Email Tips from the Pros: CEO Secrets to Managing Your Email

Email Tips from the Pros: CEO Secrets to Managing Your Email

Last week we shared a great article from Business Insider Singapore: “The email habits of Tim Cook, Bill Gates, and 16 other successful people”. It features a nice spread of founders and CEOs and gives some helpful insights into how these very busy people manage their email.

The whole thing is worth a read, but here are a few Timyo-pertinent highlights:

Jeff Weiner “sends less email to receive less email”.

The LinkedIn CEO noticed that his inbox was becoming overwhelmed. According to the article:

‘Turns out, it wasn’t just [my colleagues’] emails that were generating all of that inbox activity—it was my responses to their emails, the responses of the people who were added to those threads, the responses of the people those people subsequently copied, and so on,’ Weiner writes. He continues: ‘After recognizing this dynamic, I decided to conduct an experiment where I wouldn’t write an email unless absolutely necessary. End result: Materially fewer emails and a far more navigable inbox. I’ve tried to stick to the same rule ever since.”

Eliminating extraneous emails is central to Timyo’s mission. As Weiner points out, unnecessary emails grow exponentially—wasteful emails generating wasteful follow ups and on and on. Timyo cuts those emails down at the source by eliminating the need for “thanks for sending, I’ll get back to you ASAP!”-style follow ups.

Katia Beauchamp gives—and receives—response deadlines

The cofounder of beauty startup Birchbox has her employees put a response time in all of their internal emails. “It makes prioritization so much faster,” says Beauchamp.

At Timyo, we couldn’t agree more. Letting users clearly and easily request a response time at the top of outgoing emails is probably the single most striking feature that Timyo brings to email. By communicating your expectations clearly, you improve productivity for yourself and the recipient alike, and reduce stress load at the same time.

Tim Armstrong gets up early—but holds off on sending emails

The AOL CEO is one case where Timyo could be a huge help. He wakes up every day at 5, but avoids sending emails until after 7:00am (side note: I can’t believe there are people who thing “7:00am” qualifies as “late”…but maybe that’s why I’m not the CEO of AOL).

This is an admirable show of restraint and I’m sure his employees appreciate it, but if Armstrong’s team was using Timyo, there would be no need to hold off at all. By including expectations for when and if you need a reply, Timyo lets the night owl or morning lark email at whatever hour works for them, secure knowing that their coworkers and employees won’t feel pressure to read and respond immediately.

Tom Patterson emails in blocks

The CEO of men’s underwear company Tommy John sets aside blocks of time just for emailing…and outside of these hours, he ignores his inbox. This almost always guarantees a delayed response, but it also means that his employees have come to expect the delay, and it makes them pause to ask if they really need to send an email at all.

This is a great example of combating the culture of Automatic ASAP that Timyo also works so hard against. By taking a moment to consider when (or if) you really need a response, you end up sending fewer and better emails, resulting in fewer meaningless responses for you and less email for your entire network.

We are heartened to see people changing the way they think about email, and it’s no surprise that thought leaders and CEOs are taking the lead. We’re looking forward to making Timyo a vital part of the conversation as we work to revolutionize the email status quo!

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