Mobile Signature Makes One-Line Email Socially Acceptable

March 10, 2009

Email Time-Saving Tip
In the depths of email overload desperation last week, I wished email messages had an 140-character limit like Twitter updates do. In response, two people recommended doing what Kevin Rose does: Set your desktop email signature to "Sent from my mobile phone."

It's a white lie that makes you look less rude for being short. It's annoying to have to fib (and embarrassing if you get caught somehow--of course all of Kevin's friends now know his "secret"). But for someone who gets more than 100 messages per day, this technique may be a matter of survival versus just saving time. Haven't set this up myself yet, but if I wind up at the bottom of another email mountain getting ready for a processing marathon, I just might.

Love it!

Sent from my mobile phone.

Matt Lynch [+1]
Mar 10 09 at 1:15 pm

That would only work for people who don’t know you well enough to know you have no intention of buying an iPhone. :)

infmom [+3]
Mar 10 09 at 1:21 pm

Make sure to set your email format to ‘text only’ to make it look more authentic, especially if you use Outlook or similar as a mail client.

four12 [+1]
Mar 10 09 at 1:34 pm

Make sure to set your email format to ‘text only’ to make it look more authentic, especially if you use Outlook or similar as a mail client.

Ohhh, great pointer, thanks.

Gina Trapani [+195]
Mar 10 09 at 1:44 pm

Although, I personally have no problem appearing rude.

Curtis Hollibaugh [+4]
Mar 10 09 at 3:24 pm

I’ll give it clever props.

Make sure ALL the reply-to’s are accurate, however: I know people who try and pass off emails as “sent from work” (at 3am or whatnot) when the formation of the reply-to et al clearly indicates it was created outside the system.


gyffes [+4]
Mar 10 09 at 3:43 pm


I consider it my freedom to decide on how I answer to emails – long or short.

I consider it as well my freedom to decide when I answer to an email. Email is by nature asynchronous, but people often think they can missuse it as IM.

It is just a matter of stating your position and habits.


Mar 11 09 at 12:55 am

Have a look at 19:25 of this video for another approach to managing your email replies.

You can be as rude as you like in the privacy of your own office, and no-one need know.

Elaine Aitken
Mar 11 09 at 6:10 am

I don’t view short e-mails as rude at all – I send them all the time, haven’t gotten any complaints.

Mitch Wagner [+7]
Mar 11 09 at 10:13 am

Paraphrasing something I heard at a journalism seminar a long time ago: Maybe the Internet needs fewer three-paragraph, formal, businesslike e-mails, and more 1-3 word e-mails, and long, chatty e-mails that go on for pages?

Mitch Wagner [+7]
Mar 12 09 at 2:05 pm

Comments are closed. Thanks for reading!