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  • Writer's pictureKevin Maples

Book Recommendation: A World without Email

There is nothing I love more than catching up on email over the weekend.


Ok, that is absolutely not true. It isn't true for anybody.


In my favorite book in 2024 so far, Cal Newport - Georgetown University Computer Science Professor and author of "Deep Work" - imagines a world without email.





Invented in the late 20th century (that makes it sound old, doesn't it?), email was hailed a solution for asynchronous office communications. Phone calls were laborious to schedule, and email would allow the sender and receiver to send and treat respectfully the message's demandes on their own schedule. It would change how we work.


And it certainly did.


Today, we can never seem to dig ourselves out of our inboxes. At best, it simply takes way too much of our time. At worst, email distracts us to the point of misery leaving our productivity and creativity to suffer in its wake.


The parts of the book that stand out to me are when researchers experiment by cutting internet in an office and observing what happens. What they find is better collaboration, more time for creative work, and less stress.


I love productivity experiments, and one Friday I decided to put my computer away for the day and work only with pen and paper. Though I never fully got over the withdrawal, I couldn't believe my focus.


Can you imagine work without email?


"A World Without Email," by Cal Newport. Available to order from your local, favorite independent English-language bookseller. Title also available in French.

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