E-mail Isn't Broken

Feb 2013

Lately I've been bemused with all of the new solutions that are popping up to fix e-mail. Wait! E-mail is broken? I must've missed that...

A large part of my working day is spent in whatever e-mail client I'm using at that moment. I'm not a creator or a builder, which means the majority of my tasks involve communication to varying degrees. And e-mail is my tool of choice. (Obviously I use other mediums too like Skype, actual meetings & some project management apps, but most of these also makes it's way back to e-mail eventually.)

I get that all of us suffer from e-mail overload. I do too and I'm by no means an A-list Internet Celebrity that gets 1000's of new e-mails a day. That said though, e-mail is still a fantastic tool for communication and there's no alternative technology for that at the moment.

Similarly, I don't believe that we can just wake up one morning and decide that e-mail is broken, because we have hundreds of unread e-mails in our inbox.

So when I see new apps like Mailbox & Hello (neither of which I've signed up for) get tweeted about furiously, it underlines the disconnect that we have about e-mail and what it's meant to do.

I fully agree that e-mail isn't a perfect technology and when the protocol was first designed in the 60's / 70's, it wasn't designed with today's demands in mind. So if you want e-mail to be your to do list or project management platform, then sadly that's not gonna happen. E-mail wasn't designed to be that.

I think that it's important for us - as a web community - to progress our tools & technologies, as is the case with e-mail at the moment. But let's not say that it's broken, just because we're "stuck" using a limited technology.

As long as you can send & receive e-mail, the technology is working exactly as it was planned to work. If you would rather your e-mail to be a to do list or a project management platform, there's loads of those web apps available.

Please just leave my e-mail the way it is.

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