Five ways to communicate without email

Panic! That's right your email has gone down so now what do you do? Well, thanks to the wonders of the Internet there are plenty of ways you can stay in touch with the world if you're not up for actually leaving your computer for 10 minutes while the problem is fixed.

Instant messenger
AOL, IM, Yahoo, Google Talk are just some of the options available to you if you want to use words rather than your voice. If you're a real instant messaging whore and have lots of friends on different networks then you need to get an application like Pidgin or Adium. They aggregate all your accounts into one application and normally give you a host of other features too. Adium for example will keep your conversation history if you close the window by mistake.

Skype
Great for video conferencing with other Skype users for free, the service is also really fast when it comes to sharing files like documents or images with other people. While you can do this in most IM applications, Skype for some reason is the best we've tested. You can even use it for dialling out to people who haven't even got email.

Twitter
Direct messages are just like email, but without all the inbox hassles. Okay so your messages are going to have to be short and sweet, however if you want to get a message to someone it's certainly one way to do it. If you aren't fussed about others possibly seeing your message then you can always just ping them a message without the DM issues.

Social networking
Facebook status updates, wall messages, and pokes will all offer you another way to stay in touch with people without the use of your inbox. You could use the extra time to fill in one of those likeness tests or "Are you really a Klingon?" quizzes. If you haven't really got much to say you could always resort to uploading pictures of them face down in a puddle of puke for a bit of "fun".

Mobile phones
Novel idea we know, but you could always just pick up the phone and give them a buzz. "Here's an idea I've got... I'll email you the details". Drat, maybe not.


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