Update Dec 2015: I wrote a book entitled “Don’t Reply-All” – click here to check it out on Amazon.
One pet peeve that I share with a lot of people I know is the use of “Reply All” in email – especially when every recipient on the mailing list doesn’t need to be included in the response.
It’s very frustrating and such a waste of time having to click through useless back and forth email chatter when the topic doesn’t apply to me. The problem is that because I’m copied on the email chain, I falsely assume that I have to read all the messages and therefore I cannot just ignore them. In my previous job, this caused such a major productivity issue that the company literally removed the “Reply All” button and hid it so that employees think twice about using the feature.
If you’re the person replying back, there is only one simple, obvious rule that you need to follow: Don’t use “reply all” if only the original sender needs to read your message.
Of course, there are many situations where it makes sense to respond back to everyone on the list, such as for brainstorming ideas or for updating working documents. However, most cases don’t require that everyone read what you have to say, especially if it’s one of the following 5 annoying replies that frequently come up:
P.S. – I wrote a book entitled “Don’t Reply-All” that helps you write better emails and improve communication with your team. Click here to check it out on Amazon.