ComputerWorld tells the story of one CIO who, upon hearing a large number of complaints about the volume and relevance of email, decided to do something about it. Tony Murabito of Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. set a goal of cutting email down by 25% at his company by training people on how to use email more effectively. According to Murabito, limiting the amount of unnecessary email can help save 15 to 20 days of lost productivity per worker per year.
The GM of one of my divisions at Journyx recently told me the following: "I never send an email when I could call someone on the phone. And I never use the phone if I can sit down and talk with someone face to face."
Nor should any of us. The bitrate is just way higher face-to-face. You can sense attitudes and nuances and understand people in a way that email will never enable.
But people get addicted to email. Another rule I've heard is that if you see more than 2 or 3 replies in an email chain it's probably time to get people together in the same room, especially if you see hostility showing up in the communications.
Personally I have so much email I'm considering getting a new address nobody knows about. Most of it is just not worth reading.