Archive for August 13th, 2010

Book Review: Slay the Email Monster

Friday, August 13th, 2010

I just finished reading Slay the E-mail Monster, a new book by my friends and long-ago colleagues Lynn Coffman and Michael Valentine. It’s a quick read, and valuable for anyone consumed by email and struggling to find time and bandwidth to do their real work.

Lynn and Michael have briefly listed 96 ideas (one per page) that can help you get control. They don’t delve into the specifics of each technique (“Click on Tools/Options/Preferences,” etc.) — you may need to Google how to do some of the things they recommend — but they do provide the important underlying concepts. You’ll know what to do and why to do it.

As David Allen often says, many of these ideas are nothing more than “advanced common sense.” But common sense isn’t always that common, and the frantic chaos of the workplace frequently buries common sense beneath a pile of competing commitments. This short book is a good reminder that answering email is not, in fact, your job, and provides good ideas for getting re-focused on creating real value.