Canadian Lawyer InHouse

December/January 2021

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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38 www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse FEATURE Is email taking up too much of your time? Carson Tate explains how to regain control Don't let sloppy emails ruin productivity RE: RE FWD: FWD: Re Bill K TX The big event is approaching. Contract attached. (No subject) Wait a minute — what? These emails were just sent to me, and I have no idea what any of it means. To make matters even worse, these are just a few of the daily examples of friends and colleagues not using email effectively. And almost immediately upon arrival, they turn my inbox into a slovenly mess. In writing my book, Work Simply, I did a lot of work to understand how we are using email effectively — or not. I discovered that we're all bogged down by the sheer volume of email. And it takes a lot of time for us to slough through that volume because these emails are unclear, ambiguous and flat-out sloppy. Discerning exactly what we need to know or do and determining if a response is needed requires a lot of our attention and focus. These sloppy emails waste your time. And they cost you hours each week. This means they're also costing you money. When you feel like you're drowning in a sea of sloppy, thick mud in your inbox, how do you begin to clean up the mess — and then how do you prevent it from reoccurring? Automate your responses to unclear messages When you receive an email message that is unclear, vague or just causes you to say "What?", send a response asking for addi- tional information or clarification. To do this quickly, use a text expander software app such as FastFox for PCs or Text Expander for Mac. A text expander works in any program,

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