Just send an email
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Just send an email

Anti-patterns for email-centric organizations

About the Book

It's 2070, yet another attempt to replace email messaging has fizzled. You are stuck with an overflowing inbox and wonder why in your large organization to get anything done you have to "just send me an email about it". Emails to ask for permission, emails to inform everyone about new regulations, endless email conversations to settle on a place and time for very important meetings. Critical data files buried within compressed email attachments that get lost right before you need to take a look at them.

Even if today there is probably no better solution to a-synchronous inter-personal communication than email, there are many ways to use it. In this book we have collected many examples of incorrect, inefficient or simply strange ways of using email communication between human people working in large and small organizations. Despite the age of the medium (born in the early 1970s), these anti-patterns are still abundant across what we call email-centric organizations.

We hope that you will not recognize many of the email anti-patterns we have documented, but in case you do -- well, there is some hope. By giving a name to the problem, you start realizing a solution should and can be found. To reach it, you can take advantage of the distilled experience in these pages and read the suggestions that accompany each anti-pattern. In case your organization has already graduated to a data-centric or process-centric maturity level, be aware that the risk of taking the shorcut and "just send it by email" is always lurking somewhere near.

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    • Management
    • Self-Help
    • Teamwork
    • Non-Fiction
    • Computers and Programming
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About the Author

Cesare Pautasso
Cesare Pautasso

Cesare Pautasso is Full Professor at the Software Institute, at USI, Lugano, Switzerland. His inbox contains too many emails going back all the way to 1991. You can find out more information about his research, teaching, and consulting activities on http://www.pautasso.info. He has also published e-books about the "BPMN Sketch Miner" (2019), "Software Architecture: visual lecture notes" (2020) and "Beautiful APIs" (2021).

Reader Testimonials


Insightful and Practical: A Must-Read

Unlock email efficiency with 'Just Send an Email: Anti-Patterns for Email-Centric Organizations.' This essential guide reveals common pitfalls and practical strategies to streamline communication and boost productivity. Whether seasoned or new, master email etiquette and thrive in the digital workplace.

Table of Contents

  • Just send an email
  • Introduction
    • What’s so special about email anyway?
  • Anti-Patterns for email-centric organizations
    • How do you know you are in an email-centric organization?
  • Icons
    • Disclaimer
  • Unsecured Sensitive Mail
  • Monday Morning Mail
  • 5pm reply
  • Happy Holidays
  • Redirect
  • Bumped-up
  • Ticketless Support
  • Room.Booking.Mail
  • FAQ Autoreply
  • Apply by Mail
  • Process Patch
  • On Behalf
  • To for Two
  • Attached Body
  • Datamail
  • Dear Tpyo
  • Lightning Reply
  • Useless Acknowledgement
  • Re:gret
  • Untimely Reminder
  • Fw’d:cc’d
  • Eager Undetected Reply
  • Unintended Reply-To-All
    • Reply-All Storms
  • Unfinished Reply
  • Fuzzy Link
  • Collaborative Edit
  • Web Master Mail
  • Email from God
  • Email Anti-Patterns Summaries
  • Conclusions
    • What is the evidence?
    • Do I really need to send an email?
    • What to do when the next email arrives?
    • @JustSendAnEmail
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
    • Email
    • Anti-Patterns

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