“I’m refusing to put my email address on my new business cards. Inspired or foolhardy? #whatsayyou?”
Here are some of the replies I got:
“foolhardy we are in a social circle but not everyone is!”
“Seems a bit pointless – surely the aim of a card is to help people get in touch?”
“the logical extension of your stand would be to delete your email altogether! That would make you an early adopter”
Granted, email does have some valuable uses. It remains the de-facto sign up tool for sites and services and as a community manager, it helps me manage users, registrations and alerts. It is also useful for sharing documents although I personally find file sharing services like dropbox and mobile me etc much better. It is not this use of email that I object to. Nor is email, when used in this way, a burden on my (our) everyday lives.
For me, the problems start when email becomes a substitute for conversation. And I am not alone it seems. HBR recently suggested it was time for a vendetta against email – here here!
So, as this is my second blog post on the subject I have decided the time is right to act, or rather to take control. And the first step as you have seen is to remove the email address on my cards. Of course, Im not going to stop using email completeIy – I will still have one, (In fact I have 10 email accounts – of which 5 I use every day) and will give it to clients and contacts once we are engaged. But instead of handing it out willy nilly, and settling for a stilted dialogue over the ether, I’m opting to talk more to people instead. And I’m encouraging them to talk to me.
Other things I’m going to try:
- Checking my email less frequently – twice during a normal day max
- Put an auto-respond on my email accounts – telling people I check my email less frequently and to call me instead
- Cull my email accounts – I’m finally going to let go of some and consolidate on one or two (Hat tip to @marcmapes for the inspiration)
- Increase my use of file sharing and collaboration tools
So fellow blog readers, going back to my original tweet, what do you think? Foolhardy or inspired? And what useful tips do you have to reduce the evil burden of email?!