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The 3-sentence email revolution

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Work doesn’t have to suck, let’s make it better together

This weekly tweak is part of our series to make work better together - get it direct to your inbox.

Do you know those lovely long emails you can’t wait to wade through to get to the actual point? No?? That’s right because much like unicorns, they don’t exist (not without magic dust, and that’s hard to come by).

The average email is a small novella - coming in at 434 words - with 11% running to an eye-watering 900+ words 😵‍💫

We are inundated with emails and communications from multiple platforms. In 2021, users in the United States spent approximately 149 minutes daily spent checking their work emails. That's over 16 working days a year just reading emails! - eurgh this just doesn’t feel like a good use of our time.

Let's do a (very rough) back-of-a-napkin math

The average length of a sentence is 17 words.

So a 3 line email will typically be less than 60 words.

We typically receive spend 149 minutes reading our emails with an average word count of 434 words.

If we shorten them to 60 words and make a little adjustment for the emails we don’t read at all, we could save roughly 45 minutes a day on emails.

A Better Work Tweak - Cut 95% of your emails to three sentences or less.

A key point to note here is that the length of the email doesn’t really matter, what really matters is valuable useful information. Most of our general email traffic needs to make only one key point or ask.

It’s rare that an email requires more than three sentences. How much can you cut? What additional words, phrases, and sentences are surplus to requirements?

It’s so much harder to write a short concise email than a lengthy wordy one. Prioritise what is important for the reader and what is the action that needs to be taken or the information that needs to be communicated.

Over time and with practice, it can become a discipline that your colleagues and clients will thank you for.

A Better Tweak - our tip to make the tweak even better

If like us, you don’t want to appear curt in your emails, you can use something like this in your email signature or create your own (short concise explanation)


Q: Why is this email three sentences or less?



Now your only concern will be what to do with all that spare time you have left 🤔

Michelle Wallace


A Better Work


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Let’s make work better together.



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