Email is broken

I'm so close to giving up on Email all together.

I have many email accounts and they all do different things. Everything was cool till Evolution (my mail client) started being selective about what email it would download from the server. Before that I started noticing a load of email on my personal email address, so I was having to add spam control to that account.

Don't get me started on my work email. My BBC email is like the remains of a atom bomb. I blame Outlook 2003 for a start, add limited spam control and the fact my email address is everywhere online. You have a recipe for another atom bomb. Ideally I would use another mail client like Thunderbird but thats only half of the story. The out office no longer works, mail rules like automaticly forward messages are disabled and usually when I got time to reply to emails like at home while watching tv is made very difficult using a windows only VPN solution or hourly webmail option.

Yes its bloody frustrating and I can't help but think I'm much more productive when using social software. Hell even instant messenger is better for me that email.

Suw's talk from Fowa and Web2.0 Expo about the problems people have with email was only the start. I was seriously shaking my head up and down like a nodding dog when I heard Luis Suarez from IBM talk at the Web 2.0 Expo Europe. The talk was about his battle with giving up on email. People said he would be fired but 37 weeks on, he's still working for IBM.

I think theres something about this and the slow movement which fit really well. Its not simply junking your email, its about applying the right amount of effort at the right point. I looked at my stats for working in Rescue time and seriously the amount of time I spend in Outlook or Evolution is just wrong. My Efficiency is very high but its all happening within email.

Its time to sort all these things out once and for all.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and