I keep having conversations about email with various friends and colleagues.
Unlike the social feeds we use everyday, incoming email is not limited by folks that you explicitly follow. Anyone can leave you an email. Imagine if social apps worked liked that!
One very successful founder told me that he’s thinking about having an opt-in system in their office so that workers can easily block access email during the first few hours of work. The idea is that morning is when your mind is at it’s sharpest. Why do anything to distract it.
This reminds me of the lead story I read over on Techmeme today about a company taking this many steps further.
I like the vision behind Shortmail. I’ve signed up recently and I think it’s quite interesting.
There are other approaches that I use that are worth sharing.
A number of years ago, my partner Santo suggested that we shouldn’t use email to deal with any debates or big decisions. It wasn’t intuitive for me but I’ve come to really appreciate this guideline. There are times when we might occasionally break this rule but the number of times where something is soo time critical are few and far between.
The other thing i rely on is Sanebox. I’ve written about Sanebox before. My friend Stu Roseman is the founder and he built the product after hearing me whine about email on too many blog posts and lunches. I truly don’t know how i could deal with email w/o Sanebox.
I also rely on Kik for super priority messages. I have been encouraging all of my closest friends, family and founders/CEOs to use Kik and for the most part they have. I use Kik as my social and professional hotline and it’s a big improvement.
Email is a powerful service but it’s in need of technical and social improvement. I’d love to hear in the comments how you deal with it.