I work for a small company – 14 of us in the UK – that’s it. One of our products is designed to support people in the way they manage their day-to-day activities. I get it. What I don’t get is the fact that our culture has turned email into a primary method of communication . I get too much email – most of if is a waste of time (writing, sending and then having to reply). People have replaced simple conversation with “email conversation”. What I mean is six emails to arrange a place and time to meet when it could have been a simple [voice] conversation of less than a minute.

Why do we do it? Why rely on this stupid stupid means of communicating for simple things?

One person that works for me uses email to cover her “ass”, as she puts it. She wants a record of each “conversation” so that she can protect herself. Consquently, in a conversation on the phone she forgets what is said!

A lot of people at work have push email to PDA phones…the source of much frustration! People with these phones seem eager to use them as a form of IM/chat!!  Am I the only one getting annoyed by this? I know the benefits of having push email – especially when you’re away from home without the laptop (saves you coming back to a full inbox etc.), but do you really need to have access to your email 24-hrs a day??? What happens when you don’t respond immediately? People get annoyed! Today we expect an immediate response to everything…

Should we be encouraging more email traffic?  I have taken to managing email in blocks. I do an hour (at the most) in a morning when I first arrive, and then I don’t check it again until after lunch. Anything urgent, pick up the phone. And, don’t cc me on emails as I won’t read them – they are not to me…

Personal email, on the other hand, is a different matter… 😉