Methodology Blog. We even teach email management classes. So it should be no surprise that we support an email charter like this one.

It’s crucial to note, however, that many aspects of this campaign only work inside a single organization. For example, consider #7, “I will try to use ‘thank you in advance’ rather than sending a separate two word ‘thank you’ email.”

This is a great idea within a company where you have professional standards. But when you’re working with customers, vendors and prospects, you can’t always expect them to have received a message just because you sent it to them. For these people, the follow up “thank you” is a way to provide comfort that a message was actually delivered.

Likewise, the comment at the bottom (“If these rules are broken you will be named and shamed”) is probably culturally appropriate within the Halton Housing Trust, where there is lighthearted banter and this statement is not too serious. But that might not be a great recipe for healthy workplace culture in every organization.

Nevertheless, your company should consider it’s own email charter. And we have permission from the Halton Housing Trust: If you like theirs, feel free to use it!

Thanks to Nick Atkin for providing a copy of the email charter for this post.

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