Email thread gone out of control because someone spun it off? Long email trail forwarded from a colleague with the words “see below” and nothing else right at the top? A colleague asking for help because they have 100 folders, can’t find an email and can’t use search? I’ve even suffered reading through a LinkedIn article discussing best ways of signing off an email (apparently just use “Best”). Been there, done that, clicked the unsubscribe link at the bottom. The question really is not when can we replace email? more “how long is it actually going to take for us to make it happen?”.
Email really adds to people’s day. Email inboxes end up becoming a vastly over/under organized trove of information. Most of it pointless but some of it potentially treasure.
- Office Communication – My office uses Skype a lot because we can work anywhere, share desktops, make it a video call. Otherwise we go and talk to each other (but not before asking if the other person is busy). There’s also the phone system your office has had around since the 80s but you need to work out how to dial it first.
- Client Communication – Skype. Just do it. Video call people and watch their facial expressions as you let them down (gently). Phone them if you must but NEVER use email to arrange a call. It’s sad. So very sad.
- Knowledge – Nobody should be using email as an authoritative store of information. Full stop. It was never built for such a purpose. Deploy a Wiki, use Evernote or OneNote, find yourself a document management solution or make a network share to store stuff if you have to. Watch mishaps & misinformation fall and knowledge be recorded forever (or at least until ransomware nabs it).
- File Sharing – I get it. You need to send that critical file to colleagues before you send to the client. Or upload it to OneDrive and work on it together. Accept no print outs.
- Credential Sharing – IF YOU DO THIS PREPARE TO BE BOARDED BY PIRATES. Phone exchange works best but some SIP systems send traffic unsecured (!!!).
To summarise: you can make your life and others a lot easier just by ditching your 100 a day email habit. Let’s all get cracking before Inbox Zero makes a return.