I know. I’ve said this before. But I’m sure of it. There is more stuff in my inbox than amoebae in a comfortably decaying puddle of ice-cream. Just looking @ my mailbox gives me slight nausea. More email than anyone can possibly deal with, and that on a quiet day. The fact that all those digitally encoded and encrypted pieces of art arrive on my BlackBerry does not really make a difference. There they are, mails… most of them pure information (fine, I’ll file it), questions that mattered yesterday (ok, so?), spam or silly jokes. About all of them marked with red exclamation marks. If I need to read them all, I cannot work anymore. At all. Heck, life as I’m used to know it stops. So I ban most of this email mountain temporarily out of my life, keeping secured timeslots in my agenda to sift through them. Early morning. Noon. Mid afternoon. Just before diner.
Last week, a train trip to London allowed me to file, respond to or trash 992 mails. No kidding. And earlier this week I had to sms a client on his mobile phone to have a look @ my mail, on his BlackBerry. He had over 300 mails in back-log. So much for e-mail as an effective way of communicating. 🙁
Email, is the new snail mail. It has become about as efficient as a quick communication tool as sending a letter in Christmas-card period. Actually if you chose your stamp wisely, you might get noticed way earlier using snail-mail. Or send a pigeon… 🙂
Back to fast sms to interact with mobile people. SMS for the fast track, email for stuff that can wait. I believed Twitter messages might be good. But Twitter world is getting so crowded that it’s getting difficult to see the trees through the forest. So your best option: IM. Instant Messenger, complete with camera-feed and audio for fast, cheap and instantaneous reaction when it matters. Works on PC, laptop, smartphone, Berry, and –I heard- even on iPhone…
Most of my communication with clients and teams runs over IM these days. It saves me time. It is as close to inter-acting as it gets, it’s useful when phone calls or life meetings are a stretch. It’s refreshing, real time, ad hoc communication.
It frees up time that I now can spend meeting people. Meeting people. IRL In real Life. Can you imagine? 🙂