Is the writing on the wall for email?

Monday March 30th, 2015, 8:19 am

fountain penSeveral companies have now adopted writing as a way to reduce email overload according to a recent article by Emma De Vita in the Financial Times.  One company now uses notices board to post project updates rather than sending endless email chains.

From my own clients one uses whiteboards to post social and ephemeral notices such as ‘fire alarm tests’, ‘celebration cakes for tea’ etc.  They have whiteboards placed strategically around the office and messages can vary depending on what specific groups are doing.  One person said that an added benefit was how much you learn about what is going on in other parts of the department.

One business avoids endless email chains by writing their comments on documents and proposals.  Only when all parties have commented does the senior project manager then read the proposal.

Other clients encourage people to rebuff requests to ‘send me an email’.  Instead they tell the person making the request to take ownership and write down what is being asked of them.

We are seeing a great resurgence in traditional writing tools such as pen and paper.  What novel ways such as these have you used to help reduce email overload?

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One response to “Is the writing on the wall for email?”

  1. I’m still a big fan of “paper” for the right purposes. I still use it for taking notes during meetings and while on conference calls. I use a “Circa” notebook with easily removable/movable pages, and as part of my weekly review sessions, I update my tasks lists, calendars, and project plans with the notes that I took during the week.
    Nice thing about my circa notebook is that the battery never dies, it doesn’t make “clickity-clack” noises when I take notes, and is light and easy to port between meetings. Most importantly, there is no possibility of getting ‘distracted’ during a meeting by my laptop screen – can’t tell you how often half the meeting attendees aren’t even paying attention and just doing “other stuff” on their laptops – why even have the meeting if people aren’t going to engage ?! Michael