brown and white dragon illustration 
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Remotely working with me

I am old.

I am ancient.

I can tell you about the days when dinosaurs still roamed the earth and how my first startup selling asteroid & meteorite counter-measures failed because the dinosaurs wouldn’t believe that they have a problem or even the risk of a problem.

I am so old that I use email. My life runs on email. Not SMS. Not Discord. Not Slack. Not Telegram. Not Whatsup. Not Signal. Not Facebook/Messenger. Not LinkedIn Messaging and assuredly not any communication system that I had not previously heard of.

My workflow runs on email.

It works best when you use

yellow and orange dinosaur toy
Photo by Louise Smith on Unsplash
  • subject lines that match the bodies including changing the subject lines as appropriate on replies,
  • the bodies have only a single subject or action item,
  • my work email for work and my non-work email for non-work,
  • links that actually work without my sending a request to allow access when I try to follow them,
  • proper filenames for any attachment or item I am going to download, and,
  • file formats that I can actually read.


A proper filename has

  • a date or version number, so I can tell that I am looking at the current version,
  • your name or your company name, so I don’t have a lot of documents named “3 Minute Pitch” in my download folder,
  • only letters, numbers, hyphens, underbars, and if you really must, spaces; absolutely nothing else, and,
  • no more than 40 characters.

If you want comments, use page numbers; preferably sequential unique consecutive page numbers starting at one.

If you want comments on a textual document, send it to me as Google/Docs where I can insert comments. (Other people might prefer something else on this.)

I can read PDFs, ms/office, and apple/productivity documents. (Many people cannot read ms/office and apple/productivity documents.) I can only read English, so if your document is not in English, please also send me an English translation of it.

assorted-color dinosaur toys near slice cake on white table
Photo by Joyce Adams on Unsplash

Being ancient I expect people to keep their commitments, to be on time for meetings, and to give advanced warnings whenever they might be unable to do so.

And since it has become a very large world, it would be helpful whenever you mention a time, to include a timezone. Ideally a date (relative to that timezone) as well.

Perhaps I should learn to function in this brave new world, but it’s hard to teach an old dinosaur new tricks.

Almost as hard as it is to learn new software when you’re an old dinsoaur.

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals

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Single Topic Emails

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