No Email Day: Why Sending Email Is Anti-Social

Sending lots of emails to your colleagues is one of the worst things you could do to them this week. It gives them extra ‘busy work’ to do (reading, replying or deleting all sucks up valuable time), can lead to stress and reduce the amount of time they can devote to the ‘real work’ that adds value to your business and customers.

As I reflect on the 4 annual ‘No Email Day’ which took place on Friday 4/4/14 I’d like you to stop and think about how much email you are sending (and receiving) each day and consider alternative methods of communication to get the job done.

When I announced the world’s first global No Email Day on 11/11/11, it struck a chord. My original 9-page manifesto was read over 30,000 times in one month on Slideshare after being featured on The Next Web and covered by BBC Radio 5 Live, Wall Street Journal, Wired, Lifehacker and The Sunday Times. (At the time of writing it’s had over 50,000 views).

It soon went viral with thousands of people around the world Tweeting, Sharing and blogging their support for the campaign. Something was clearly wrong with the way email was being used.

Since then, No Email Day has continued to build momentum and support, becoming an annual event with 12/12/12, 3/3/13 and now 4/4/14 all acting as a focal point for people who can see the value in working ‘Outside their Inbox’ in a more social and collaborative way.

People continue to blog and complain about information overload and some exciting tech start-ups have appeared which all try to help people tackle the problem.

By using Social Media I’ve been able to discover and share some amazing tools, tips and advice on how to manage your workload better so you can be more productive, efficient and happier at work via our Facebook Page at and Twitter account @NoEmailDayHQ.

But could you really live without email, even just for a one day?

Former IBM Social Media Evangelist Luis Suarez has been living in ‘A World Without Email‘ since February 2008 and both he and Paul Jones (University of North Carolina) are key supporters of No Email Day and of replacing email with social media (see their great videos at

Luis and Paul have been a great inspiration to me since 2011 and I feel closer and more connected to them than I do to people who only ever communicate with me by email. This is despite the fact that we live in England, Gran Canaria and the USA, have never exchanged an email between each other and instead using our blogs, Twitter and Google+ to share ideas and support one another from afar.

But it’s not just a bunch of ‘radical individuals’ who are championing the cause. Thierry Breton (Chairman and CEO of IT consultancy Atos) declared that they would stop sending internal email completely and Matt Cutts (Google’s Head of Webspam Team) recently blogged about his need to ditch email for 30 days so he could help more people at once by using his awesome videos.

Big businesses are getting involved too so they can free up more of their time and promote a more collaborative way of working both internally and externally. It was especially exciting to have Microsoft UK’s Social Media team and conference call company Powwownow get behind No Email Day 4/4/14.

If you’d like to know more about No Email Day and show your support, please visit, Follow us on Twitter @NoEmailDayHQ and Tweet your comments, tips or advice including the #noemailday hashtag.

Why and how to use Google+ effectively

Google+ is really cool, but most people still don’t know why or how they should use it. In fact, I can probably count on one hand the number of people I know who use it regularly.

I’m on there now myself but it wasn’t until I watched this excellent video of my Twitter buddy and No Email Day supporter Luis Suarez (Knowledge Manager, Community Builder & Social Computing Evangelist @ IBM) that I finally ‘got it’ and could see how it could be useful and relevant to my work. It’s hard to believe that this video was shot just over a year ago but it’s well worth a watch as Luis does a great job explaining how he uses Google+ to engage in much deeper conversations with his contacts and networks than he could ever do on Twitter, which as we know is great for broadcasting and consuming news but so fleeting and random that it’s easy to miss out.

In it, Luis talks about how he decided to focus on and invest heavily in 3 social media tools – Twitter, Google+ and IBM Connections, with a clear strategy for each. He also talks about why he dislikes Facebook and deleted his account after reading their terms and conditions which state that they own all the content you put on it, compared to Google+ where you own the copyright and can remove / export it all should you choose to.

Emotional Technology

Below are the slides from my Techmesh / CIM presentation at The Rose Bowl, Leeds Met University on Thursday 8th March 2012.

The theme was ‘Emotional Technology + How Ideas Spread‘ as I was trying to convey the fact that no matter how amazing the technology is, it’s only when it taps into real life human emotion, needs and desires that it will truly succeed. The slides contain links to two of my personal favourite YouTube clips (from Little Riot and Mad Men) which demonstrate the power of storytelling when getting others to buy into your ideas.

Techmesh is the B2B network for Yorkshire and Humber’s IT & Telecommunications sector and part of Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. This was my first, but hopefully not my last event with them as I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with them. Visit to find out more about the great work they are doing for the sector.

‘Social Media for Business’ lecture @ The University of Leeds

Slides from the 1hr ‘Social Media for Business‘ lecture I gave to around 50 students at The University of Leeds yesterday (21st February 2012).

Topics include:

  • how technology has changed in the 14yrs since I graduated from Leeds in 1998
  • how these developments have affected my career and personal life
  • how I use a wide range of free Social Media tools in business, with a particular focus on the Shell LiveWIRE programme
  • how people can use Social Media in their personal life to take control of their career and create opportunities for themselves

Please feel free to share this presentation with anyone you feel would be interested. If you’d like me to deliver a similar presentation for your business, organisation or event give me a call on +44(0)7734 722716 or email

12/12/12 = No Email Day #2

After all the great PR and positive feedback the ‘No Email Day’ 11/11/11 campaign received, a number of people have asked me to organise another in 2012. So, I’ve decided to declare 12/12/12 as the official date of the 2nd global ‘No Email Day’!

If you’d like to take part or help spread the word, please Follow us on Twitter @NoEmailDayHQ and/or ‘Like’ our Facebook Page at

‘No Email Day’ featured in The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times (prestigious British newspaper) contacted me recently about my ‘No Email Day‘ campaign, after news broke that Atos would be banning internal email within 18 months.

After explaining more about the campaign and telling them about Luis Suarez (IBM’er who has gone almost 4yrs without email) and Mark Hurst (author of the excellent ‘Bit Literacy’), I was very pleased to see that The Sunday Times ran a piece on us all in their ‘News Review’ section on Sunday 18 Dec 2011.

(View .PDF of the article below):
The Sunday Times (18.12.11) – ‘Think outside the inbox and delete it all’

If you support the idea of a global ‘No Email Day’, please ‘Like’ our Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter @NoEmailDayHQ

The Domino Project: Start. Now!

Slides from my 5min Ignite presentation first delivered at the Codeworks Connect ‘Think and a Drink’ event at the Vermont Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday 29th September 2011.

Barriers to 'Great Work'

‘Barriers’ stopping people from producing ‘Great Work’ and achieving their dreams in Newcastle. (I got people to write them down on a piece of paper, scrunch them up into a ball, and throw them at a target on stage during my ‘Ignite’ presentation at the Codeworks Connect ‘Think and a Drink’ on 29th September 2011.

Contact me via @plandigitaluk, @lordlancaster, or call +44(0)7734 722 716 if you’d like to know more or get me to deliver this presentation again for you.

The NO EMAIL DAY Manifesto

I wrote my very first ‘manifesto’ for my NO EMAIL DAY campaign for 11th November. It’s only short so please read and share with at least one other person for me.

.PDF version


Slideshare version

Any comments, feedback or suggestions for the campaign would be greatly appreciated.

No Email Day (11.11.11)

Following my earlier blog post titled ‘The Race To ZERO‘, some friends and I have started a Facebook Campaign for a NO EMAIL DAY on 11th November 2011.

No Email Day (11.11.11)

We’re encouraging people to stop using email completely for 24hrs on 11.11.11 and do something more productive with the time saved instead.

This could simply involve other forms of communication like actually talking to someone face to face, picking up the phone or even writing a letter (remember those?) or spending time away from the office and work to reconnnect with the offline world.

We’re not anti-email. Far from it. It’s a vital and important part of our daily life and one of the greatest inventions known to man. However, it’s been overused and abused and hijacked by the spammers and time wasters over the years to the detriment of the whole human race.

If you sometimes feel like you spend too much time dealing with your emails rather than actually doing ‘real work’, please visit and ‘Like’ our Facebook Page at:

We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on better email management and being more productive at work and in life on our ‘Wall’ and any links to good resources or articles that you are aware of. Please also tell us what you will be replacing email with on 11.11.11.

(We’re also on Twitter @NoEmailDayHQ so it would be cool if you could Follow Us and Tweet about the campaign using the special hashtag #noemailday).

Please download, read and share the NO EMAIL DAY Manifesto below:

NO EMAIL DAY by Paul Lancaster (.PDF)

Paul Lancaster