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PRODUCTIVITY

The Productivity Value of 'Sent From My iPhone'

Think of it like a get-out-of-jail-free card.
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If you email from an iPhone, maybe that line that automatically plugs into your signature--"Sent from my iPhone"--feels tacky, like you're being used as a marketing arm for Apple. Or maybe you do in fact love your iPhone, but the signature makes you feel uncomfortable because you're not the type to humblebrag.

While many have opted to turn off the setting, though, others have found professional use for it. In a post on Boston tech news site BetaBoston, WorkLife.io CEO Jasmeet Sawhney explores unintended benefits of the signature line. His ideas might convince you to reactivate your iPhone signature, or if you're not the Apple type, to create a similar tagline on your phone. (Microsoft employs a "Sent from my Windows phone" signature on its smartphones.)

Check out Sawhney's post for his entire ode, but a couple of his points show how the brief note can actually serve as a productivity hack.

1. Get out of jail free. Nobody writes better on their smartphone than they do sitting at a desktop. They just don't. And while typing with your thumbs is no excuse to forget the basic rules of grammar and etiquette, or to begin speaking in tongues, it does give you a little license for missing a comma or an apostrophe here or there (or for misspelling a word you might double check if afforded a bigger screen...like apostrophe).

The smartphone user that checks to ensure that every email reads perfect, or that their left thumb didn't hit a stray letter, is bound to waste a lot time. But the disclaimer that you are, in fact, on your phone affords you some leeway as it pertains to mistakes, and it makes brevity more acceptable, too.

Worth noting: The elements that make the signature line a productivity hack in the first place--that mistakes are easier to make when typing on a phone--should serve as a reminder that the most important emails, the ones that require your full attention, probably shouldn't be sent from your phone in the first place.

2. Put the onus on the receiver. "Sent from my iPhone" also carries a symbolic value. Namely, it shows the receiver that you mean business. Away from the office, not at the desktop? Pff--you email anyway! Sure, everybody emails from their smartphones. But the signature line ensures that the receiver knows you did. Everybody approaches work-life balance differently, but in an effort to reciprocate that kind of commitment to correspondence, the receiver might just respond back to you just as quickly.

However, Sawhney notes: "Depending on the type of email response, you need to be careful. You don’t want to write a single-sentence reply to a week-old email that demands a long and detailed answer; it will only make you look careless and ignorant."

If you're really feeling skeezed out about being used as a marketing tool, you can always create an original signature line that still serves these purposes. Something like, "Please excuse any typos and the brevity of this message, which was sent from my smartphone" would do the trick.

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: Apr 3, 2014




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