PhoneToday, Google announced its new web-based (of course) platform for communicating and collaborating in real time, Wave. Upon first glance, this might be just the Outlook-killer that Google has been preparing to launch since they launched Gmail and Calendar, and more recently juiced both apps up with Tasks.

Now that communication happens in so many different places, so many of which are electronic, like Wave, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the value of a simple phone call, or better yet, a face-to-face meeting. As smart as I’m sure this platform will be at collaborating, organizing information and communications, it still lacks the human touch.

There’s something about the chemistry of human relations that simply doesn’t translate via text, regardless of the medium. Sure, there’s VoIP and video conferencing but those have yet to really become pervasive to many businesses.

Ad agencies and communications companies are all over new tech for conversing, but why would a locksmith need video conferencing?

Lately I’ve been struggling with the amount of paper that comes across my desk. Since I started my new job I have been fighting to keep things electronic – that way my information is searchable, I can organize it in as many different ways as I like, and I don’t have to think about where something is – I just bring up my search box, type a few characters and up it comes. I can’t tell you how much time Google Desktop and Xobni have saved me at work.

The idea of having all your emails and documents instantly searchable doesn’t appear to have any shortcomings to me, aside from its lack of portability (all my searchable items are stored only on my computer at my desk at work).

But what really has taken a while to sink in, and who knows why, is that a simple phone call is often all you need to get things done. It’s a serious reliever of stress to just be able to chat with someone on the other end, sort things out and have a laugh while you’re at it.

Personalities shine through, you can get a handle on what others are concerned about and get in a quick chat about random nonsense while you’re at it. It’s so easy.

So from now on, as much as I love to shoot quick emails, I’m going to make more phone calls. And I think I’m going to make more friends while I’m at it.

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