I’m sitting at my desk, going through my email and reading 3 nearly identical suggestions to the same query. Don’t get me wrong, they are the same suggestions I would make, it’s just that I already know they’ve been made because I read my email Last-In-First-Read, instead of First-In-First-Read.
That means I’ve read the last email in the conversation thread first… so I can skip reading those other emails. If a reply is still warranted, I can send one reply to the entire conversation hopefully adding value or clarification to the suggestions already made. (Or just skip it and move onto the next, last, email.)
This technique not only saves me time, it saves me strife. Imagine coming back from vacation, say on an island with limited connectivity, and reading this stream of email:
“Hi lex, I was wondering if I could bounce some ideas off you. Are you free for lunch or coffee in the next couple of days?”
“Hi lex, I’m heading downtown this afternoon. Want to meet for coffee, I’d like your feedback on something.”
“Hi, Just wondering if you got my last couple of emails? I’d really like to talk something through with you before I make a final decision.”
“Hey lex, you okay? I haven’t heard back from you and usually you reply immediately. Should I be worried?”
“Okay, this is the 5th time I’ve emailed you… are you dead?”
Now imagine just reading the last one. How you would reply to email #1 is vastly different than your response to email #5, especially if this were a client/work related contact.
Thus, I read my email upside down. Bottom up. Last In, First Read.
How about you?