Email has it pretty bad. Who doesn’t love to hate on email?
On Friday Fred Wilson joined in with a Fun Friday conversation about why we hate email.
I was talking with an old friend yesterday about how much we all hate email. So I thought we could spend friday at AVC collectively hating on email.
Don’t Shoot The Messenger
Perhaps email isn’t the problem; the people sending the emails are and we’re guilty of shooting the messenger. And if people are at the root of the issue then won’t the problem remain even if we move those email conversations into other tools?
One of the things I love most is the asynchronous nature of email, meaning both sides – the sender and recipient – can work at their own schedule. Phone calls, face-to-face meetings, even IM all require everyone involved to stop what they were working on and join into the conversation.
To be sure, Fred likely gets orders of magnitude more email than I do so he’s allowed a different perspective. But maybe it doesn’t have to be so bad. So Fred, here’s how I’d solve your email issues.
5 Ways To Stop Hating Email
I want to keep track of responses to important emails. Boomerang for Gmail is a must install GMail add-on that lets you keep track of responses, or more importantly when someone doesn’t respond.
I want to get rid of Calendar invite spam. Ugh. I’m lucky I don’t have Fred’s calendar. If I did, though, I’d first setup a filter to get rid of calendar invites from my inbox. Then I’d use something like Doodle or Less Meeting to start scheduling meetings the right way.
I want to find emails without using folders/labels. Google is the search king so GMail is the easy answer, especially using advanced search operators.
I want to multitask within GMail. I with you on this one Fred. Although Gmail’s recent update allowing multiple compose windows to be open at the same time was a big help for me.
I want a better mobile email experience. Mailbox won’t solve all mobile email problems, but it’s better than most. I try to avoid email on my phone as much as I can for some of the same reasons Fred lists, so if that’s an option for you too just say no to mobile email.
Email isn’t perfect.
And even with these tools & tips above there’s still a non-insignificant amount of “inbox management” required.
If I had to choose, though, email would be one of the last communication mediums I’d be willing to give up.
(PS – I opt to get my AVC updates emailed to me instead of RSS, visiting the site, twitter, etc.)