Home Work

Home Work

A weekly advice podcast for people who work from home, whether freelancer or telecommuter. We address listener-submitted questions, comments and concerns about all aspects of working from home. You can submit your questions here.

Hosted by Dave Caolo and Harry Marks.

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199: Season 2: Episode 6 - Email Tech with Patrick Rhone

March 7, 2016 at 9:00AM • 60 minutes • Wiki Entry

Dave welcomes Patrick Rhone to the show to chat about email technology.

This week's episode was sponsored by FreshBooks. To get FreshBooks free for 30 days, go to FreshBooks.com/homework and enter 'Home Work' in the “How did you hear about us?" section.

This episode was also sponsored by Igloo, the modern intranet for your business content and collaboration. Sign up today and try it for free at igloosoftware.com/homework.

Lastly, we're proud to be sponsored this week by Wealthfront. 5by5 visitors get their first $15,000 managed free. Be sure to visit today!

Show Notes & Links Presented by CacheFly

When it comes to working from home, this week's guest is a real pro. Author and writer Patrick Rhone has been working from home for many years. His now-retired Minimal Mac site garnered him quite a following. He's written several books like "Enough" and "This Could Help".

Patrick's minimalist, only-what's-necessary attitude is applied to all aspects of his life, including email. This week, Patrick and Dave get down to working with email and why he's lucky (?) enough to receive only email he's happy to read (more or less).

Crazy fact: Patrick was the show's very first guest way back in episode 7, 2012. Wow, four years ago?

Show highlights:

9'15": Patrick answers, "When did you start working from home?" His answer: "I took the 12 weeks of paternity leave after [my daughter] was born and didn't go back." How many of us were motivated to work from home by the birth of a child? I know I sure was. The ability to never miss a school event and avoid costly daycare is a real godsend.

11'12": What is it that you do when you work from home? Writing and tech consulting.

15'09": In a recent post entitled "Proven", Patrick describes the long-standing proven technologies that he relies on, including email. "Slack inspired me to write [this post]." Patrick is not a fan, but Dave loves it.

Patrick and I discuss choosing the right venue for a communication. An email thread that generates 15 back-and-forth messages in so many minutes probably should be a phone call or a real-time chat. Slack can fill that role for sure, but replace email entirely?

20'22": How the telephone answering machine had such a profound impact on communication and even foretold the era of distraction we experience today. "Before answering machines, all the onus was on you to get in touch. A phone rings, no one is home, you've got to decide when to call back based on your knowledge of that person's life. Now, the onus is on the 'callee,' not the caller."

24'56": "The problem with email boils down to people are dropping responsibility on me and I don't know how to properly explain what my rules are. It's a responsibility in communication issue."

35'02": Plaintext and email as proven, future-proof technologies.