Say ‘No’ to ‘Reply All’

Anyone who reads my blog knows how I struggle to tame my email. Lots of travel doesn’t help. In the past year, though, I’ve done a fairly good job of reigning in the emails.

One thing that doesn’t help is the “reply all” function. While it is important to send emails to groups of people, it does no one any good if you hit “reply all” to simply send a thank you or a short acknowledgement. Send it to the sender only, not the rest of us in the recipient list. All that you’ve done is clog inboxes.

Sometimes I wish the key could be removed. Or that it would at least come with a warning: “Are you sure you want to do this?” The answer should almost always be no.

Turns out I’m not alone in feeling this way about the function. Microsoft introduced a plug-in option on its Outlook program called NoReplyAll, which allows senders to prevent recipients from replying all to their messages. Sperry Software developed a program that actually asks the warning question, “Are you sure you want to reply to everyone?”

I don’t know if I’ll ever get the feature added at work, but I’m going to make an effort to never “reply all” unless everyone in the distribution truly needs to read my comments.

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