[i started writing this post as a comment on megan murray’s blog post, actually, but it quickly grew into something more.]

i find email to be a burden to my work.

it’s the hammer in the tool box. the problem is, not every situation is a nail. sometimes you need a screwdriver, and other times you need a wrench. but we’re so dependent on email (i blame ms outlook for it) that we all try hammering in screws and bolts —even when we know it doesn’t work.

even though we have instant messaging, and even though we have enterprise 2.0 tools like wikis and blogs and more, we time and time again return to email.

i think part of the reason is because ms outlook isn’t a mail client anymore; it has become a platform. since people have it open all the time and communication is instant, we use it instead of IM. we send files using outlook instead of posting them to some other service (

like sharepoint.. ugh). we schedule meetings through outlook. we look up phone numbers and office locations through outlook. we hold long conversations in outlook. we ask questions in outlook, and we distribute information in outlook.

how frustrating is it, knowing that the place where you keep answers to your questions about multivariate calculus modeling for enterprise decision support is the same place that you keep information about server downtime from the internal IT department and notes about leftover sandwiches from the breakfast meeting being in the kitchen on the 4th floor? how can anyone find anything in that mess? we waste more time cleaning, sorting, and deleting messages from our inboxes that have no business being there. cleaning, sorting, and deleting messages just so that we can find what it is we’re actually looking for.

enterprise 2.0 systems need to be more than a collection of blogs, wikis, and other web 2.0 tools. it seems to me the easiest way to push adoption is to provide not just the screwdriver, or the socket set (metric, please) — we need to provide the hammer.

we have to add messaging! instant communication needs to be part of our e2.0 solutions. we need to create an internal facebook, with messaging, chat, and status updates/content sharing (micro-blogging) all in the same platform. we have to make it so that people can do their work — all their work — from within one internal platform.

all of our tools, hammers included, need to be in the same box.