Between being a grad student and working two jobs, I spend a lot of time answering emails. I’d say at least half of my time in graduate assistantship is spent responding to emails that come into the journal. It would be great if I could cut that time back so that I could spend more time organizing the information that comes in.
When I stumbled across Five Sentences I thought that there was no way it would work for me. The theory is to treat all emails as if they were SMS messages, but because characters are too hard to track (and would be time consuming to count) they suggest that you limit your responses to five sentences instead.
After putting this into practice, I’ve cut down on my email time quite a bit.
When you arrive at the site, there’s not much to do it just explains the premise behind it and offers you an optional bit of text that you can copy and paste into your e-mail signature, so that people will know why your e-mail was five sentences, and I think to encourage them to respond in kind. They even offer a two, three, and four sentence option as well.
This site also made me rethink the way I reply to certain types of emails, and I decided to create some letter templates (all under five sentences) that I can just copy and past into an email. It’s really helped a lot.
I hope you’ll check it out and give it a try yourself!