Think outside the Inbox to reduce email and information overload

As IORG Social Media Chair, for the past four weeks my theme has been whether or not email overload will still be a problem in 2019 and if so how to reduce it.

Clearly, there are now multiple excellent other ways to communicate electronically from instant messaging via Skype for Business or What’s App to sophisticated collaborative tools like Slack or SharePoint.  Sadly, what often happens is that organisations adopt alternatives to email with no clear guidelines on what to use when. With no clear conventions and frameworks all that happens is that email overload turns into a severe attack of information overload because now you have at least three if not four or five different channels to check.

In the absence of organisational guidelines, here is a simple framework which others with whom I have worked have found very useful.  Its called the PNPD Framework for Thinking Outside the Inbox

For any form of communication, there are basically four factors to consider when deciding which medium to use.

  1. Privacy – what level of privacy is needed?
  2. Numbers – is it one-to-one or one-to-many
  3. Permanency – do you need an audit trail of the exchange?
  4. Delicacy – how important is it to be able to see the other persons reaction as you converse so as to moderate what you say accordingly?

Here are two examples of how to apply the PNPD framwork to think outside the inbox to reduce email and information overload.

For more information on the PNPD Thinking Outside the Inbox Framework see Taking Control of Your Inbox.

It is my view that email is here to stay and the real challenge is how to manage our use of it better.

What is your view?

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