Nested emails: the bane of bundling.

A heartfelt plea from a non-Windows, non-Outlook user: sending a string of emails, containing other emails, containing attachments, is a huge timesuck. Think how much advice I could’ve given in the time I spent disentangling it…

I’ll keep this short. Sending Counsel nested emails is a waste of your client’s money.

What do I mean by “nested emails”? They’re the Mac-using barrister’s bane. Emails containing not only file attachments, in multiple formats, but other emails. And those emails have attachments, and yet more emails. And so on, in a babushka-doll spiral of frustration.

If you use a PC, and live out of Outlook, then this is a pain. Open each email. Save its contents. Then open each of the new emails as well; save theirs. And so on. Tedious, but manageable.

But if you use a Mac, the story’s different. Even in Outlook or Mail, not all the attached emails open properly. Saving them other than as PDFs can be problematic. And if – like me – you’ve found other email tools (in my case Spark) to offer advantages you can’t live without, then you’re stuffed. Back to Outlook. Just for that.

Honestly, by the time I’ve extracted everything, saved it all as PDFs (so I can see it all in one place and mark it up) and packaged it together, that’s anything up to an hour. And if we’ve agreed five hours for advice… well, do the maths.

In practice, of course, this time isn’t chargeable. I just suck it up. But if time is money, losing it to something like this leaves a bitter taste.

So what’s the answer? Absent a tacit agreement to bury nested emails in a deep, dark hole – not, of course, going to happen – swear quietly and just get on with it? Probably. Although be aware that since this is a pain point, every client who doesn’t deliver papers this way is automatically on my Angel list.

Or perhaps someone’s come up with tools to cope? That’s for next time.