How I Lit a Match to the Snowball of Email Chasing Me Into My Own Digital Hell

About two months ago I was asked to work a Start-Up conference for a friend of mine. The pay was great, the time requirement was reasonable, and it sounded like a melding of progressive creatives all conspiring to revolutionize the way business is done. YES. Let’s do this. I expected a mountain of emails with pdfs and maps of the showroom floor. I expected the “Reply to All” debacle that ensues anytime a group of creatives collaborates digitally. I would hesitantly (yet still compulsively) refresh my email in anticipation of the onslaught of information bound to be headed my way as part of this conference.


The Spokesperson Project (sans Morgan Freeman)

It never came. I only got one initial email. In the email, I saw that my friend put me on an Xtrant project so I clicked the link in the email. And lo and behold it was as if Morgan Freeman floated out onto a whiteboard (as a disembodied head for some reason) and said…. “here is who you’re working with… see? Amy, Jim, Cheryl, and Jon” … he sees the nod of acknowledgment and then he slowly guides me to the right… “and here is the conversation you’re already a part of… your team knows you are here… and they are discussing the conference and what you’ll want to be familiar with and when- running notes” …. then, right before he disappears, he guides me to the center of the whiteboard… “here is the meat… documents, files, URLs, anything media-related is all here in the middle”….. AND THAT WAS IT. I didn’t need to learn anything. I didn’t need to be trained. I just jumped in and took a look left, right, and center…. and dove into this heavenly arrangement.

How could this have happened? Everything I criticized about Dropbox… a non-issue… everything that annoyed me about email threads… gone.

That's ME in the center.

That’s ME in the center.

So we had our first in-person meeting. It was a new product, but already consultants, contractors, developers, study groups, even a church choir were using it.  And we were too, collaborating online without the gigantic piles of emails floating around in my peripheral view driving me batty. Anything I’m working on, by myself or with others…. MASSIVELY simplified and in one place. Just visit My delusional fantasies of Morgan Freeman will all make more sense.

Side note: I feel like i want to ambush people on a sidewalk and just ask them what they are doing or where they are going and just say… “let me whip out my laptop and let’s create an Xtrant project… just see how easy this could be” … no matter what you are doing as a group, Xtrant has pulled out all the clutter, left all the substance, and made SHARING (like as a human… like I’m doing right now) productive. It makes it easy to work.