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The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage Your Email Before It Manages You
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The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage Your Email Before It Manages You

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  211 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Offers an easy-to-implement solution to a problem--e-mail and information overload--that plagues millions of people Draws on the authors' extensive experience working with major corporate clients Includes a real-world case study of how the principles in the book were implemented at Capital One Do you spend so much time dealing with e-mails--reading them, writing them, resp ...more
ebook, 144 pages
Published May 19th 2008 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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K.D. Absolutely
A practical book that can make you save time to focus on more important things in the office. I am talking of the time that you normally spend on work emails. When I started reading this book last week, I immediately implemented some of the major ideas in this book and in one of my emails my boss wrote back: "Great work here." Not sure it was because of sending him only one email instead of 8 or the way I crafted those emails making them more actionable, concise, direct-to-the-point and with onl ...more
Stuart
Aug 28, 2012 Stuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good book, a quick read at least. It had some good tips for dealing with work email (not really practical for personal email). The strangest thing was the book was partially about how to make email direct and to the point. But, the book took winding roads to make it longer. You probably could have got the message across in 4 chapters.

Still, worth reading if you feel overwhelmed by work email.
Artful Existence
This book has great tips on decreasing email overload and better managing your information, whether at work or at home. I am excited to start implementing some of the ideas. However, I felt the book was corny with the hamster. The hamster wasn't an analogy, it was literal where one of the main characters was a hamster and didn't even know it. I just thought that that whole idea was lame. I understand why the authors thought it would be witty and fun to do this, since people with email overload a ...more
Lisa
Oct 24, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book! The hamster thing is just kitschy but the comparison to spinning your wheels all day in email is real... I took away a number of ideas for myself personally to use though some will not work exactly...it was worth it to me, I have stopped to think about why I am sending an email, if it is necessary (can i thank them in person next time i see them or in a different message that has a purpose besides saying thank you, etc), how to present the content to make it most effective, et ...more
Linda
Jul 17, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: professional
I can't believe that this book has been out for 5 years and I haven't read it before. I discovered it as a by-product of a training I wanted to take at UNC Greeley. I was unable to attend but my boss was present and shared that this was the primary basis for the presentation. The suggestions in the book seem very practical and I will be working to implement them. I'd recommend this book to anyone who feels their inbox is out of control. In the words of Harold the hamster, "one small step for the ...more
Kevin
Apr 28, 2009 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super simple, nothing really revolutionary, but did highlight the fact that no one really know how to 'speak' email.

This is what you need to think about when writing one:

Brief, Warm Greeting

Action Summary
* Specific action, purpose & response time
* Dig up context

Background:
* Clear, concise and relevant
* Bullet points & numbers
* clear ,bold paragraph titles

Close:
*Next step and niceties
* sig


done! I've used the template quite a bit and it does really seem to help.
Erin
This could have been a lot shorter without the cutesy stuff, and the book wasn't long to begin with! But Harold the hamster makes it feel a lot longer.

I really liked the email template system provided, and have found it to be easy to translate to what I do. I found the first half of the book to be quite useful to me and it has made me more conscious about what I send.

The folder system described just does not work for me, but that's a personal preference.
Tama
Aug 11, 2013 Tama rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After finishing the book, I must say that even though I thought the hamster analogy was good, I could have done without the hamster/client being threaded through the entire book. Not sure there was really any new info here. Has made me more confident in picking up the phone instead of sending multiple emails back and forth. Also liked the concept of writing efficient emails. Not sure how to get others to send me efficient emails. I will have to work on that.
David
Mar 05, 2013 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Takes the fable approach to introducing concepts related to more efficient email practices through the story of coaching sessions with a person who has turned into a real life hamster.

Because, you know, someone moved his cheese. And he can't find it in his email inbox.

The concepts are solid, but nothing in here will (for me) displace the topics taught in Take Back Your Life, by Sally McGhee.

Jen
Aug 19, 2008 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I actualy listened to the audio book for this one. I learned a little but it wasn't mind-blowing. I think if you've read Getting Things Done, this won't come as much of surprise. The big take away is to be more critical of the e-mails you send out.
Karen Serquinia
Dec 14, 2012 Karen Serquinia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super quick read - less than a couple of hours. Good info about managing your email and good advice for getting others in your work life to adopt at least some of the principles. Looking forward to our team defining and using these strategies!
Mark Peterson
Not bad -- some good ideas on how to get a handle on E-mail. Need to tailor to your own work environment, especially those who work in Dept of Defense or a non-profit. Didn't like the "hamster" analogy/picture -- seemed kind of trite and sophmoric at times.
Heather
Good techniques for managing email and pare overflow both professionally and personally. I will be setting up my Evernotes Notebooks via the COTA-PAO categories. The Harold Hamster stuff got tedious, but overall a good book.
Mary-Jo
Sep 05, 2011 Mary-Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some parts of this book should be required reading for everyone in our lives. The book demonstrates how to be courteous in drafting the subject line and the actual body of the e-mail to spare your reader wasted time and frustration.
Karen
May 05, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short read and a little on the slow side. I will do anything to get email under control so it is definitely worth a try! Not sure about COTA but I will give it a go because I have somewhere around 75 folders!
Matthew Melville
Feb 11, 2011 Matthew Melville rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
It was AMAZINGLY helpful at tackling the challenge of "email overload"...which I have been living in for awhile now!
In a few weeks, I've totally changed my outlook on e-mail and for the first time feel I can manage it on a daily basis.
A must read for e-mail users!
Sheri Radford
Although I enjoyed the content of this book and found it extremely helpful, I found it difficult to get past the central conceit of a man having lengthy conversations with a businessman who has turned into a hamster. It was too cutesy for the useful, informative content.
Reneeo83
Jun 25, 2012 Reneeo83 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. Helped me manage and organize my email so that I am always in control of it and not the other way around.
Jessica
May 26, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had to read this book for work. There is some good information, but it could have been summarized in an article, rather than drawn out into a 100+ page book.
G.hoogendoorn
Je e-mail de baas, nederlandse versie
Carla
Apr 16, 2013 Carla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Super easy read. I was assigned this book to read for work. While it didn't provide me with new information, I like the suggestion of having an template.
Fran Lapham
It's a quick, easy read. A little cheesy (no pun intended), but has GREAT concepts. All associates at my company are required to read it and it really streamlines the e-mail communication.
Leah
Mar 31, 2014 Leah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were alot of great tips in this book for controlling email and filing items. One of the better books I have read in this regard.
Trisha Doucet
This definitely gave me some ideas on helping to be a better coworker and on managing massive amounts of email.
Lisa Murray
fabulous and concise
Jennifer
Aug 20, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not that helpful, the gimmick gets in the way.
Ian Saville
Oct 12, 2013 Ian Saville rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Email crush? This short parable gives you some tips to keep you near, if not straight up absolutely down to inbox 0. Quite a nice thing.
Emre
Emre rated it it was ok
Nov 20, 2015
dancingBeagles
dancingBeagles rated it it was amazing
Sep 15, 2016
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