- You get a buzz when you check your inbox for the first time each day.
- You use your inbox as a task list.
- You haven’t turned off new message alerts in Outlook.
- After a desk-side chat with a colleague that raises an action, you say “can you send that to me in an email?”
- Things that aren’t sent to you as emails don’t get done.
- You forward emails to yourself to move them to the top of the pile.
- You’ve deleted your inbox out of anger/frustration, only to restore it later out of fear.
- You start conversations with “I’ve just sent you an email about xyz” and then repeat the content verbally.
- You use inbox folders as a project management tool.
- You wouldn’t know what to do next if your inbox was empty – not that it ever will be.
The “death of email” saga continues, with the old guard still trying to work out what could possibly replace it. The rest are either saying "from my cold dead hand" or putting their trust in generation-Y to solve the problem for them.
It’s time to cut the cord but the reality is that there won’t be a big bang shift from email to shiny new collaborative tools. Why? Because until all of your customers have dropped email as a main communication channel, you can’t drop email. One organisation deciding to ban email internally is not a turning point. If they pull it off, it’s a proof-of-concept - but a few “this wouldn’t have happened if we were still using email” statements uttered in the board room could pull the plug on the whole thing.
I’m looking forward to the day when I see a LinkedIn discussion “What ever happened to email?” In the meantime, here’s a tip that most people could benefit from (including myself):
- “Limit your word count when making a point” - Impose a 20 word limit on emails.
Next up: Why anybody who attends a meeting with no agenda should be shot.