Today is Information Overload Awareness Day.  We have written about overload in the enterprise in the past and published a white paper discussing it.

There are many contributors to overload within organizations. Perhaps the greatest contributor to overload in the enterprise is how email is used. We say “how it is used” because email itself is a very useful communication tool.  But its ubiquitous use is also its greatest challenge.

In addition to personal communication, email has become the catch-all for alerts, updates and information distribution. Many organizations, for example, still use distribution lists that are poorly organized and force the recipient to manually separate the signal from the noise.  Many systems, including portals and social software that are suppose to help with the overload problem, actually contribute to it by sending out separate alerts each time something occurs.

Our simple message today is that it does not have to be this way. Information Overload is not a byproduct of the digital era, it is a symptom of a problem that we can solve with modest changes in behavior and innovative thinking about how information is managed in our lives and organizations.

With that in mind we offer a simple idea for you to share with friends and colleagues on Information Overload Awareness Day 2011 to make information an asset instead of a liability in your life and at work.

  • Aggregate as many routine sources of information and content as you can into one place using a product like the Attensa StreamServer;
  • Organize and filter the information into appropriate topics or areas of interest so that it is possible to deliver people updates that fit their needs;
  • Personalize updates and deliver a single consolidated message rather than multiple messages throughout the day.

This simple approach reduces message volume and allows people to easily focus their attention on the items that matter to them.

This is easier to do than you think.