Of the nine essays in Morespace, the most practical and immediately applicable essay is "Work is Broken" by Marc Orchant. Marc's essay alone would be worth the price of the book because it has the ability to make you instanly more productive and effective at work. Marc works for a firm that has evaluated all the major productivity systems and taken the good parts from each to implement a workflow that fixes meetings, emails, powerpoint presentations, and other areas of work that seem to suck the time away.
Marc begins by pointing out how work is broken. My favorite example is the email heading he provides that says FW: FW: RE: Your last message regarding… What does that mean? Nothing. It conveys no information without opening it and reading the main body (which may be buried in forwards). Marc has included a list of tags (shown below) that his company uses to help people deal with email information by informing them in the subject line of the action required. They use them on every email they send.
- RR: Reply Requested
- RRAL: Reply Requested At Leisure
- URG: Urgent
- NRN: No Reply Necessary
- RAL: Read at Leisure
- IMP: Important (but not requiring action)
- INT: Internal (policy and procedure announcements)
- SAI: Strategic Awareness Info (industry news, etc.)
- FYI: For Your Information (no action required)
Marc also discusses brainstorming, mindmapping, "six thinking hats", GTD, how to fix meetings, and lots of other cool useful stuff. He includes as an appendix the "Contract for Communications" that his company uses.
This is one reason that Morespace is such a good book. It mixes philosophical big picture essays with practical use-it-tomorrow kinds of stuff. It's a total solution to business complacency. Go to the site and download your copy, or pick up a handful or the bound paper version to distribute at your company. Your co-workers will love it.
Also, check out Jory's analysis of the essay I wrote.