[This is the second in a series about e-mail. Read earlier posts under the category e-mail.]
It seems e-mail overload is inevitable as long as people reach for the sometimes sinister “cc” field. By including everyone in your address book, or even a handful of people who you might like to include in a discussion, you can create an overwhelming influx of mail. The cc field also has political issues. Some employees will include a higher up simply to make the main recipient look bad.
Here’s a simple rule to institute in your e-mail policy (your organization does have an e-mail policy, doesn’t it?): If someone needs to know something, then send it. But if it’s just nice to know, don’t cc it.
If you simply must forward a message, make sure it’s readable. This includes deleting all the irrelevant To and From fields and sending it in a usable format, even if it requires copying the contents of message attachments and pasting them into another.