Is eMail unsustainable and broken?


Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently said that Email was broken and it got me thinking about the scourge that is the inbox.

One issue lies in how smartphones and desktop computers are synchronized. Reading emails on your phone and then taking the extra step of marking them as unread so they will still be there on your desktop is a key problem, Mayer said.

This is exactly what happens, you read an email you cannot deal with at that moment and then it disappears under the stack, unless you do as Mayer says and set it unread its lost until the person chases you, that’s what happens to me anyway.

Remember back to when we received email, dealt with all 10 or 20 that came in a steady stream allowing us to do our day job? Now we get 100+ a day and it just never stops.

So Mayer is right, email is broken, but I think it is worse than that. The Yahoo chief is of course setting us up for something new in an attempt to put Yahoo back on the map, but ignore the sales pitch and think about it…

An office, many people sitting looking at screens, reading and writing email to others, often a few minutes or even seconds away and when a chat does occur the last request of the dialogue is to follow up the conversation in an email.

Companies concerned over the lack of collaboration end up buying tools to help the process occur. Trials have been done by some to have email free days, but stats show the same number of emails over the time.
With spam filters working pretty well targeted spam is an issue but from reputable sources you should block or have them remove you. Analytics projects try to work on a better ways of locating that email you received, from someone about something to do with your project, but you cannot remember the sender or anything else about it, probably because you read it briefly on the train on your mobile device.

Enough of this waffle where is the mobile link here? Well mobile has caused and continues to make this entire problem worse, it’s to easy to create emails, to easy to reply and generate more work and email chat like Instant Message often occurs, this should happen on IM and stay out of the inbox.

I wish I had the solution but I do believe that collaboration face to face (calls and video conferences are good to) are the answer, talk to each other, make some notes on your mobile device and free yourself of the nightmare, but for it to work we all have to join in.

Humans are naturally sociable so how did we beat it out of them in Corporate’ville?

Story source CIO.COM


Dealing with information overload!


A familiar sight and one that needs sorting, we must get better at dealing with this distraction.

Of course some office culture is more email oriented than others but on the whole most knowledge workers I come across have email overload, simply put, we are addicted to email.

It’s thought that each email we reply to generates another 1.5-2 emails in return, so spending a weekend tidying your inbox may be making it worse, also it could be that we are doing to much and struggling with our workload, and therefore the email is due to this. A different underlying problem, if you had less on, less people would be chasing you, and you would receive less email.

There are loads of hints and tips out there to deal the issue some drastic and others try to address the underlying behaviour, the problem is that we all need to do it not just those looking for a solution, or reading this!

Remember when you got your first Blackberry and you were in the minority? You could answer an email in a stolen moment of Drivel TV and the person who emailed you would receive the reply the next day, that Blackberry gave you an advantage! Then that person got a Blackberry, when you replied they would immediately reply with another question, or point of clarification, and eventually the Blackberry compounded the problem.

I’ve started flagging email for reply and literally leaving the rest, that way my flagged email is in effect my inbox, it’s a bit of a help, not the paradigm shift we need though.

Here’s a good article I came across while reading more on this, makes some good suggestions.

Coping with email overload

If you have a good idea on how to deal with this phenomenon drop me an email 🙂