More and more I find myself quickly reading e-mails and trying to figure out the one place where I can add value to the conversation. Rather than replying to the whole e-mail I just reply with the critical bit of knowledge I can provide and let the other conversation topics just lay on the floor.
The problem is that in order to do that I need to frame that response to make it clear that I am just responding to a specific part of that original e-mail. One of the things that I am a proponent of is “one thought per e-mail” where you spin off a thread of conversation for each discrete topic rather than layering on additional concepts.
I believe that this helps readers of e-mails because:
- They can check-out of the thread early as soon as it drops below a certain level of relevance.
- You can be more targeted with the thread in the first place.
- Helps keep the thread on topic, if the thread is very focused it isn’t going to ramble on into something that is less relevant.