How Do You Handle E-mails You Don’t Know How to Answer?August 2nd, 2007 · 8 comments
Like many productivity junkies, I’m a fan of the Inbox Zero concept, meaning I try to maintain an empty e-mail inbox. There is, however, one obstacle I keep tripping over: how do you deal with e-mails you don’t know how to answer?
You know the type. A long message that, for the sake of politeness, demands some response. But, alas, contains no direct questions or other indications of what to say in such a response.
These e-mails can linger in my inbox (or, sit, sadly, labeled with “reply” in my archive) indefinitely, until, eventually, overcome with guilt, I file for a name change and move to the midwest. Or delete it. Depending on my mood.
I’m seeking your help here. How do you deal with e-mails you don’t know how to answer?