The more electronic and global we get, the less important the spoken word has become, and in
e-mail, clarity is critical.
– SEAN PHILLIPS, APPLERA CORPORATE RECRUITMENT DIRECTOR
IN “WHAT CORPORATE AMERICA CAN'T BUILD: A SENTENCE”
THE NEW YORK TIMES, DECEMBER 7, 2004
Electronic mail has become the dominant method of communication for people in the workplace. We use e-mail to communicate with team members, clients, customers, and vendors; we even use it when we have a question for a colleague down the hall. More of us are using e-mail to stay in touch with the office while traveling or working from home. And our participation in the growing global economy means that we use e-mail to communicate more frequently with people in other countries and time zones.
Our e-mail use is only likely to increase. Eighty per cent of the people who responded to a 2003 META Group survey of 387 organizations believed that e-mail is more useful than the phone.1 Recent surveys conducted by the American Management Association and the e-Policy Institute reveal that we now spend between 30 minutes and four hours—or more—a day on e-mail-related activities. An October 2006 report by technology market research firm The Radicati Group estimates that some 183 billion emails were sent each day in 2006 and that wireless email users will grow “from 14 million in 2006, to 228 million in 2010.”2
There's no question that e-mail is an invaluable tool for doing business. Yet reading, writing, and managing e-mail is taking an increasing amount of our time, and we don't always use that time productively. That's why we've written this book: to provide information, ideas, and strategies for making the best use of your e-mail time and making sure that the e-mail you write gets the results you want.