No, seriously….can you? A lot of publications have recently published articles about either the demise of email or its great staying power. I must admit, I was an addict until recently. Running a company means you get A LOT of emails. It seems like for the last few years, all I was doing was writing emails…responding to emails…writing reminders to respond to emails.
As some of you know, I recently joined Trello. Being a huge fan of the product and using it in everything that I do, I was really excited to jump in and start working on our marketing. After a few weeks with the company, I came to a huge realization: I had almost NO EMAIL for Trello.
That’s right. Inbox ZERO. How was this possible? It turns out, there are some powerful tools and processes along with alignment of user behavior to be able to achieve such a massive feat. Now, it seems like whenever I get an email from someone outside my company I get annoyed that I have to deal with it.
So how is it done?
Well, you shouldn’t be surprised that the Trello team…uses Trello. Everybody is actively managing projects in Trello and we have boards for everything we are doing. The whole team can pop in and out of boards to see what other people are doing, and at the end of the week we create a board that shows what the company has accomplished for the week- a kind of FYI for everyone at the company. It’s a fantastic way to answer the age old question “What’s everyone doing?” without driving everyone crazy asking questions.
Slack solves the problem of chat. For immediate contact, we are all in Slack where we have the ability to have private conversations, conversations by team, and company wide discussions. This is not new: I have used Campfire, Gchat, and HipChat in the past for chat. It’s just something every company needs.
When we actually need to have longer conversations we’ll do a Google Hangout or have a meeting. Pretty straightforward.
The magical part of this equation is that everyone abides by these rules, meaning the company has somehow non-verbally agreed to only use email as a last resort form of communication.
It’s pretty fantastic. I can’t say I miss email even a little bit.