E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Giving up on Work e-mail – Status Report on Week 23 (When Not to Use e-mail)

Coming closer to the six months barrier since I got things started, here I go again sharing with you folks the progress weekly report on my new reality of giving up on e-mail, corporate e-mail, that is. This time around on week 23 and after a very interesting week last week, where the blog posts I have shared previously seemed to have had the desired effect, judging by the number of e-mails received thus far today, Monday. But that would be the subject for another upcoming progress report. Not to worry…

Let’s get down to business though on what happened last week and see if there were any changes. Here is the weekly report:

As you would be able to see, things have gone back to "normal" with a total incoming count of 34 e-mails for the entire week! This is really good news, because it’s a clear indication of how the previous week was just an isolated event, as I have been explaining all along on that weekly progress report. It is also interesting to see how the days with the highest peaks of e-mails coming through are actually Monday & Tuesday, while Fridays seem to be pretty quiet, which means that folks perhaps would want to get their delegated tasks going at the beginning of the week, so that you can complete them by Friday. And on this particular day things seem to be rather quiet, because perhaps those folks presume you are busy working on the backlog of e-mails received at the beginning of the week. Interesting trend to watch…

Either way, you would be able to see how low the numbers seem to consistently be as we get closer to the weekend, which I can’t blame, because, at least, they are not carried over for over the weekend! 🙂 But really pleased to see how the numbers have gone down substantially from the previous week, where an unusual activity was taking place given those two scenarios I described earlier on of an incorrect usage of e-mail.

Thus, what else happened during the course of last week? (You may be wondering, right?) Well, plenty of interesting things that I will be mentioning over here as time goes by over the next few days; however, for now, I would want to point you into a very insightful and thought-provoking link that I been reading lately and which pretty much comes to conclude the exact same thing I have been saying for a while on the kind of interactions that I still feel should be going through e-mail.

It is a link I have been talking about with Dave Pollard over in Twitter as we have been exchanging some thoughts on some of the stuff that he blogged about over nearly a year and a half ago! and what I have been doing over the last few months when I decide to stop using e-mail at work. Yes, indeed, this interesting link is from Dave’s blog itself under the very suggestive title "When Not to Use e-mail".

In it, you will see how Dave puts together a whole bunch of really good reasons as to why e-mail is perhaps not the best of scenarios to share information, knowledge, etc. with others in a specific context. I would strongly encourage you all to go ahead and read his very enlightening article, but for now, I am just going to tease you all with what you are going to find and here are the ten scenarios that Dave feels should not be handled through e-mail. Oh, by the way, I can’t stress well enough how much in agreement I really am with him on this one and you will see what I mean after you get reading further with this initial list:

"1. To communicate bad news, complaints or criticism
2. When you are seeking information that is not simple and straight-forward
3. When you are seeking approval on something that is involved or controversial
4. When you’re sending a few people complicated instructions
5. When you are asking for comments on a long document
6. To request information from a group on a recurring basis
7. To convey instructions to a large number of people
8. To achieve consensus
9. To explore a subject or idea
10. To send news, interesting documents, links, policies, directory updates and other ‘FYI’ stuff

Like I said, to read further up on each of the different scenarios, I can certainly recommend Dave’s article itself. You would be off to a really great read and I am sure, after you have read it all, how it would come to  mind the one single item that is clearly an exception to what I am trying to do, as the main reason why I would still make use of e-mail while at work: those one-on-one private conversations of a confidential or sensitive nature, where only the other person & myself have a got a need to know. No-one else! For the rest, everything else is going out in the public, open & transparent collaborative and knowledge sharing spaces!

If you have taken a few minutes to read through Dave’s blog post you would be able to see how scenario after scenario he is already indicating, and very clearly, where e-mail keeps failing to meet our new demands of a more collaborative and knowledge sharing nature that the 21st century is providing us with while we get to embrace, more and more, Enterprise Social Software or Social Computing Tools in general.

Thus, if you still thought that you don’t need to re-purpose how you are using e-mail on a daily basis, read further Dave’s article and I am sure it would make you think twice about it again. To me, I just got convinced more and more how I need to keep pushing for re-purposing my incoming e-mails, because e-mail is clearly not meeting my needs any longer, while I am attempting to work smarter, not necessarily harder… How about you?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 votes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *