Before you ask, “Why Collaborative Email,” first ask yourself how much time you think you and your co-workers spend dealing with email as it exists today? Would it surprise you to know that on average it’s around 13 hours a week?
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How Much Time Do You Really Spend In Email?

Before you ask, “Why Collaborative Email,” first ask yourself how much time you think you and your co-workers spend dealing with email as it exists today? Would it surprise you to know that on average it’s around 13 hours a week? That’s over two and a half hours of every workday sending, receiving and deleting email. As was pointed out in an earlier blog, the Radicatti Group says people spend from 2.6 hours to 4 hours a day in email­–the equivalent of emailing essentially non-stop for the entire month of February. In fact, the average business email user spends 20 minutes of every week just deleting emails. It’s not just inefficient; it’s a crazy way to work. And that doesn’t even begin to address the staggering cost of business email.

So why do we do it? Because until now we really haven’t had a choice. At least not a better one.

Although technology and the way we work has changed dramatically over the past two decades, email pretty much does the same thing it did when the first email went out in 1971: send and receive messages. And sending and receiving messages is a job email still does pretty well. Mostly. Email can be great for one-to-one communication. It also works fine for one-to-a-few communications, but once the first “reply-all” shows up in your inbox, well, the system pretty much starts to break down.

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Three Problems With Email

The problem with traditional email is three-fold. We either misuse and abuse email by trying to force it to do things it was never designed for (and frankly, isn’t very good at), we adopt a myriad of collaboration apps to do what email can’t, or, worse yet, we continue to stumble along accepting email, and bloated inboxes, because it’s the status quo and we simply have no idea that there’s a better, more effective and more efficient way of getting things done.

Let’s start with the last one, email as status quo. Remember, email is short for electronic mail–a quicker way to send and receive correspondences electronically. The problem is, it’s become so easy to send them that we end up receiving way more email than we ever expected. The average person receives around 80 emails a day. Imagine if you walked out to your mailbox every morning to find 80 pieces of mail. Now imagine the majority of that coming from your co-workers, because that’s where 63 percent of your email actually does come from.

Whole industries and movements have sprung up just to help you better manage your inbox, and some of them are great, but “managing” is all they do. They can help you better sort the flood of emails coming into your inbox, but none of them help stem the tide. Imagine how much easier it would be to deal with your inbox if there was 63 percent less email in there to begin with.

As for forcing email to do things it was never designed to do, what Contatta CEO and Co-founder Pat Sullivan calls “unnatural acts,” we’re all guilty. How many times have we marked an email as unread, or worse yet, sent ourselves emails as reminders to deal with the email later? How many times do we search through signatures looking for contact information? Or search emails for files and attachments? It’s like trying to turn your mailbox into a filing system, contact manager, task manager and a collaboration tool. For more, read Pat’s “Forcing Email To Do Things It’s Just Not Good At”.

“The reports of email’s death have been greatly exaggerated.”

—Mark Twain (sort of)

Which leads us to the endless sea of collaboration apps extolling the demise of email, but to paraphrase Mark Twain, “the reports of email’s death have been greatly exaggerated.” There are currently nearly a billion business email users worldwide and that number is only growing. Now, try and name one other business application with over 900 million users worldwide (soon to be 1 billion) that you would consider to be dead or dying?” The answer is obvious. “None.”

The simple truth is email is neither dead nor dying, but it absolutely has to evolve.

Still many apps have come along to fill in the gaps left by emails deficiencies. Again, just as with inbox management systems, many of them are good, but do they actually reduce the size of your inbox? Are you working less in email or just working more somewhere else too? In fact, a lot of us find ourselves working in many “somewhere elses” where the right app doesn’t know what the left app is doing. Instead of more communication and collaboration, the result is just multi-system chaos that ends with us still staring at a bloated inbox.

Now forget all that and ask yourself, “what if?”

What if your email was built with an intelligent inbox that reduced the amount of email coming in, while better organizing the email you actually did receive in a way that let’s you prioritize what’s important and what’s not? What if, instead of bunch of collaboration apps that didn’t communicate with each other, your inbox, task management, file management and collaboration tools were all in one place, on one platform where you and every member of your team were seamlessly connected.

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Less Email. Fewer Meetings. More Collaboration.

Email is neither dead nor dying, but it must evolve. With Contatta’s Collaborative Email, we believe it has. Try it for yourself and you’ll believe it too. Collaborative Email is not about a paradigm shift away from email, but rather a shift toward how we actually work today.

The promise of Collaborative Email is simple: you can email less, have fewer meetings and spend more time collaborating on the things that actually move your business forward. Contatta’s collaborative approach is about getting more done in less time so you can do more with the time you have.

Don’t ask, “Why Collaborative Email.” Rather, signup today to reduce your inbox by 60 percent and find out exactly what Contatta can do for you and your team. Contatta is currently in public beta where you and every member of your team can currently use it for free.