Business Development Strategy

Is email the best collaboration tool?

A blog site called All Collaboration posted an entry about 2/3 of respondents to a survey saying that email was the most effective collaboration tool.

I thought that was interesting because I find email to be a horrible way to collaborate.

All Collaboration co-founder Lokesh Datta posed the question on LinkedIn:  Is email a collaboration tool?

Here’s what I said:

Great question–and I applaud your study!

I believe people choose email as the most effective collaboration tool because it’s the only tool that they and their collaborators all use in day to day work.

Email is clunky, disorganized, distracting, not integrated with a project-or-collaboration website–as opposed to a web-based collaboration platform. But although “everyone” knows how to use email, many fewer people have had training and opportunity to use a more robust virtual communication platform. And therefore people prefer to be pinged by their email–or to have their collaborating partners pinged–rather than learning to manage their own time to check in to a web platform or manage how new activity is reported to them.

I prefer a web-based environment for my own collaborative projects. But I have found that a real learning curve is required to get other people on board. It takes awhile before they can see the advantages of searchability, document sharing, time management, content management, and project history that are more readily available in a web environment rather than email.


But quite a few people disagreed with me, saying that email is easy, available, and if you use Outlook it is integrated with sharing platforms.

Read the blog and all the responses, and see what you think.

Is email a collaboration tool?