Advantages and Disadvantages of Email

› Advantages and Disadvantages of Email

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of email will help you analyse the time you spend using it.

Learn the pros and cons to decide when and how to use email effectively.

10 Advantages of Email

  1. Cheap. Once you’re online, there is no further expense.
  2. Easy to reference. Sent and received messages and attachments can be stored safely, logically and reliably.
  3. Easy to use. Once you’re set up, sending and receiving messages is simple. That goes for a host of other email functions. Data storage and contacts can be accessed quickly and easily.
  4. Easy to prioritize. Incoming messages have subject lines that mean you can delete without opening. How much time does that save compared to ‘snail mail?’
  5. Fast. Message to send? Done, under a second! Email is by far the fastest form of written communication.
  6. Global. Web based email means you can access your messages anywhere online. Going oversees? Before you go, mail yourself a copy of your passport number, travel insurance details or your accommodation details.
  7. Good for the planet. Actually the advantages and disadvantages of email are clear here. Computers themselves aren’t 'green', but email offsets some of the damage by reducing the environmental cost of contact.
  8. Info at your fingertips. Storing data online means less large, space taking file cabinets, folders and shelves. You can access information far quicker if you learn how to use email this way.
  9. Leverage. Send the same message to any number of people. Adaptations are simple, too. If you have a product or service to sell, email is an effective medium to get your message out.
  10. Send reminders to yourself. Do you use more than one account? Email yourself messages from work to home or vice versa. Does the idea of two or more accounts seem complicated? It's not if you know how to manage multiple accounts.

Used well, email really is a superb productivity tool.

But you clicked to learn the advantages and disadvantages of email.

Here's the flip side...

10 Disadvantages of Email

  1. Emotional responses. Some emails cause upset or anger. A reply in the heat of the moment can’t be easily retracted.
  2. Information overload. Too many people send too much information. They often cite ‘need to know’ as the justification. Learn how to use email effectively and you’ll reduce time wasted on this.
  3. Lacks the personal touch. Some things are best left untyped. Email will never beat a hand written card or letter when it comes to relationships.
  4. Misunderstandings. Emails from people who don’t take the time to read what they write before clicking ‘send’. Time is wasted, either to clarify or, worse, acting on a misinterpretation of the message.
  5. No respite. The law of the empty inbox – leave it and will grow. Ignore it at your peril! Discover how to get an empty inbox every day.
  6. Pressure to reply. Once it’s in your inbox, you feel an ever increasing obligation to act on it. Procrastinating doesn’t making it go away.
  7. Spam. Having to deal with spam and spoofs is one of the worst avoidable time wasters online.
  8. Sucks up your time. Over checking messages is so common, but it is time wasted on low value, passive activity.
  9. Too long. How long is too long? It’s hard to say exactly, but the longer it goes on, the harder it is to take in. Email is suited to brevity.
  10. Viruses. A virus could seriously affect your computer. If you want to know how to use email effectively, it's worth learning how to deal with these.

Now you know the advantages and disadvantages of email, you have a platform to know how use email as a time saver rather than a time waster.


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