Category Archives: Maggie

Help Cranky Out!

Posted by: Maggie

Hi friends!

We’re in the middle of our redesign process for Cranky. We’re working furiously behind the scenes here to give you a better, prettier, more easily navigable site.

As we work, I’m thinking about adding a Frequently Asked Questions page since I get some common comments on posts. I’d love to hear any questions you all have for me!

Check out the new and improved About Us page and if there’s anything I left out that you’d love to know about us or the blog, send me a question via Formspring! Thanks for the help friends!

Fabulous Friday: The Email Charter

Posted by: Maggie

I had something else planned for today’s Fabulous Friday post, but after spending more than four hours yesterday going through and replying to email from the last three weeks that I didn’t have time to get to earlier, I changed my mind.

Earlier this week I read about Chris Anderson & Jane Wulf’s Email Charter over at Swiss Miss, and I loooooved it! Please check it out and join me in trying to spend less time working on our inboxes!

10 Rules to Reverse the Email Spiral

1. Respect Recipients’ Time
This is the fundamental rule. As the message sender, the onus is on YOU to minimize the time your email will take to process. Even if it means taking more time at your end before sending.

2. Short or Slow is not Rude
Let’s mutually agree to cut each other some slack. Given the email load we’re all facing, it’s OK if replies take a while coming and if they don’t give detailed responses to all your questions. No one wants to come over as brusque, so please don’t take it personally. We just want our lives back!

3. Celebrate Clarity
Start with a subject line that clearly labels the topic, and maybe includes a status category [Info], [Action], [Time Sens] [Low Priority]. Use crisp, muddle-free sentences. If the email has to be longer than five sentences, make sure the first provides the basic reason for writing. Avoid strange fonts and colors.

4. Quash Open-Ended Questions
It is asking a lot to send someone an email with four long paragraphs of turgid text followed by “Thoughts?”. Even well-intended-but-open questions like “How can I help?” may not be that helpful. Email generosity requires simplifying, easy-to-answer questions. “Can I help best by a) calling b) visiting or c) staying right out of it?!”

5. Slash Surplus cc’s
cc’s are like mating bunnies. For every recipient you add, you are dramatically multiplying total response time. Not to be done lightly! When there are multiple recipients, please don’t default to ‘Reply All’. Maybe you only need to cc a couple of people on the original thread. Or none.

6. Tighten the Thread

Some emails depend for their meaning on context. Which means it’s usually right to include the thread being responded to. But it’s rare that a thread should extend to more than 3 emails. Before sending, cut what’s not relevant. Or consider making a phone call instead.

7. Attack Attachments
Don’t use graphics files as logos or signatures that appear as attachments. Time is wasted trying to see if there’s something to open. Even worse is sending text as an attachment when it could have been included in the body of the email.

8. Give these Gifts: EOM NNTR
If your email message can be expressed in half a dozen words, just put it in the subject line, followed by EOM (= End of Message). This saves the recipient having to actually open the message. Ending a note with “No need to respond” or NNTR, is a wonderful act of generosity. Many acronyms confuse as much as help, but these two are golden and deserve wide adoption.

9. Cut Contentless Responses
You don’t need to reply to every email, especially not those that are themselves clear responses. An email saying “Thanks for your note. I’m in.” does not need you to reply “Great.” That just cost someone another 30 seconds.

10. Disconnect!
If we all agreed to spend less time doing email, we’d all get less email! Consider calendaring half-days at work where you can’t go online. Or a commitment to email-free weekends. Or an ‘auto-response’ that references this charter. And don’t forget to smell the roses.

Pinterest LA Meetup!

Posted by: Maggie

Last week I went to the Pinterest LA meetup (I know two events in one week! That makes up for the last three months of leaving the house only to take Eleanor to and from school). I posted about my love for Pinterest over on Maggie Keegan Gross Photography a few months ago. It’s a fantastic place to keep track of all the visual inspiration you find all over the web, share it with friends, and see what’s inspiring them. Because I love it so, I thought it would be fun to head out to Urbanic Paper (the cutest store ever) in Venice to meet up with some fellow pinners.

And it was! It was filled with LA creative types, who all looked effortlessly cute. They made me want to go on a serious shopping spree. I got to talk to some interesting Angelinos, and I even got to meet one of my blogging idols, Joy Cho of Oh Joy! She was very nice and very politely listened while I tried to convince her to add more baby style posts to her blog (she is pregnant after all). I don’t think I sold her on the idea.

Erin (that’s her taking a photo of me taking a photo of her, you can see her’s HERE), who I finally got to meet in person at the Arrojo launch party earlier in the week, was my date for the evening! I had so much fun getting to know her on our long drive to Venice! Thanks for being my date Erin! I had a blast!

If you haven’t joined Pinterest, I really recommend it, check it our HERE, and follow my boards HERE!

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