March 30, 2023

Lately, I’ve noticed just how many people, especially in the herbal world, have auto-responders on in their email inboxes letting people know that they often take several days (or more) to reply to messages.

One person - and I’ve forgotten who (so sorry!) - has a note that theirs is a gentle inbox ❤️ Another one I saw recently mentions that they are prioritizing caring for their family, community, and clients and will be back in touch soon-ish.

I’ve also observed over the years that within the herbal community, it’s pretty normal for folks to take at least a few days, if not a week or more, to reply to messages - with or without an auto-reply.

I’ve been mulling over whether to add an auto-reply to my own work inbox.

When I get an auto-reply from someone else, I don’t find it off-putting.

I love knowing that at least some people have gotten disentangled from email urgency. I also think it shows respect and appreciation for the people who email you to give a sense for your own timeline, especially if it’s pretty far off of what’s normally done in your field.

Seeing these auto-replies on other people’s inboxes feels like a permission slip to me.

If you have one: thank you. It makes a difference to me to receive it.

It’s a call to think more specifically about how often I want or need to respond to email, and about how and whether to articulate this decision.

I’m curious about whether you have specific parameters around your inbox and response times, and also how you feel about auto-replies.

Love them? Find them irritating or unnecessary? Have one yourself?

Reply & let me know, or chime in on a LinkedIn thread I started on the topic.

Take care,


About Camille Freeman, LDN, RH (she/her)

Hi there! I'm a clinical herbalist and licensed nutritionist specializing in fertility and menstrual health. I run the Monday Mentoring community of practice and also offer continuing education programs for highly-trained herbalists and nutritionists (Check out this year's Deep Dive!). I'm also a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where I teach physiology, pathophysiology, and mindful eating.

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