The Wrong Way to Solve Email Overload

Apple Mail iconEmail software vendor Xobni has released a new survey showing that people are addicted to email:

  • 72% check email on weekends or while on vacation;
  • 42% check email while off sick;
  • and 19% even check email while in bed;

Those numbers sound believable, but I really can’t go along with their suggested solution: manage those emails better.

Don’t get me wrong. I thing Xobni is a great way for Microsoft Outlook users to organize their emails around their social connections, rather than just by sender, date, or subject field.

But in my experience, people want to reduce the number of emails they get every day, not just categorize them more efficiently.

What I’m seeing more and more today – at least in large organizations – is that secure internal micro-blogging is emerging as the go-to tool for streamlining collaboration while reducing email overload.

Whether via a dedicated app like Yammer or a complete social networking platform like Socialtext, internal micro-blogging lets people easily share high-value information – status updates, questions and answers, links, files, ideas, project milestones, blog posts, images and much more.

When customers analyze their Socialtext Signals content, they typically report not only a lot of valuable information sharing, but also an increased agility in dealing with exceptions that don’t fit standard business processes.

Now, your email inbox isn’t about to go away, so by all means use Xobni or something else to help keep it organized. But while you’re at it, email a few of your colleagues and start exploring how your company might effectively use secure internal micro-blogging, and what effect that could have on everyone’s email volumes.