Craig Roth has posted his view on how the (Enterprise) Attention Management lens can look at the technical side of email to help with the information overload issue. E-mail Overload: No Cure, but Enterprise Attention Management Can Shed Some Light
The most popular “overload” topic in offices today is e-mail. But after all these years of incremental improvement to IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange, surely there can’t be any low-hanging fruit left to pick to help people manage inbox overload. Or is there?
The Enterprise Attention Management Conceptual Architecture to the rescue! Rather than relying on a set of personal pet peeves or specific annoyances that have happened in recent memory, a model such as the EAM conceptual architecture provides a systematic approach for analyzing the attentional characteristics of a system.
A number of Craig's suggestions fall in line with what I've thought and commented on before. He also includes some interesting aspects associated with attention: making it easy to turn off notifications (I think they should be off by default); scheduling email deliveries (instead of "all the time"); more flexible / powerful rules...
These are all technical solutions that it would be nice to have. We still have to deal with the human side: Don't abuse the power of sending email. The inbox is not meant to be a task list.