Would you prefer we all wrote short emails?
And then A created a new account for me that I’ve managed to keep to zero, and I’d love to keep my main account like that. Which got me thinking that it would be so much easier to manage emails if I could respond in a much more abbreviated way than most people seem to do.
Maybe it’s my long Twitter habit that has made me want to be more sparing with words, but recently I’ve been getting bored with starting every email in a long correspondence with a greeting and then choosing a suitable sign-off.
It’s started to feel very old-fashioned in this day of rapid information exchange. I would rather just launch into the subject we’re discussing, and not bother with a sign-off, but some people might find that rude.
Then I spotted an article about short emails as I was surfing, and discovered people have been talking about this since way back when. I think 2007 was the date of the first article I read. I found a website – or appropriately, a single page, in fact – called five.sentenc.es, which suggests treating email responses like SMS messages, but instead of counting characters, count sentences. So ‘all email responses regardless of recipient or subject will be five sentences or less’.
Q: Why is this email five sentences or less?
I’ve never seen this on any email, but I’m strongly tempted to use it, and hope it would also give me the freedom to dispense with greetings and sign-offs if I feel like it.
What is your view on short emails? Have you ever seen this kind of policy? Would you be offended? Would it make managing your emails easier if people applied it?