I sent 3 emails in 1 month—here’s how

, Product Marketing | April 28, 2017

HipChat was never created to be an email killer. For many teams—and even my teammates—email still holds important benefits. But for me, the need for email is (almost) dead.

I rarely use email since HipChat is where my teammates are, where we collaborate and make decisions, and where company culture grows.

The other day, I was curious to see how often I actually use email. I had sent just 3 emails in the past month. Not bad, I thought.

Also, not a shocker. The moment I was introduced to chat at work, I was sold. It was my “lightbulb moment” when I knew this was a (much) better way to work.

I don’t hate email, I just really dislike it. It’s slow, time-consuming, and usually feels too formal. I want to get things done—not worry about my grammar and punctuation. I want to read a conversation—not try to figure out which was the last email I read in a long chain.

Of course, I work in a specific environment in which 99% of the people I interact with are in my company. They are all on HipChat, and we do most of our collaborating there. Many teams work with people who are not on their HipChat team and have a bigger need for email.

Here are the 3 emails I sent in 1 month:

1. I forwarded a candidate’s writing sample to a colleague.

I still use email to get information from people outside of Atlassian. A job candidate is perfect example of the need to get information from external sources.

While I got a writing sample via email, the rest of our discussions happened in a private HipChat chat room.

2. I sent a confirmation to a real estate agent for a business trip.

Similar to my first email, working with external partners is still done through email. For now.

3. I responded to a company-wide email offering free JIRA stickers.

For company-wide announcements, we use email. In this email, my coworker was giving out JIRA stickers for the first 10 people who took a survey. (Yes, I got one!)

Many HipChat groups have company-wide chat rooms. We’d love that at Atlassian, but as our numbers grow, it’s harder and harder to maintain the right signal-to-noise ratio. This is something we are determined to make right.

When, on occasion, an Atlassian teammate sends me an email, I just find and message them on HipChat. Instead of taking a whole day to get to a resolution, we can do it in seconds. It’s not that I refuse to use email but simply don’t have a need for it.

I may be stubborn, but when I see a better way to do things (whether it’s ride-sharing, crowdfunding, or chat at work), I dive in head first. These are the simple, but powerful, benefits we gain from technology.

Chat hasn’t fully replaced email in the workplace, but I see it on the horizon. As chat becomes more sophisticated, I believe we’ll see the ability to eliminate those 3 emails. I could be wrong—100%. But this is my hope, because once life got easier for me, I knew I wanted the same thing for everyone else.

What are your thoughts on email at work? Let me know on Twitter @hipchat.