Email, But Smarter
Despite all the ways email can make us unproductive, it isn’t going away. What options do we have to make the most of our email inboxes? Can smart apps and augmented productivity turn this fundamental fixture to our daily business practices into a high productivity tool?
Accepting What Email Isn’t
We’ve talked before about how effective email management is increasingly necessary for companies. Emails are integral to internal and external communication for companies, but their function far outstrips that of communication. You’re just as likely to use emails to allocate tasks, check progress, and chase deadlines. Communication is at the core of intensive project management, and email remains at the core of communication for most of us.
The fact of the matter is, we need emails to do more than they were designed to.
The Fixture of the Working Day
MediaPost columnist Ray Schultz recently reported on how email use does not shrink as firms deploy collaboration apps – in fact, counterintuitively it grows.
In his article, Schultz analyses a survey studying how collaboration software impacts email usage. The findings were surprising – not only do those companies still use emails, but email use increased by 58%. Shultz reports:
While most collaboration apps enable real-time communication, many don’t provide an easy and effective way for employees to store and retrieve collaborative work. Absent of this, along with a reported resistance to new workplace technology, employees default to legacy tools like email.
The legacy tools remain fixtures of our working day. They’re the status quo of the workplace, a comfort zone that managers and employees alike cannot put aside. With email as the bedrock of business communication, unlikely to ever be supplanted, how can we augment email to do more for us? How can smart apps help manage our inboxes and the workflows we manage through them?
Optimizing the Inbox
Some of the most successful software deals with ways of making your email inbox more useful. For instance, SaneBox uses smart algorithms to filter your inbox, as well having the capacity for reminders and easy cloud backup of incoming attachments. The mentality is clear here: make the inbox less overwhelming. We can increase productivity by streamlining how we use our email inbox.
HubSpot also improves the inbox experience by allowing fresh leads to trigger an automated response, allowing for increased productivity for CRM. The system also allows for a full history of a sales lead’s communications to be compiled in one place as an automated activity stream that connects directly to HubSpot Sales. As such, HubSpot keeps client communication integral to the customer journey, feeding data to the marketing software and maximizing sales prospects.
HubSpot and SaneBox are great solutions for communication external to the business. TeamworkIQ provides the same level of actionability to project management and process coordination whether the participants are internal or external to the company.
When you type up an email with action items or steps in a process, simply CC TeamworkIQ along with other recipients. TeamworkIQ acts like a virtual project manager. It reads the message, understands who needs to do what, generates a checklist outlining the process start to finish, and shares that checklist with everyone involved. Then, TeamworkIQ moves the work forward assigning tasks, notifying people when action is needed, and keeping everyone on the same page as work progresses.
TeamworkIQ augments the email experience with smarts that coordinates the work.
A major advantage of HubSpot, SaneBox and TeamworkIQ are that they require minimal change to the way in which people already work. HubSpot, SaneBox and TeamworkIQ don’t try to replace the inbox. They let people work the way they already do, but add smarts to the process to save everyone time, reduce errors and drive better outcomes.