Is Google Wave an Email 2.0 service? What about Inbox Zero?

So I received my Google Wave invite and started playing around... if you don't know what Google Wave is, make sure to check out this great (but very long) intro video.

So here's how Google Wave looks like:


Well it looks pretty much like Gmail (or any other email client for that matter), doesn't it?

It does, but it can do more - it can be a live chat, a product collaboration, an email on steroids, a word processor, an app container (Nozbe for Wave?) thanks to the API and widgets....

All in all, it can be a lot, it can be a new wave of productivity movement....

... or not :-(

I'm just not sure I like this kind of all-in-one or all-you-can-eat product.

I still haven't tested Google Wave fully, I just received my invite and started waving with my friends but the problem is, that I believe when I start using it fully... I may want to stop quickly.

There is just too much noise. Too many things happening.

Why I still prefer Email?

With Email I have a steady workflow

As I explained in one of my videos, I check email, reply if it's less than 2 minutes (GTD 2-minute rule), move to "reply" folder when I want to deal with the thing later, and move other stuff to "all mail" or trash.

This process keeps me sane, makes sure I don't live in email and have time to do other things.

I'm just afraid that after initial "wow" the Wave will not improve my productivity, or even make it worse...

Questions: Have you tried Google Wave? What's your initial reaction? Will you be switching from email to Wave?

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2009 (email,google,productivity,wave)

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Mickey Mellen
Nov 5, 2009 21:38
It's all about how it's used. Thus far, I'm finding it most useful as a real-time collaborative document editor. I'll schedule a time to meet on there with my designer and we'll work through quotes we need to write up, very carefully worded emails we need to send and things like that.

I'm not convinced the "chat" aspects of it will be very useful, and I agree that they need to be kept in check. If used correctly, though, Wave could be a great time-saver.

Michael Sliwinski
Nov 5, 2009 23:58
Maybe you're right. Because it's an all-you-can-do app, one has to choose which aspects of it to use. I can imagine that as a real time collaborative document editor it can be cool, although google docs already gives this kind of collaboration so no need to use a wave for that. 

Maybe Wave will be a one-stop shop for all (or at least most) collaborative activities.  

Mickey Mellen
Nov 6, 2009 02:19
Google Docs isn't real time -- it's 30-60 seconds behind. While that doesn't matter for many cases, it certainly does sometimes. It's wonderful to fire up a video chat to discuss a particular client, and while talking we can both be editing the same document in true real-time to prepare it to be sent out.

There are certainly many use cases beyond that, but it's a solid start.

Lola LB
Nov 6, 2009 12:29
GoogleWave is meant to be a collaborative tool. Yes, there are some attempts being made to somehow bring in email, but that's not the whole purpose. It's a good start for GWave, but it has a ways to go before it truly becomes useful. One of the fixes they have to make is the sluggishness that occurs when waves have more than 100 blips - this is a serious drawback if there is a collaborative project that will last several months.
Lola LB
Nov 6, 2009 12:31
Also, there are some drawbacks to Google Docs - I've discovered that tabs aren't enabled, so you can't exactly preserve the formatting as in In Microsoft Word, for instance, "right tab, left tab".
Lola LB
Nov 6, 2009 12:33
And by the way . . . when is Productive Magazine #4 coming out? Love reading your magazine!
Michael Sliwinski
Nov 6, 2009 14:07
Thanks for your comments!

I was just mentioning Google Docs because we're just compiling the Productive Magazine #4 in the GDocs and it works great for our collaboration needs (as the editor I can see all the changes committed by all the editors) but Mickey you may be right it's a little behind.

Anyway, I'll definitely try to dig in more into the GWave to see how this tool can be used productively and will post in the future about my findings. Thanks for your tips.

As to the Productive Magazine, we're aiming at the end of this month - and this one will have Leo Babauta of Zen Habits fame on its cover with my interview with him.