Culture & Competency

Email vs. Collaboration Tool – "Better Attention, Enhanced Focus, More Tidy"

Ana comments on the difference between using email to collaborate and using an online collaboration tool:

So despite prioritizing messages and labelling them, the fact is that in a tool such as email it is hard to focus (not to mention keeping track of the discussion when you easily mix subjects in different threads).

This stands in sharp contrast to what I experienced last year when planning Cidadania 2.0 at a distance from my organizing partner, or to what I’m experiencing currently when working on a collaboration platform with an external company for professional reasons. When I’m in the collaborative workspace for each of these projects my attention is much more devoted to each of the topics being discussed (not to mention the fact that different aspects of the project are much more “tidy”).

I already saw the advantages of online collaboration tools, but let’s just say that regarding email I had one of those aha moments today!

My Comments
1. In one of my slide decks, I talk about “the friction profile” of using different technologies for collaboration. Ana has highlighted the added friction when using email compared to a collaboration tool – not indeed, that’s it’s impossible, just that there is more friction involved.

2. Earlier in the post, Ana calls email a “hyper stimulus tool.” I wonder what she’d call Twitter? @AnaDataGirl?

Categories: Culture & Competency

3 replies »

  1. I think that most people will agree that email is not an efficient communication tool in a collaboration setting. However email is used by everyone and therefore hard to get rid of, especially in cross-organizational collaboration.
    Therefore I would not pose the question “email vs collaboration tool” but “email and collaboration tool” can they work together?
    Bart Schrooten
    Lumo Research

  2. Email is still the most common collaboration tool, but Email is only good for 1-1 communication. This article might help in choosing the best collaboration tools for small businesses.

  3. Rightly said, email is mostly a one to one collaboration tool. For online collaboration with various business clients, partners, employees etc. tools like webex, R-HUB web conferencing servers, gomeetnow, gotomeeting etc. can be used.