I heart Instant Messaging
Pasc's last post reminded me about a couple of recent conversations I had with some friends regarding office communication, in which I stated my preference for using Instant Messaging for the majority of communication. As it turns out, this opinion isn't particularly popular (probably because many companies block access). I find IM works better than email or face to face communication because it has the nice digital aspects of email but flows more like a face to face conversation. Being electronic means I have a history and can reread what I've said in the past. I can copy urls to work I need looked at or paste a chunk of code, and just like email it doesn't require my immediate attention - things a face to face conversation cannot handle. But like a face to face conversation my IM doesn't have an inbox. So a message will disappear as the conversation moves on, rather then requiring me to deal with it like email.
Sure email and face to face communication have their place. Email is great for big chunks of information or for large tasks and nothing beats face to face communication when dealing with serious time critical issues or discussing design decisions. But for the most part, if something needs to be said, give me MSN, or Jabber, or ICQ, or Yahoo!