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UNC professor tries to go email free

Posted July 11, 2011 2:31 p.m. EDT
Updated July 11, 2011 6:36 p.m. EDT

— University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor Paul Jones is testing a theory that workers are more productive without email.

"Email is creaky and old," Jones said. 

Jones said sorting through spam and unimportant email bogs down the workday. 

"Email is the worst, the biggest time sink, the least efficient way to do almost anything," Jones said. 

The average worker receives about 75 emails a day and sends about 40, according to a 2010 study by a technology market research firm The Radicati Group in California.

Last month, Jones started an experiment by giving up email in favor of other methods of communication, such as social networking, cloud-based collaboration and face-to-face conversations.

Jones' colleague Barbara Wildemuth said she isn't giving up email. 

"Right now, everybody, except Paul, who I need to communicate with is on email," Wildemuth said. 

Jones said that may be the case now, but younger people are shaking off email and communicating faster and better in new ways.
He's ready to see email become an endangered species.

"I'm not running away from technology, I'm running toward appropriate technologies," Jones said. 

 The recently unveiled Google Plus sharing service makes it even easier to avoid using email, Jones said. 

Jones is writing about his experiences on his blog.