Replying to Every Email

I can’t quite recall where I read this suggestion, but I have been trying it out and it seems to work.

It’s very simple – for every important piece of email, send a reply, even a short one, to say one of the following messages:

  1. Thanks
  2. It’s received and will be acted on and here’s the promised due date
  3. To ask a question

I think that this is a great suggestion, and the idea is to delete the email once a reply has been sent. I’m experimenting with this approach to see what comes of it, once again with the goal of achieving a Zero Inbox.

2 Replies to “Replying to Every Email”

  1. What is this habit supposed to do for you? I’ve heard this suggestion before as well, but haven’t been able to figure out how it would benefit someone. When you say you’ve been trying it and it seems to “work”, what does that mean? I’m not trying to be negative. The suggestion sounds like something useful, I’m just trying to determine what the use actually is. It seems to me that if you already have a trusted and reliable system in place to process what comes into your inbox, this would be an additional processing method to add to your system, and it’s not really necessary. So does “working” then mean that this system is easier to maintain than the one you have established already?

    I’m just interested in your thoughts. Is it worth a change to your existing methods?

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