3 email apps to improve communication
It’s a clever cartoon because it captures the anxiety we’ve all felt at some time about the various traps of email correspondence.
For many, the thought of putting words on a screen fills them with terror, and this is understandable considering how ambiguous language is.
One of the main problems with email is the fair likelihood your ideas and intentions will be misrepresented on the page or misinterpreted at the other end.
I road-tested 3 communication apps touted to improve email communication.
Here are my results:
Still in its Beta version, Crystal is designed to improve your online communication by giving you information about preferred communication styles of the people you’re interacting with. Of course, first thing I did when I got the app was look myself up. Here’s my ‘communication profile’:
I think the app nailed this bit (except the bit about using emoticons:)).
And the email sample it provided was also persuasive.
Crystal still has a few problems: its search function is not very good, so finding people is difficult; and reading through the profiles of people I email, AND then integrating the knowledge with language to produce a pleasing email is time consuming.
But if nothing else, the apps email example gives insights into diverse examples of tone and language that can help break writers out of unhelpful stylistic tics and habits.
ToneCheck is an email extension for Outlook, Chrome and Lotus. In the same way spellcheck monitors your spelling, ToneCheck flags negative tone as you write.
It’s a pain to use to tell the truth (is that negative?). But, it allows communicators to keep an awareness of the impact of their language and communication. And that can’t be a bad thing (correction: that is a good thing).
Rapportive reminds you there is a human on the other end of your email by providing you with the recipient’s LinkedIn Profile on the screen as you write. This is a good idea, but unnecessary for gmail users who have access to Google + info on their email screens.
Also, Rapportive is a LinkedIn affiliate, so no go if you don’t have a LinkedIn account.