In Praise of Email

People often talk about how we overuse email. They complain that we should pick up the phone more often. They’re right, of course, and I am normally one of them.

But sometimes email can be better than a phone call.

Last week I set up a lunch with a business friend. It seemed efficient to set the date by phone. We both checked our calendars and agreed on the date and time, 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

But when I emailed him today to recommend a place for our lunch, he wrote back:

Lynn, my dear friend, I am so sorry. I managed to completely forget to set up the appointment on my calendar and now have a meeting on Friday that goes until 12:30!

My sincerest apologies. I think because we arranged the date over the phone, I didn’t set up the Outlook appointment right away. Busy much?

Yes, when busy, we can forget a crucial step such as typing or recording an appointment. But with email, we both would have had the record, and with an Outlook meeting appointment, it would have instantly appeared on our calendars.

The next time I schedule a meeting efficiently by phone I will send a confirming Outlook meeting invitation–by email.

Another lesson learned.

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