Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

The Email Charter

Posted on 04 July 2011 3 comments

I can often be found moaning about email, so you can imagine my delight this morning when I came across the Email Charter, via Tina’s blog.

The project, started by TED’s Chris Anderson, is essentially — to quote the website — ‘ten rules to reverse the email spiral.’ Some, such as, ‘Slash Surplus cc’s,’ are obvious; others, like, ‘Give these Gifts: EOM NNTR,’ are perhaps not. My personal favourite is rule #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.

~ The Email Charter

If the rules outlined in this charter become universally adopted, our inboxes — and, in fact, the world — will be happier places.


  1. Dan Rubin

    Dan Rubin

    04 July 2011 @ 02:03PM #

    It’s an excellent idea, but the problem with charters and rules is that the people who need to read and adopt them, never do.

    I keep trying to find reason why we still need email — I can’t come up with a very long list anymore. Perhaps it is a medium which has lost its general usefulness? How often do we all use Twitter, SMS, DMs, phone calls, or other forms of communication to get in touch with others? I find myself using email as a last resort, and keeping my email client closed most days, knowing that the most important information will get to me via other channels.

    I’d love to see people stop using email altogether, at least for long enough that we all can sort out what we actually need it for.

  2. Nanda


    04 July 2011 @ 02:10PM #

    Bravo, much needed.

    Email hell = receive email, read litle pop up notification, decide that it can be deferred till later, short time later receive another email, same sender asking if I received first email, annoyed, I refuse to respond, receive phone call asking if I received the first email and why did I not respond to the second facepalm

  3. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    04 July 2011 @ 02:10PM #

    @ Dan: You have your email client closed for days?!? Kudos to you, matey. I’m good at that during weekends and time off, but I’ve yet to try it during actual ‘work’ periods. I’ll give it a go…

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