Book Review

Book Review: “A World Without Email” by Cal Newport

Surely many if not most of us have some amount of email fatigue, but who would want a world without it entirely? But the provocative title has this subtitle: “Reimagining work in an age of communication overload.” This book is not about a world without email, but rather ponders an information workforce that doesn’t accidentally rely upon email for coordinating most effort. The central thesis is that knowledge workers let email — and more recently, Slack — happen to us and that the optimal application of electronic communication is very likely not so unstructured. While Newport’s ruminations on successor technologies are not fleshed out enough to form a true proposal, his case studies and arguments are I think worthwhile for beginning a paradigm shift toward how we think about knowledge work this century.