How I manage email, SMS, phone calls – how to contact me

(latest version of this text)


I receive many emails and other forms of communication. I enjoy quality contacts, but at the same time, I’d like to preserve my sanity (what’s left) and my efficiency… 🙂

So in order to avoid unmet expectations, I’d like to clarify below how I manage the numerous communication channels that technology gives us today.


I try to read my emails once and only once per day. I voluntarily limit email reading in order to focus on important vs urgent matters, to be more proactive vs passive and to reduce the number of interruptions. I usually don’t read my emails during the weekends and holidays. I don’t set a vacation message because I consider that a breach of my private life (this means that, on occasions, I might not reply for the duration of my holidays).

I consider email as asynchronous and for non urgent communication (please do not send me an email to cancel a meeting at the last minute, for example – I find this rude, actually).  See SMS section for urgent messages. You can expect a reply from me in 3 working days under normal circumstances (longer if I’m on holidays). I reply to most emails that expect a reply from me – unless they are rude, flame wars or “commercial cold calls”.

All commercial solicitations must be done by email. Please don’t send “commercial cold calls” emails several times – if I did not reply, I’m not interested.  I consider repeated emails rude and they significantly reduce my willingness to work with the author of such emails.

Please note that I’m on the Robinson list. If you don’t know what that is, read about it on Wikipedia. If you don’t know what Wikipedia is, well, then don’t contact me at all. 😉

Don’t put me on mailing lists without my prior consent. I’m in favor of opt-in. If you put me on a mailing list, this reduces my willingness to consider your product / service.

Don’t send me messages via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc… I have no commitment to reply to messages coming via social networks.

If you use whitelisting software to reduce your spam, don’t expect me to click to validate that I’m a legitimate sender.  I don’t want to bear the burden.  Imagine if everybody was doing that…  There are other ways to fight spam.

Phone – voice calls

Please only call me if we know each other and only for urgent matters (urgent means to be solved in a few hours time) – and try SMS first if possible. In other cases, send me an email first. I hate being called for commercial purposes. I don’t answer calls without a caller ID.  If you’re not sure if you should call, then send an email first.  This does not apply to my close friends, of course (you know who you are, dear).

Phone – voice mail

Please don’t leave me a message asking to call you back. Just leave a message with your questions or information you want to transmit to me.  Let’s be efficient.

I am on the “Don’t call me” list (ex-Robinson). See “emails section”.


Use SMS only for urgent communications and if we know each other. Please make sure it’s really urgent. Also make sure you receive a confirmation from me that I received your message.  I hate commercial solicitations by SMS. Now you know. 😉


To sum up, use the following channels to contact me, by order of preference:

  1. Email
  2. SMS
  3. Phone call

Besides that, I’ll be happy to be in touch with you. 🙂

It’s just a question of mutual respect.



A book from a friend

Scott is a friend that has been touched by cancer.  He’s American but he works in Belgium (small world!).  He recently wrote a book.  The profits will go to an initiative that helps research on Sarcoma, the rare bone cancer that also affected Pierre…

Buy the book to help research on cancer!



On Sat, Dec 5, 2009 at 4:09 PM, Scott wrote:

Dear Friends, after sharing a poem on this site, many of you encouraged me to write a book about our shared experience which I’ve done. I’m Not Lance! will be on and in New York area stores around Christmas. 100% profits will be dedicated to the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative and some members of this forum are thanked and recognized in the book.

Since it’s for charity, I’ve also arranged for electronic/rights free online distribution. You can buy a physical copy ($15) or download instantly from the below site ($5). The book dedicates a page to the Liddy Shriver foundation, asks the public to support it and states my own commitment to donate this book’s proceeds.

I hope you will share I’m Not Lance! with people in our community and I hope it helps the cause. You can see the book here now and shortly. I hope you like it!