Reducing Information Pollution


Can Storage Architecture Mimic your Mental Folksonomy?

July 26, 2018 | Posted By mbaloney

Our search of gathered and stored content in our digital storage devices may be aided by secondary keys; yet the basic architecture is rows and columns unless you have a semantic storage system.

The advent of knowledge graphs (commercially available)  can transform your storage taxonomy into a folksonomy–saving time and overload of retrieved contents. Pruning our retrieval hits from external and internal searches should help reduce our information overload.


Focus on Important, Not Urgent Tasks to Reduce IO

July 19, 2018 | Posted By mbaloney

We tend to focus or prioritize our time on URGENT tasks without necessarily considering the importance of each task.

A variety of individuals have offered suggestions to reduce this bias.

Alice Boyes in a Harvard Business Review article proposed prioritizing tasks in consideration of your longer-term goals or “big picture.”

The Eisenhower Approach provides a 4 quadrant matrix for classifying your tasks.

Martha Beck in the Oprah Magazine adds helpful steps for adopting this process.

Hopefully, a focus on important tasks will reduce the amount of information required to complete your task list.

I however, found one missing element–an unimportant, but urgent task may have a deadline set by your boss that cannot be postponed.

Nonetheless, this proposal is worth your consideration.


Potential Guidance for Reducing FOMO–>IO

July 12, 2018 | Posted By mbaloney

As shared last week, FOMO can lead to addictive checking of all your social and work media channels resulting in increased stress and decreased productivity.

Dr. Axe provides a five-step process for decreasing cell phone addiction. Could also be applicable to e-mail inbox addiction.

Real-time messaging certainly has some benefits, e.g., alerts for traffic congestion, a loved one in trouble, a client’s critical complaint.

Human bandwidth, however, is a limited resource. Thus, some combination of message prioritization and behavior modification is needed to regain control of our lives from magnetic FOMO.

IORG’s October 23, 2018 IO Day program will address this FOMO attraction-avoidance dilemma.

Stay tunes for forthcoming announcement details.


Artificial Intelligence & Information Overload

July 11, 2018 | Posted By Eran Abramson

The following is an excerpt written by Yury Gubman, Knowmail’s Head of AI, from a recent IORG interview between Emanuele Terenzani (Lele), Yury, and myself about the need to use Artificial Intelligence to solve Information Overload. Read more…


July 5, 2018 | Posted By mbaloney

FOMO or Fear of Missing Out has become a national disease that impacts our personal and work lives.

Addiction to frequently checking our e-mail, Twitter, Instagram, etc. accounts singularly or overall diminishes time spent on work tasks and family activities.

Information overload Addiction will be the theme of IORG’s October 2018 “Information Overload Day” webinar program this fall.

Stay tuned for forthcoming details.

Aysel Safarova @ has an interesting blog post (3/17) discussing the impact of FOMO on worker productivity.

If you in the FOMO camp, this post may help you.


Overload from the leaders?

June 25, 2018 | Posted By Emailogic123

The relationship of Email upon leaders

Have you ever stopped to think about the impact that Managers’ emails have on the workforce? Emails sent by senior staff can inspire, engage and motivate.

But Managers and Directors can often send emails which are:

  •  Random, out of hours, very actioned based.
  •  Unclear, irrelevant or angry.
  •  Not aligned to the culture of the organisation and can be over bearing.
  • Poor email communication can cause a feeling of stress and worry which can impact well-being.


This story from Brigadier General Stanley McChrystal of the US Military encapsulates perfectly how important it is for leaders to really think about the way they communicate with those who report to them.

The example he gave was when he sent a short message to a group of military wives thanking them personally for their service. He noticed during a visit he made a few weeks later that one of them had framed his message and it was hanging up in their quarters.

McChrystal said this about the incident:

“And you suddenly realise how important you – as a leader – can be. You can have that impact. It does mean you can touch people and you should do that. So every time you have interactions you’ve got to figure out “How can I get this right?” . And you may have 150 in a day. And every comment you make to someone matters..”

So the point here is the impact of senior leaders with their communication. This relates perfectly to email as it is often the main method leaders use to communicate with people in the business on a day to day basis.

So it’s worth considering some attributes of successful, powerful leaders – and ask yourself if your email style is congruent with these:

  1. Does your email use clear, plain language that is accessible to everybody?
  2. Does your email reflect who you are as a person and as a leader?
  3. Are you asking for information in an explicit way – or is the message vague?
  4. Does it inspire others – or does it exacerbate a “blame culture”?

Email is transient – we click send maybe a hundred times a day but the effect that certain emails have on the recipients will surprise you.

The trouble is we rarely find out – often until it is too late. We do not see the reactions that are happening at the other end of our emails.

So why not ask some of your colleagues how they react to your emails? Whatever the feedback is treat it like gold dust.

A poor email culture – like any other culture – will never change if it is ignored and whilst every individual can make a difference, leaders have the biggest platform.

So the next time you are about to fire off an email to your team stop, re-read and reflect. Consider if this the type of email that they will want to frame and put on their desk?

Do not hit send before you have considered these implications.

Channel your inner McChrystal:  Inspire!   Motivate!   Lead!

The impact of email productivity training – Academic Research

June 22, 2018 | Posted By Emailogic123

Recently at Emailogic we had the opportunity to take part in an academic study to have email training tested for its  effectiveness on productivity and well-being.

Busy senior service managers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London UK all agreed that email overload was an issue needing attention.

100 of these senior managers attended an email best practice training course.

An independent academic research study was run alongside the training to measure the subsequent impact on the manager’s well-being and productivity. The study was conducted by an independent expert who specialises in well-being and productivity – Dr Bridget Juniper.

The study showed that after training the managers were statistically signifcantly:
– More focused, less distracted
– Working more effectively under pressure
– Improved well-being

They also saved 31.1 minutes every day reading, writing and managing emails.

“Email productivity training has had a significant, positive impact on managers’ performance and productivity. Better decisions and less stress will result in better care for our patients”.
Staynton Brown, Associate Director Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust – Click here to watch a video of Staynton Brown talking about the results.

Interestingly two control groups were included in the study. One was sent written email best practice guidelines but had no training. The second control group received no guidelines or training. The study results showed clearly that both control groups showed little or no change.

Managing email overload is becoming increasingly a problem for businesses of all shapes and sizes and the research is a real insight into how it can improve and make a real difference when it is addresses fully and with a solid strategy.

Overloading our health?

June 19, 2018 | Posted By Emailogic123


Is your reliance on email affecting your health? 

The US technology consultant Linda Stone has discovered that many of us unconsciously hold our breath, or breathe shallowly while responding to emails – a habit that can compound stress.

This can then add fuel to a host of other symptoms such as asthma, depression and obesity.

Another recent study by the Work & Health research centre at Loughborough University has proved many office workers suffer from physical as well as mental problems, due to a lack of exercise. One possible explanation for this was an increasing reliance on – an addiction to – email.

The staff surveyed were often relying on email rather than getting up to walk across
the room.

The research found that lack of physical activity affected more than 70% of the UK employees surveyed. This manifested itself in increased and longer periods of sick leave.

So the message is email less and have more face to face contact, when appropriate.

Sometimes email messages that go backwards and forwards several times actually take longer to write that a quick conversation covering the same issues, probably in richer and more valuable detail, would take.

Save yourself the daily stress and after a week, see the difference! Give this a try what have you to lose?

Is Less Information More?

May 30, 2018 | Posted By mbaloney

Nick Ingram (July 2016) states the known: more signal, less noise.

He also proposes that old information “stands the test of time” is more useful than new information.

Yet isn’t new information more actionable?

This proposal plus reducing social media input certainly could help reduce IO; yet current, relevant inputs should not be disregarded.

His website does have some interesting and valuable resources to browse.

MartyB #IORGforum

Interesting Remedy for Mayo Clinic EHR Information Overload

May 25, 2018 | Posted By mbaloney

After conducting 1500 interviews with clinicians, a complex rules set was developed to filter out “meaningless data” and create visualizations to focus attention on critical information elements.

This is an amazing remedy for abundant clinical information communicated real-time for patient care.

Worth your quick read: How the Mayo Clinic is combating information overload in critical care units

Marty B #IORGforum

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Can Storage Architecture Mimic your Mental Folksonomy?
Jul. 26, 2018

Our search of gathered and stored content in our digital storage devices may be aided by secondary keys; yet the basic architecture is rows and columns unless you have a semantic storage system.

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