Thoughts on email signatures

With a blog post title like this, you can tell I’m a hit at parties…

Productivity for me means doing the little things as efficiently as possible. But efficiency isn’t always possible. Here’s a prime example.

My dependence on email signatures

Typing a contact entry is time-consuming. That’s why I use data detectors in macOS Mail.app to automate creation of contact entries using email signatures. Data detectors aren’t perfect, but even if they capture some of the contact info from an email signature, it saves me time.

I value having contact info properly organized. That makes it easier to retrieve when I need it. Contact data should not be in a flooded inbox. If it is, I can bet you don’t enjoy visiting your inbox AND that you need to read this Inbox Zero blog post.

When I can’t be efficient

My efforts to minimize time spent typing people’s contact info into my computer are foiled in several situations

No email signature

I can understand not using a full signature on a personal email address, but why send email from your business address WITHOUT an email signature? (That wasn’t a rhetorical question. Why?)

Graphics for email signatures

I’ve seen some snazzy branded email signatures in the form of .jpeg and .png. That said, these can’t be read by macOS data detectors. They also can’t easily be copied from an email and pasted into your contacts app.

LinkedIn’s declining functionality

This social network once enabled members to download .vcf files for connections. The network took whatever information you fed it – name, job title, company, email address, phone number, birthday, and so forth – and bundled it all into a .vcf. Once you open a .vcf file, it becomes a contact in your contacts application. Easier than the . Done.

Several years ago, LinkedIn discontinued this useful feature. I presume LinkedIn wanted to make members visit the site to get that information. This may drive traffic to the website, which doubtlessly increases the rates advertisers are willing to pay for the platform. LinkedIn’s presumed revenue gain is the organized member’s certain loss.

 

That’s the end of my ramblings on email signatures. I get the idea most people don’t rely on them the way I do, but if you have my particular brand of email-signature-related-OCD, tell me about it in the comments below.

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