The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

#noemail at the End of 2014

As usual, XKCD nails it with a set of panels on email and #noemail and phone and fax. It makes so much sense — Snapchat or Fax instead of email or voicemail.

What is email?

But a new report from Pew Research on the perceived importance of work communication says people at work value email over even “the internet.” I have nits to pick here. the biggest one being that email is part of the internet. I think the survey meant to ask the Web, but just as the same Pew folks did a quiz about how well you “know the Web” which asked several questions that were about the internet as a whole and about apps that are not Web apps — this drives me bananas.

A lot of people are concerned about productivity and the negative impact of email on the office. Over the past week or so:

Perry Timms of i-Practice was interviewed about #noemail by Claire Burge at her blog. Irony alert: To find out more about i-Practice, just click on the mailto: link and you will send email to Perry.

Andy Swann of The Work Project writes about The Last Days of Email in Medium. Subtitled “Re-humanising the way I communicate” (yes he is British and so we get “s” for “z” occasionally), Andy encourages more human contact (without saying as I’ve said here that we are engaged in a robot war against evil robots (spam), well-meaning robots (sending notifications and the like), humans that act like robots (ReplyAll, acknowledging to an entire list, etc) and the robotic architecture of email itself). Call him or follow him on Twitter. Both are more human. I agree.

Founder and CEO of Pyrus, the workplace collaboration and productivity platform, Max Nalsky writes in The Next Web that “How quitting email helped my company communicate better”. Rather than tell how he did it with examples, Nalsky provides a better service; he suggests several solutions for various size companies and includes a section advice for “brave CEOs.” Among the suggested tools are Slack, HipChat, TigerText and building your own solutions.

Another person collecting #noemail stories for productivity is the aforementioned Claire Burge who interviewed Perry Timms. It all started with a moment of madness. I had simply had enough of email. It ruled my workday and I didn’t want it to dictate my life anymore. And so I decided to quit… Burge writes on her page dedicated to “Living a Life Without Email,” which is the tag line long used by Luis Suarez. Burge includes a link to a video interview with Suarez. She also offers workshops on reducing dependence of email within your workplace.

All of the above, and I, are offering more social solutions for increased productivity and a better life. But venture capitalist, Fred Wilson insists “Social is over” and it is increasingly being replaced by Messaging and Mobile.

“What Just Happened?” Wilson asks. And having seen this trend myself, I too wonder what’s in store for the new year.


  1. Fair cop on the irony alert re my website. Just like I had to enter my email address in to make this comment.

    I’ve just started moving away from email now helping move others away so I will correct that irony on my website – thanks for pointing it out.

    I am still using email whilst everyone else is. I am helping them think about alternatives one exchange at a time. I am running a zero inbox though as a self- derived success criteria.

    Habits are 20+ years old here so it’s going to take a while.

    Enjoyed the post. Keep up the useful work.

  2. Paul

    1/5/2015 at 8:59 am

    True on entering email to post here. I should have added OpenID options years ago – part of the pain of hosting my own WP instance from since 2004. I too need the update ;->

  3. Paul

    1/5/2015 at 11:34 am

    Added first crack at Twitter and Facebook logins. Twitter seems to be fine, but Facebook is a little but wonky.
    Let me know if you have problems

  4. Paul

    1/5/2015 at 2:37 pm

    Yes both seem to be working now. Thanks to Perry for getting me to finally make this well-overdue change.

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