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

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Giving up on Work e-mail – Status Report on Week 40 (How to Get Rid of e-mail)

EventoBlog 2008 - EBE08 - Day 1And, slowly, but steadily, we are back in business! Yes, indeed, folks, last week, you would remember, was a quiet week over here due to yours truly being hit by a severe cold caught while attending one of the best 2.0 events in Spain at the moment (And probably one of the best out there in Europe, too!): EventoBlog 2008. And even though I am still not 100% up and running, things have improved tremendously and I am getting back, slowly, into the swing of things once again.

As you may have imagined, regular blogging activities will resume this week again, and while I am preparing the three blog posts with some of the highlights from such a wonderful event in Seville (i.e. EBE08), I thought I would pick things up with, yet again, another weekly progress report from my giving up on e-mail at work, which is going to become very handy as that was also the subject of the presentation I did on Sunday the week before and it surely provoked the kind of reactions I was hoping for. But let’s start one step at a time…

You would remember how over the last few weeks I have been blogging about an increasingly larger number of e-mails received, because of a numerous variety of reasons having to deal with my own clumsiness, the infamous "Reply to All" button and whatever else. Over time I was starting to get worried that I would end up on a dangerous frenzy of e-mail exchanges from which I would not be able to escape. Well, here you have got the progress report from the incoming e-mail count I got while I was on holidays, and then attending EventoBlog in Seville:

Excellent stuff, don’t you think? Back again, and after a couple of weeks of seeing such an increase, we are back in business and already on target for my follow up challenge, which is getting 20 e-mails, or less, a week! And a couple of weeks back, when I made the 10th month in a row without using e-mail at work (Yes, 10 months without using corporate e-mail!!), I eventually got 20 e-mails during that entire week! Not bad. Not bad at all, indeed!

And all of that while I have been away for the entire week, as well as attending and presenting at that particular event over the weekend, which is probably a much more compelling case! Wooohooo! I wonder what last week would be like … (More on that one coming up soon!)

For now, though, and after going through such a great week with some really interesting figures, I would want to share with you one interesting link, which I think would be quite relevant for this post, as well as making a short annotation on upcoming changes with regards to this particular blog. A whole bunch of folks have asked me offline whether it would be possible for me to eventually create a series of blog posts, in Spanish, describing what I am doing, what the experience is like, challenges, lessons learned, good tips / advice, things I have learned, how to get started themselves, etc. etc.

And time and time again I have been wanting to, but never found the chance, nor the opportunity, to make it happen. Well, that may well end up soon! And all of that thanks to EventoBlog! Why? More than anything else, because of the huge amount of reactions, skepticism and constructive feedback I have been receiving on what I have been doing all of these months! And I think it is time I engage as well with the Spanish blogosphere, more than anything else to help bring in further some more awareness on what it is like working, and living!, without e-mail at work.

So starting up very soon I will be putting together a number of blog posts that will try to link to some of those conversations and I will pick things up from there and try to get some dialogue going right here, BAU. But in Spanish! Thus we shall see how that goes.

For now though I would want to wrap up this particular blog post with an interesting link, which I think would be worth while reading for you folks, interested in the subject. It’s eventually a press interview I did with Delia Rodriguez (From Soytu.es), while at EBE08, where we had a good and lengthy conversation on what I have been doing, i.e. not using e-mail at work, and, as a result of it, she put together a really good read over at Cómo librarse del correo electrónico. Yes, it is an interview / article in Spanish and that’s why I think it would fit in quite nicely for those folks who were asking for additional content in Spanish as well.

Well, there it is. A rather lengthy interview with Delia where I have shared my experiences on what it is like not living with e-mail at work on a daily basis and have to struggle with it, but, instead, use it as one of the various other options, or choices, available out there, along with a whole bunch of social software tools. Then towards the end of the article she describes a number of different tips I have put together on how other folks can get started with it and gradually move away from e-mail. Yes, also in Spanish, but I think most of you folks would understand some of the concepts behind, as you would be able to relate to it quite a bit. Here you have got those tips:

"1. Identificar los correos sin valor. Suelen ser los informativos, los de resultados, los FYI (‘For Your Information’). Se pueden sustituir por un blog, que además tiene comentarios.
2. Acabar con las newsletters. También pueden ser sustituídas por Wikis, que pueden ser creados entre todos y no por unos editores. Cada grupo debe crear sus contenidos.
3. Comenzar un proyecto piloto con un grupo que utilice el software social. Que sea pequeño, así si falla no ocurre nada, pero si triunfa el ejemplo se extenderá.
4. Inculcar desde arriba que no mirar el correo electrónico es bueno. Si los grandes ejecutivos no lo manejan y tienen secretarias que se lo filtran ¿por qué no hacer lo mismo?

Thus there you have it, another week gone by, another week right on target and from here onwards, and as a way to help provide some additional answers to people’s queries mentioned during EventoBlog, very shortly I will start publishing some content in Spanish about what I am doing in this area, but also about the usual topics I have been blogging about as well all along. So, ¡¡prepárate porque va a ser divertido!!

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  1. I’ve just begun catching up on your ‘no email’ series after a friend of mine who attended EventoBlog let me know about you. I’ve been going through various similar experiences and I really appreciate how thorough you’ve been tracking your progress. Keep up the great work (English or Spanish is fine), and take care!

  2. Hi Jared! Many thanks for dropping by and for the feedback comments! I am really glad to hear you have also been addressing some of the main issues with e-mail as a collaboration and knowledge sharing tool and I shall certainly be checking out your blog to read some further details on your thoughts on re-purposing e-mail. I am surely planning on introducing some of the topics of conversation in Spanish, but most of the dialogue will still be in English. So happy to hear you will be sticking around either way. Good stuff!

    Thanks again for dropping by and speak to you soon!

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