5 reasons why I haven’t used email in 25 days

Emily Kramer

On April 1, Jim and I gave up email. 25 days later, I haven’t checked, sent, or read a work or personal email, and Jim has had only 2 mishaps. During April, the most frequent questions I’ve received about giving up email are, “How are you doing this?” and “Why are you doing this?”. The first answer is obvious: Asana. The second answer is a bit longer:

1. Email is a time suck.

We spend about 30% of our time at work in email (according to McKinsey). That seems like a lot of time spent NOT getting work done. I wondered how much time I’d get back not worrying about work or personal email.

2. I was halfway there.

Yes, that’s a Bon Jovi reference. When you use Asana for all internal team communication, email is an afterthought at work. The bigger challenge for me was giving up personal email. 

3. Breaking a habit is a fun challenge (at least for me).

I realized a challenge like this could give me newfound insight. When you stop using something, you learn more than when you use it all the time. And I wanted to show that life goes on without checking email compulsively.

4. To think deeply about communication.

As a marketer at Asana, I think about the way people communicate and how to explain the value of Asana as a communication tool every day. I wanted to evaluate why–even with the availability of post-email apps–most people still use email all day.

5. To spread Asana love.

With Asana, communication is actionable, transparent, and organized, since every conversation is centered around tasks. By telling people via an out of office message about the no email challenge, I hope I inspired people trying to connect with me to try Asana.

Feeling inspired?

I don’t recommend that you give up email for 30 days. Going cold turkey on email is not as feasible for people who aren’t using Asana with their team, nor is it required to use Asana successfully–Asana is meant to replace email within your team. But, if you do want to take on a similar challenge, I recommend trying to use Asana for all internal team communication for 30 days (or look to Morgan Spurlock for advice).

We will post the final score and the big winner of the challenge on May 1!

 

  1. avatarThomas

    Emily, I wonder if he could share what you say in your business as well as personal email autoresponder with respect to enticing the sender to connect with you via asana.

    1. avatarEmily Kramer Asana Team Member

      My auto-responder links people to our original post, so people understand what Jim and I are doing. I have set up mail forwarding for certain email addresses and subject lines to get forwarded into an Asana project (notably meeting invites and certain email domains). But, I did not provide instructions for people to connect with me directly in Asana (just encouraged people to sign up with their teams). I wish I had! The best way to do that, would again be through mail forwarding to Asana. Ask people to reply or send a new email with a specific phrase in the subject line “Invite me to Asana” or “Please reply”, and filter those messages directly to Asana. Then, invite these people to your Workspace, or respond in an Asana comment. Here’s more information on email forwarding in Asana: https://asana.com/guide/learn/tags-email/email-incoming

  2. avatarBob Vanasse

    These are the kind of ridiculous things that make the rest of the country find it hard to take Silicon Valley seriously. Instead of trooping down your imaginary path to a world without email that does not exist, complete with absurd photos in which you a dressed like boxers, why don’t you focus on integrating the emails we all get from so many sources more effectively into ASANA. Your conclusion is “I don’t recommend that you give up email for 30 days.” So why bother. We have raised a number of serious concerns about using ASANA in companies with clients such as law firms, management consulting and public relations, and we await solid responses. Seems like you have your priorities a bit out of whack.

    ____________________
    Robert Vanasse, Principal
    StoveBoat Communications
    1025 Thomas Jefferson St., NW | Suite 420 East
    Washington, DC 20007
    tel: (202) 595-1212
    mobile: (202) 271-9339
    stoveboat.com

    1. avatarDevon

      Seems someone didn’t bother to read the article — they state the “why” pretty clearly. Also I’d like to point out that it’s very possible to live without email, and work effectively without email. We use Trello at work (Asana’s mobile apps killed it as a contender for us for now… can’t wait to see what’s coming on that front, though), and we’ve pretty much killed internal email. The only people who still use it are the ones we still have to show how to attach files every single time they need to send a document to someone, and they’re retiring soon.

  3. avatarMike Young

    Congrats Emily, our team has been using Asana and we love it. Our efficiency continues to improve and our ideas are becoming actionable. Although we know that emails happen, collectively as a team we continue to see emails decrease because of Asana.

  4. avatarMichael

    Zen Habits has a pretty decent article on giving up email as well.
    I removed my email from my contact page and it was the best decision ever. It was a huge time suck for me. Most were spam, unproductive, and just a waste of time.

  5. avatarPhilip

    How do you get sign up notifications, bank correspondance, etc? Are did you just give it up completely for work and not personal?

  6. avatarLance Moore

    I have been trying to do this for a while and get sucked in, so I will do starting now . my va wil handle them thanks
    supportdudeteam

  7. Pingback: Is Email The Best Form Of Communication For Your Workplace?

  8. avatarAndrew Harrison

    Per an earlier comment, and a comment on almost every post, what’s the mobile update, Emily?? I’m particularly interested in Android. I eagerly look on the blog every week for an update, but there’s nothing there. If you recognised the problem almost a year ago and have hired qualified Android developers to fix it, I reckon something must be coming very soon???

  9. avatarJoe

    Having used Asana for about 3 weeks at our web studio, time on email has been slashed. Tasks have won out over email loops.
    I initially glanced this post as something like ‘I quit email’, but it’s more like ‘I replaced the anarchy of email with the order of Asana tasks’.
    There’s no need to say ‘we don’t recommend this’ – obviously every organisation will do what’s right for them, and this post just outlines one possible thing you can do with a great tool like Asana.
    Also hanging out for the mobile apps…

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