Work without email… Productivity tool or procrastinator’s best friend?

Naturally, here at All about the Idea HQ we keep our inboxes nice and light, ready and waiting to be filled with BIG ideas. We know, however, that there are inboxes out there, pregnant with Spam, E-newsletters and Google alerts and that, far from being a tool of productivity, email is in danger of becoming a procrastinator’s best friend. 

For one man the burden of a heavy inbox became too much and, around 2 and a half years ago, Luis Suarez, Knowledge Manager, Community Builder & Social Computing Evangelist in the IBM Software Group division, had a BIG idea capable of ridding him of his email affliction.

“As a remote employee, I wanted to prove to everyone that I could keep working for the company without using e-mail, relying almost … exclusively on social software tools to communicate daily with my team members.”

Suarez argues that times have changed. Ten years ago email was absolutely necessary for business interactions, but in 2010 social software is being put forward to replace email as the go-to communication method.

And it would seem that Suarez’s experiment is working. In fewer than three years, he’s been able to reduce 90% of his incoming email by communicating through the new medium.

And he is not content to stop there. This social software missionary will continue to push on until email has come back full circle to what Luis Suarez believes was its purpose: a messaging and notification system of content that’s stored elsewhere.

So, just to clarify: This man lives in the Gran Canaria (aka “Paradise Island”), works for one of the biggest tech companies in the world, has a near empty inbox and, one would imagine, a virtually stress free existence. What a genius!


2 thoughts on “Work without email… Productivity tool or procrastinator’s best friend?

  1. Hi Jo! What a wonderful article! Thanks much for putting it together and for sharing the link love! It’s greatly appreciated! It surely has been quite a blast! Thought folks reading off your blog would find an interesting and relevant reading this particular blog post where people could go and check out a mindmap I put together on this very same topic, explaining why did I do it, how do I do it and what’s meant for me throughout all of this time. At the same time I have shared there a list of tips on how other folks could help reduce their email clutter a little bit and, finally, a link to a recording I did not long ago with a customer where we also cover this very same topic.

    I think all of those resources would be helpful for your audience to have a better understanding as to why I believe email is no longer the only game in town, but one of many; one of the many, and perhaps better, choices we have got out there! Thanks again for the heads up and look forward to further interactions!


  2. Luis, thanks for stopping by! We all loved your social software “experiment” here at All about the Idea and wish you all the best of luck. Plenty should be befitting from your clutter-cutting tips as we speak.

    Do enter our Idea Awards – submit any idea you think has been or will be BIG and brilliant and you could win a lovely bottle of champers to sip out in the Gran Canaria…….


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