Dustin Moskovitz doesn’t like email. At all. “Soul-sucking work that comes with email” is how he would describe it. While many people may share the sentiments of this entrepreneur and co-founder of Facebook, they may not be entirely warranted.
In this article from the Miami Herald (aptly titled ‘Escaping Email: Inspired Vision or Hallucination?’) Moskovitz explains his plan to move away from corporate email via his start up, Asana.
“Asana peddles software that combines the elements of a communal notebook, social network, instant messaging application and online calendar to enable teams of employees to share information and do most of their jobs without relying on email.”
Asana is a great tool, I’ve actually personally used it. It is fantastic for project managing and collaborating while still staying very informed of everyone’s progress. Can it be a “replacement” for email? I personally don’t really see how. Can it drastically reduce email and therefore time spent on email? I’d say yes to that. What Asana really aims to do is reduce the amount of internal corporate email. “Hey, did you finish that report?” “I am just about done, will have it by EOD.” “Great please pass it along to me as soon as you finish”… All of these individual emails, which clog inboxes and suck up employees time are easily reduced and eliminated by Asana. However, there are many, many other extremely important functions and uses for email that will likely stick around. Marketing email, communication externally to partners and clients, prospecting, transactional emails are all examples that I predict people and companies will stick to traditional email methods for.
Sure, email can be a pain, sorting through it takes up valuable time, there can be spam and unnecessary things mixed in with the important ones. But blaming email itself for the problems we have with our inboxes would be like blaming roads for all traffic accidents. Some accidents may be caused directly by the road (damaged, potholes, slick etc.) but the majority of accidents are a result of how we use the roads. Asana is aiming to dramatically help how we use our email, but please give email itself a bit of a break, it can be quite helpful!
Jonathon Mahon is a content marketer, writer and designer based in Boston. He writes for various digital publications and blogs specializing in the cloud, email automation, software, and technology.