Musings from the CU Suite

Jan 13, 2012

Emails; Interchange; Social Media

I've seen a definite uptick in articles about email.  And they aren't good.

From the CNN article, the CEO who wants to ban email had researched the issue and found some troubling statistics.

Breton estimates that only 10% of the 200 messages his employees receive on an average day are useful, and that 18% is spam. Managers spend between 5 and 20 hours a week reading and writing e-mails, he says.

That's fairly depressing.  (Now, I know that this entire post is a tad ironic coming from a trade association person.  NAFCU sends out quite a few emails. Guilty. This year, however, we're moving to consolidate multiple emails that go to member CEOs in the hopes of reducing in-box accumulation. It's a step in the right direction.)

All of these stories paint a clear picture, though.  Employees are struggling to keep up with information overload - and email is a big part of the problem. 

Personally, I'll try to focus on the following this year:

  • Using the delay delivery on my Outlook email system. It allows me to prepare an email in the evening when I think about something, but deliver it later, such as the next day at 10:30 a.m. The goal would be to deliver emails only during NAFCU working hours, unless I'm responding to a direct request from a colleague or NAFCU member seeking assistance.  This doesn't cut down on the number of emails, though.  But it may reduce the liklihood that a Blackberry buzzes during hours when folks should be allowed to focus on family, friends, or the Kardashians.
  • My colleague Eric noted that most email programs allow you to save a draft.  So if an idea hits you in the middle of the night, type up that email. But save it as a draft.  Then send it when you return to the office in the morning.  
  • I'll also try to cut down on unnecessary "FYIs", and "reply-alls."  Also, I'll communicate to my colleagues that they don't need to acknowledge one of my emails with an "OK."  I'll assume they received it.
  • I'll also try to start measuring the flow of emails to NAFCU employees.  It would be interesting to know if this is getting better or worse around here. 

Here's a very good article (Venture Beat) that gives 10 tips on how to manage your email inbox. But I'm sure there are other great ideas out there.  Have any of you have devised an inventive way to tame the email beast?  

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Interchange. Here's a recent article that caught my eye.  According to this blog post (Big Think), quite a few companies are trying to bypass credit cards by turning mobile devices into payment platforms.  If you are curious how one of these systems would work, here's an explanation from Dwolla, one of the companies that is trying to move into this space.

It isn't clear that these companies will succeed in replacing debit and credit cards.  But even if they get some traction, such companies will create downward pressure on debit and credit card interchange income as time progresses. 

***

Top 10 Social Media Sins? Check out this NAFCU Services Blog post on deadly social media sins your credit union might want to avoid.  I like it for a number of reasons, beyond the content. It was written by my colleague David.  And it involves a list.  I love lists. 

Have a great weekend, everyone.