12/12/12 = No Email Day #2

After all the great PR and positive feedback the ‘No Email Day’ 11/11/11 campaign received, a number of people have asked me to organise another in 2012. So, I’ve decided to declare 12/12/12 as the official date of the 2nd global ‘No Email Day’!

If you’d like to take part or help spread the word, please Follow us on Twitter @NoEmailDayHQ and/or ‘Like’ our Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/NoEmailDay

‘No Email Day’ featured in The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times (prestigious British newspaper) contacted me recently about my ‘No Email Day‘ campaign, after news broke that Atos would be banning internal email within 18 months.

After explaining more about the campaign and telling them about Luis Suarez (IBM’er who has gone almost 4yrs without email) and Mark Hurst (author of the excellent ‘Bit Literacy’), I was very pleased to see that The Sunday Times ran a piece on us all in their ‘News Review’ section on Sunday 18 Dec 2011.

(View .PDF of the article below):
The Sunday Times (18.12.11) – ‘Think outside the inbox and delete it all’

If you support the idea of a global ‘No Email Day’, please ‘Like’ our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/NoEmailDay and Follow us on Twitter @NoEmailDayHQ

The NO EMAIL DAY Manifesto

I wrote my very first ‘manifesto’ for my NO EMAIL DAY campaign for 11th November. It’s only short so please read and share with at least one other person for me.

.PDF version


Slideshare version

Any comments, feedback or suggestions for the campaign would be greatly appreciated.

Top Tip for Better Email Management & Productivity

It’s well documented that ‘information overload’ is a big cause of stress and anxiety in the workplace and an overflowing email Inbox can be a major culprit. Having a poor filing system can also slow us down and make it difficult to find the information we need when we want it.

I’m in the middle of reading a great book called ‘Bit Literacy’ by Mark Hurst which is full of tips and advice on improving productivity in the workplace.

My favourite is the following which I recommend that you try; 

  • Create a new folder in your Inbox called !TO DO LIST! (see screenshot below)
  • Spend some time ruthlessly reading, deleting and filing into sub-folders all remaining email that is currently sitting in your Inbox
  • All emails that still require an action should be moved into the !TO DO LIST!
  • The ultimate aim is to be left with a COMPLETELY empty Inbox at the end of each day (see screenshot below) and an empty !TO DO LIST! folder by the end of the week

Try it and I promise you’ll be amazed by how much more efficient and productive you feel.

Empty Inbox

Empty Inbox

To Do List


No Email Day (11.11.11)

Following my earlier blog post titled ‘The Race To ZERO‘, some friends and I have started a Facebook Campaign for a NO EMAIL DAY on 11th November 2011.

No Email Day (11.11.11)

We’re encouraging people to stop using email completely for 24hrs on 11.11.11 and do something more productive with the time saved instead.

This could simply involve other forms of communication like actually talking to someone face to face, picking up the phone or even writing a letter (remember those?) or spending time away from the office and work to reconnnect with the offline world.

We’re not anti-email. Far from it. It’s a vital and important part of our daily life and one of the greatest inventions known to man. However, it’s been overused and abused and hijacked by the spammers and time wasters over the years to the detriment of the whole human race.

If you sometimes feel like you spend too much time dealing with your emails rather than actually doing ‘real work’, please visit and ‘Like’ our Facebook Page at:


We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on better email management and being more productive at work and in life on our ‘Wall’ and any links to good resources or articles that you are aware of. Please also tell us what you will be replacing email with on 11.11.11.

(We’re also on Twitter @NoEmailDayHQ so it would be cool if you could Follow Us and Tweet about the campaign using the special hashtag #noemailday).

Please download, read and share the NO EMAIL DAY Manifesto below:

NO EMAIL DAY by Paul Lancaster (.PDF)

Paul Lancaster

Seth Godin’s Email Checklist

Although email is obviously a fantastic invention, there’s far too much of it about as people don’t think enough before writing and hitting send.

It’s worth remembering that every time you send someone an email you’re actually giving them more work to do, whether that’s reading, replying, forwarding, deleting or marking as spam. (See my earlier post titled ‘The Race To ZERO‘).

Author, thinker, genius and marketing guru Seth Godin recently wrote the following blog post which really resonated with me so I thought I would repost it here in full. Maybe it’ll make you stop and think before sending your next barrage of email(s)…!

Email checklist (maybe this time it’ll work!)

Three years ago this week, I posted this checklist, in the naive hope that it would eliminate (or perhaps merely reduce) the ridiculous CC-to-all emails about the carpool, the fake-charity forwards, the ALL CAPS yelling and the stupid PR spam.

A guy can hope, can’t he?

Feel free to send this to those that need to read it: Before you hit send on that next email, perhaps you should run down this list, just to be sure:

1. Is it going to just one person? (If yes, jump to #10)
2. Since it’s going to a group, have I thought about who is on my list?
3. Are they blind copied?
4. Did every person on the list really and truly opt in? Not like sort of, but really ask for it?
5. So that means that if I didn’t send it to them, they’d complain about not getting it?
6. See #5. If they wouldn’t complain, take them off!
7. That means, for example, that sending bulk email to a list of bloggers just cause they have blogs is not okay.
8. Aside: the definition of permission marketing: Anticipated, personal and relevant messages delivered to people who actually want to get them. Nowhere does it say anything about you and your needs as a sender. Probably none of my business, but I’m just letting you know how I feel. (And how your prospects feel).
9. Is the email from a real person? If it is, will hitting reply get a note back to that person? (if not, change it please).
10. Have I corresponded with this person before?
11. Really? They’ve written back? (if no, reconsider email).
12. If it is a cold-call email, and I’m sure it’s welcome, and I’m sure it’s not spam, then don’t apologize. If I need to apologize, then yes, it’s spam, and I’ll get the brand-hurt I deserve.
13. Am I angry? (If so, save as draft and come back to the note in one hour).
14. Could I do this note better with a phone call?
15. Am I blind-ccing my boss? If so, what will happen if the recipient finds out?
16. Is there anything in this email I don’t want the attorney general, the media or my boss seeing? (If so, hit delete).
17. Is any portion of the email in all caps? (If so, consider changing it.)
18. Is it in black type at a normal size?
19. Do I have my contact info at the bottom? (If not, consider adding it).
20. Have I included the line, “Please save the planet. Don’t print this email”? (If so, please delete the line and consider a job as a forest ranger or flight attendant).
21. Could this email be shorter?
22. Is there anyone copied on this email who could be left off the list?
23. Have I attached any files that are very big? (If so, google something like ‘send big files’ and consider your options.)
24. Have I attached any files that would work better in PDF format?
25. Are there any 🙂 or other emoticons involved? (If so, reconsider).
26. Am I forwarding someone else’s mail? (If so, will they be happy when they find out?)
27. Am I forwarding something about religion (mine or someone else’s)? (If so, delete).
28. Am I forwarding something about a virus or worldwide charity effort or other potential hoax? (If so, visit snopes and check to see if it’s ‘actually true).
29. Did I hit ‘reply all’? If so, am I glad I did? Does every person on the list need to see it?
30. Am I quoting back the original text in a helpful way? (Sending an email that says, in its entirety, “yes,” is not helpful).
31. If this email is to someone like Seth, did I check to make sure I know the difference between its and it’s? Just wondering.
32. If this is a press release, am I really sure that the recipient is going to be delighted to get it? Or am I taking advantage of the asymmetrical nature of email–free to send, expensive investment of time to read or delete?
33. Are there any little animated creatures in the footer of this email? Adorable kittens? Endangered species of any kind?
34. Bonus: Is there a long legal disclaimer at the bottom of my email? Why?
35. Bonus: Does the subject line make it easy to understand what’s to come and likely it will get filed properly?
36. If I had to pay 42 cents to send this email, would I?

Chris Anderson (Wired / TED) has come up with his own list as well.