I've decided that Instant messenger is probably my most useful development tool. The current project I'm on has a very distributed development team. The project is managed from our aylesbury office, and we have a development team there, we have another team in our newbury office, as well as a couple of developers in our cambridge office. There is an onsite office at the customer where we typically have several people running workshops or training, then there is a team in redlands working on this project too. Messenger is such a good way to communicate, you don't have to bother people with a call, or create huge long email threads to have a conversation or just to get a simple bit of info that you need there and then. MSN seems to be the protocol of choice, though i know there are a few teams in redlands who use AIM instead. This project would be so much harder without it.