As a team of designers, we constantly need to be in communications with clients. And so far, the most effective tools to do this, is still old fashion emails. Nothing else, really, does the job as well, I will expand more on that later.
Instead of helping Emails were getting in the way of our projects.
The problem was, we needed to spend so much time managing our emails communications. Every day. All the sifting through irrelevant ones, answering or taking care of whatever issue they brought on. Some days, by the time I was done with them, I had little time left to get anything else done.
We get lots of emails. As a team, we work on multiple projects, in parallel, each with numerous emails from clients and with each other. Clients regularly send us last minute requests, ask questions, provide new information on their ongoing projects. We also used to forward each other information on these same projects. And write to each other with requests as well.
Keeping up with all the details of these emails, on multiple projects, used to be a major source of stress and aggravation for me. In particularly busy periods, I would worry, all the time, about missing or misplacing something. “Oh wait, did I reply to Mary about that last question? “ “Did I create a task to add this new product for project #4? “ “I can’t recall if I gave Paul the last files for project #7 so he can get started on…” “Where is that email about x” And so on, and so forth.
Another problem was the difficulty to integrate them to the flow of our projects.
For example, emails often require creating a task that we then want to include in the correct project. Or, we just need to file the attached documents into projects, for reference. When our projects and list of tasks were in another software, doing this was very cumbersome.
Lastly, emails are terrible when used to delegate or accept tasks. How can I know if the task I assigned was accepted? If I don’t get an answer, is it just because Jack forgot to notify me? Or did he reject my request? What is the status on my tasks? This task tracking can quickly generate a ton of internal emails.
What about other communication systems?
Many apps claim they will replace emails. Some are quite good. Especially when it comes to replace long email chains and integrate different communication methods. Whether for internal communication or even with some external clients. But these tools are far from ideal when it comes to official communications, share documents or bigger files or to efficiently manage projects.
The thing is emails can’t be replaced easily. They are still very much alive and relevant.
Some of these solutions have been around for several years, by now. Yet, not one of them has managed to replace emails.
So, don’t let the news and fads fool you. Email is not dead: there are currently 6.69 billion email accounts.
I think, the bad reputation of emails, comes in part from the fact they are misused. Indeed, they shouldn’t be used when you need an immediate answer. Or, when you expect you will need a discussion with back and forth feedback.
However, even in those cases, writing a recap email is a good idea. It ensures everybody is on the same page. It also keeps a history of what was said and when. The fact is, our memory is not as reliable as we think it is.
Emails are effective and are still widely used for work and business. They have many advantages:
How can we keep them and not their issues?
This is where SAM inbox comes in. With it, we can make the most out of emails. We keep their benefits without the hassle to manage them.
Sam is our team’s centralized email and document Management system, all rolled into one.
Once in the inbox we can decide to:
In addition, Sam comes with other powerful complementary functions:
Emails are neatly filed in each project in context.
All attached files are automatically filed and consolidated in their own folder for easy access.
Emails are here to stay. They have their advantages, and everybody uses them. But we don’t have to accept their limitations.
Sam inbox function has truly transformed our experience as a team. It helps us make the most out of them, in a fraction of the time, it used to take us. We can now, effortlessly, attach them directly into the right projects and create tasks that are linked to them. We like the convenience of having all their attached documents filed automatically.
And personally, what I appreciate the most is that once I have attached my emails to a project, they are automatically available to everybody in the team. It is great not having to spend so much time managing emails. Instead, I can focus on what I love, working with clients on great projects.