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General Chat Thread, Friday's Money Programme About E-mail in General; Just finished watching The Money Progamme on the BBC i player from last Friday. It was about E-mail. There was ...
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    mattx's Avatar
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    Friday's Money Programme About E-mail

    Just finished watching The Money Progamme on the BBC i player from last Friday. It was about E-mail. There was a bloke who called himself Doctor E-mail. He was giving general advice etc - most which was common sense and he spouted off some right tripe too.
    What I want to know is what he is an actual 'Doctor' of as this was not clear. Nor is it clear from his web site: http://www.drthomasjackson.com/

    On checking other websites about this chap it seems he is one of those people who manage to 'talk a good job' - I do wish the BBC would stop using these pillocks to try and make a point. The programme content was rubbish, Doctor E-mail was rubbish, the lady complaining about the 150 spam E-mail a day was obviously not using a Spam filter [ she said she was ] so she was rubbish, in fact the only good part was the very brief interview with the inventor of E-mail - [ which I already knew about as I read ' When Wizards Stay Up Late' years ago..... ]


    /Rant over....

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Nope.....

    This is him:

    http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/l.../tjackson.html

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Yes, the BBC has a habit of using total idiots as so-called experts.

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Oh, I know him - that's Face-Candy Jackson from the uni of loftiness.

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    john's Avatar
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    hah I bet my mate has him as a lecturer at L'bro uni hah never mind

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    Well when the BBC eventually take over the internet they will be able to stop all the Spam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattx View Post
    Just finished watching The Money Progamme on the BBC i player from last Friday. It was about E-mail. There was a bloke who called himself Doctor E-mail. He was giving general advice etc - most which was common sense and he spouted off some right tripe too.
    What I want to know is what he is an actual 'Doctor' of as this was not clear. Nor is it clear from his web site: http://www.drthomasjackson.com/
    He has a PhD (from Loughborough)

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    ahem - I said that in no.5

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Right email is very easy to keep on top off (I claim no credit for this ideas came from places like managers tools/43 folders/GTD etc etc)

    1) Keep email clear you have email you process it and then delete it. You should have no email visable that have read before so either delete or archive it so your inbox is clear. To do this well you need a process like GTD.

    2) Check email 3 times a day have it schedule in your calendar and then when not checking email close the client down at least turn off any new email notification.

    3) Schedule your day before opening email then if something has cropped up edit your schedule.

    As manager tools say there is no such thing as urgent email if urgent someone will call or if it is really big news you will be getting visits and telephone calls left, right and centre.

    I have huge email box (I get over 300 emails a day excluding spam).

    Also do you really need all those mailing lists setup a email to rss feed and read them in your rss reader as part of your rss reading.

    Also make use of rules, labels/folders etc

    Russ

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russdev View Post
    Right email is very easy to keep on top off (I claim no credit for this ideas came from places like managers tools/43 folders/GTD etc etc)
    I like the show but it does not fit in with certain methods of working, successful methods at that

    1) Keep email clear you have email you process it and then delete it. You should have no email visable that have read before so either delete or archive it so your inbox is clear. To do this well you need a process like GTD.

    2) Check email 3 times a day have it schedule in your calendar and then when not checking email close the client down at least turn off any new email notification.
    I'll answer these two together. Tosh! Seriously, it is perfectly ok to have mail in your inbox, read but unprocessed, the same way you have letters in your intray that you have read but not actioned. Compartmentalising emails or letters is not the bottle neck, it is having the information to hand to deal with them and understanding when you need to deal with them. As emails, letters or memos arrive a cursory check to see whether it hits a higher priority is fine, but it is more important to learn to prioritise than it is to learn methods of filing!

    3) Schedule your day before opening email then if something has cropped up edit your schedule.
    Again, it depends on your job. Many jobs now require scheduling on a daily or hourly basis. Checking emails is part of this scheduling for many and to have to work out your schedule twice is inefficient. Knowing whether it is more efficient before or after reading your emails is the trick.

    As manager tools say there is no such thing as urgent email if urgent someone will call or if it is really big news you will be getting visits and telephone calls left, right and centre.
    Again, depends on the job. I will receive emails before I receive phone calls. I will receive IM before phone calls. In fact the only people that call me are the other members of SLT, and that is usually because they don't have their computer to hand to see if they can contact me online.

    I have huge email box (I get over 300 emails a day excluding spam).

    Also do you really need all those mailing lists setup a email to rss feed and read them in your rss reader as part of your rss reading.
    This is presuming that you are online, have a decent engine to index the local archive of the feeds or that all lists, etc are available via RSS.

    As an previous archivist for two large mailing lists I cannot stress the importance of offline access. I will always have my machine to hand but not always with a net connection. Writing responses to emails, requests by memo, etc that rely on information or advice that is on one of these lists becomes difficult to manage without an offline archive. Heck, what would happen when Google crashes?

    Also make use of rules, labels/folders etc

    Russ
    Oh yes ... mail rules, folders, labelling ... this can be done very well ... or become a time consuming monster. When you create your folder structure ensure that there is some sense to it. As much as you keep saying that you will search for things you will probably just go straight to the relevant folder first.

    Make use of smart filters for common searches, there are a number of tools out there.

    I am down to 1000 messages a day at the moment (excluding spam) but that involves 40+ mailing lists, 10+ forums and numerous email conversations with those unable to use IM.

    The key to managing it is to let people know that if you do not respond immediately to things it is because you have a job to do, that you are working on something at the moment, or that the conversation needs to be done at another time./
    Last edited by GrumbleDook; 10th March 2008 at 11:42 AM.

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    webman's Avatar
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    I don't think I'd be doing my job properly if I checked emails 3 times a day; considering helpdesk ticket notifications are delivered by email

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    @Tony

    At no point did I say was the only way but to clairfy you have to find system that works for you.

    I agree having read email in inbox is ok if that is way you work.

    But more making point that it is 'tosh' to say that email is taking over your life.

    Also scheduling side do not think that the schedule is set is stone or anything but good way of starting day. Again if stuff comes up in the day you alter your schedule etc.

    @Webman

    Sorry but you can do your job without email being connected 24/7 even us techies.

    My helpdesk sends emails but if i have two options here I can use rules to forward my helpdesk email to my phone or I have my helpdesk open and I hit refresh on tickets in screen when I come in the office (heck can set firefox to refresh the screen on my helpdesk page every so often if need be).

    Question is why do you need an email to say there is job first thing I do when come into my office after being out of it is look at my helpdesk.

    If in a room in school finish job not much difference between checking helpdesk and checking email.

    As rules and folders I agree with you Tony don't make it over complected. I have folders for each of admins, notices from my server (they don't appear in my inbox), one for emails from RM etc.

    As for mailing lists if offline is important then I would still use email to rss but use a offline client.

    Maybe the morning so sorry for communicating my views better but it is tosh to say email is ruining your life. Email is no more difficult to manage than phones, im's, post etc

    Important message is that what must have im my view is process not matter how simple know for me that is a GTD (which I am slowly implementing).

    On this note two books I recommend are Getting things done and Time management for system admins to very good books on time management.

    Russell
    Last edited by russdev; 10th March 2008 at 11:32 AM.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russdev View Post
    Question is why do you need an email to say there is job
    Mainly because current helpdesk system only send emails.

    If I'm working away on my computer, or my other computer via KVM, or on other side of office and a helpdesk ticket is made: if I don't have audio or visual notification of this (email client) then I don't know about new request.

    Switching to an application to check for messages periodically is a waste of time because there probably won't be every time.

    I use email how I want to and will do what ever works for me personally to get done what I need

    I like to think of email notifications like the emergency bell system. It detects the presence of an emergency using it's detection sensors and sounds an audible alert when necessary. I would hate to have to check each room every period to see if there was a fire of some sort that I had to escape from.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    @Webman

    At no point did I say any use of email was wrong.

    I agree as said point making was that it tosh to say email is taking over someone life.



    Key here it depends on way you work in some ways. Even if got helpdesk ticket I will get a call from someone if a mjaor problem anyway.

    Point is I check for tickets between jobs or if for example waiting for something to finish will check at that point.

    As said no such thing as urgent email somone will call or find you if really urgent.

    Anyway as said ways of working and point of post was to get across that no one can say that email is runing there life.

    You just need a proccess be that whatever (checking emails or what ever)

    Russ

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