Email is a tremendous way to communicate. It has revolutionised our world in the last twenty years, but there are also many downsides to this phenomena … here are 10 reasons why email might not be so great!
1. People become driven by their email … they are obsessed with it! If an email arrives it MUST be read now! This is a very unproductive way to work.
2. Email is cheap and therefore it gets abused. It is easy for the mass marketer to spam us, yet as spam blocking tools get better so the more sophisticated the spammers get at circumventing the tools.
3. Email is the biggest offender in the spread of viruses that disrupt networks.
4. The volume of email, and associated spam, grows at an exponential rate each year … when will it become totally unmanageable?
5. Email is impersonal, yet we use it to communicate very sensitive messages.
6. People hide behind their computers … even emailing between work colleagues who might work a couple of offices down the hall!
7. Email propagates bad grammar. We use short form sentences and abbreviated words, rather than practice good grammar.
8. We assume that if we send email then it must be received by the intended person yet many times emails are caught in spam filters, or for various reasons are not received by the intended person.
9. It is easy to send email to the wrong person. How many times have you responded to all without thinking? Or maybe mistyped the name using “type ahead” capability?
10. Email is killing the personal touch … the hand-written card or the in person conversation.
Some thoughts about using email more effectively …
1. Plan your days, and fit email into your plan (as opposed to doing everything else around email).
2. Use a good spam blocking service.
3. During core business hours only open emails from those people you consider important … clients, the boss, emails where the subject is relevant to closing business.
4. Set time aside to write hand written cards … thanks for the meeting, thanks for the business, congratulations on your promotion, happy birthday etc.
5. Set time aside for face to face meetings with clients, colleagues etc. Set up these meetings before dealing with email.
6. Use the advanced features of your email package to have emails automatically sorted into relevant folders.
7. Do not sign up for newsletters that are not critical to your role.
I’m sure there are lots of suggestions … any more?