With the increasing popularity of collaboration systems to communicate with trades, clients, partners, and internal staff, will email one day go away? Theoretically, with all the information contained within one technology system, the need for email decreases. Some in the industry suggest email could one day go away, ultimately being replaced with collaboration systems.

For almost six years, Donny Wyatt, founder, Co-construct.com, www.co-construct.com, Crozet, Va., has been telling custom builders and remodelers, ‘don’t use email; put it all in Co-construct.’ The theory addresses the hassle some incur by switching between email and a collaboration system. Wyatt says email is be an important part of how builders and clients collaborate—but can be more organized than jumbled in some inbox.

In a recent email to clients, Wyatt says, “Thanks to our most recent upgrade to Co-construct, that email reply will get grabbed out of cyberspace by Co-construct’s sticky little organization fingers, put neatly in the right spot on the right project, and then get blasted out to everyone who needs to know—just as if you had put it into the site on your own.”

This system is a hybrid version of sorts. Builders aren’t using email in a separate inbox, but instead using email and text messages within the technology system. In essence, this isn’t completely eliminating the use of email, but rather, strives to make it easier to use in conjunction with a technology system.

A number of residential homebuilding software systems have the capability to send email from directly within the software system. This is not a new concept. However, it brings up an interesting point—will email one day go away?

Collaboration is a hot topic in construction today. These systems are increasingly becoming a tool to improve documentation and communication between clients and partners. But the truth is while the software exists to communicate electronically, email is still an important part of how builders and clients collaborate today and is something that won’t likely go away anytime soon.

However, using email within the software is a good transition for builders. In some cases—Procore, www.procore.com, Santa Barbara, Calif., is one example—the software works with your current email, allowing builders to keep Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, or other email services, and can be used on a variety of devices such as a computer, cellphone, or laptop.

Overall, these capabilities within software give builders an easy way to manage, track, and organize email, allowing construction companies to assess information all in one location.

Are you interested in learning more about collaboration in construction today, and who tops the list for project-management systems in construction? Check out the 2011 Constructech IT Playbook.