What does your email inbox say about you?
Your email inbox can be likened to your work desk. Or your filing cabinet. Or your office itself. How you manage it can impact the way your mind works in executing your tasks in the workplace. It can either clear your thinking, or stress you out even more.
Going digital in the workplace doesn’t automatically mean that clutter is completely eliminated. More often than not, the stuff in your desk just migrated to your computer desktop; implying that even electronic document systems can still contain “junk” of some sort. Apparently, just as an organized work management system is required in order to be more efficient in the workplace, a business needs an effective electronic document management system, and is also as beneficial.
Achieving efficiency and productivity in the workplace can be quite challenging since processes and business tasks tend to be aplenty and chaotic. Customers nowadays also became more demanding with their needs. Deploying technology in the workplace can either distract employees, or help them to be more effective in their work, so it is critical that a business will consider each and every tool that it will adopt.
Email Trends in the Business
Digital communication systems are also one of the biggest benefits of technology in the workplace. Internet empowers the different applications used to make more effective digital communications. The email, is one of the oldest forms of technological application in the business, but still remained to be the most preferred way to communicate, more than texting or using the social media.
The popularity and usage of email in the business is still subjective to what business scale it will be deployed in. For most large scale businesses, collaboration softwares are preferred over email, yet email is still part of the personal and day to day transactions of its employees. Emails have already achieved that status of being an integral part of an employee’s routine in the workplace, so it is true, that email isn’t going anywhere.
There are many ongoing concerns and issues about the use of technology in the workplace, with emails in particular. For some companies, they ban the use of emails during non-work hours. Others discourage its use for personal purposes. Despite of the resistance of some to the real value of email for businesses, it remained robust and standing, and continues to be functional. The following are some of the notable comparisons that businesses are contemplating with about emails in the workplace:
- Email versus the Social Media
Both the email and social media are effective marketing channels which primarily focus on the business’ visibility to its target audience, and customer awareness of the brand or image it projects.Although the social media are gaining popularity these days, it also introduced a new set of challenges on its own. For one, the activity stream of different people in your network can result into “information overload”. It is quite challenging to filter this information that plenty, especially that these sites doesn’t have filtering or sorting tools integrated in its platform to begin with. Unlike with email, its internal management capabilities such as folders, flagging, sorting and prioritizing provide more functions that are helpful in implementing an effective email or information management system.
- Email versus Newsfeeds (RSS)
This can actually be sort of a societal debate rather than a business related one, but with the insights about it can help businesses with their marketing strategies. For the sake of argument, the advantage of engaging customers with Newsfeeds instead of using an email is that from that one preferred topic, businesses can suggest more topics in relation to it, which can arise more topics of interest for the customer to consume. This is another perspective on customizing a marketing campaign, according to a specific customer preference, which is somehow achievable with email marketing too.
- Email versus Enterprise Social Networks (ESN)
In ESN, information is localized inside an exclusive community of selected participants, where the messages are posted only for them to see. On the contrary to social media or email, the information doesn’t travel in ESN; where in order to be conveyed to other people, the coordinator should invite them first.
What Is an Email Management System?
For many, an email management system is simply consolidating all emails that were coursed through the official company email, sending it to concerned groups to properly address, and classify what remains before storing. This kind of approach to email management can jam the email server, because in the first place, it was never created to serve as a repository for such huge volumes. It would then be more challenging to preserve what is useful in these emails with regard to legal requirements in the event of government investigations.
Email management systems are actually an intelligent software on its own, which can get capture all emails created and received by the employees and combine them in its centralized hub. Email management tools are able to implement a classification scheme, which can manage the emails’ content, retention time in the email server, and all access controls. This is possible through the use of metadata, which is simply put as the “data about a data”. Metadata is essential in understanding the usefulness and information that is stored in data warehouses of a business.
Another feature of an email management software is its ability to archive emails. Archiving means that emails, or copies of it including the attachment, is forwarded to a separate site. In reality, an email management system is just a part of a bigger system, which utilizes formal and compliant standards and policies, and even conducts activities among the staff of its own.
Various approaches are used in organizing email management systems in the business. It is not surprising that with the number of technology based tools used for increasing the productivity levels of the members of the business organization, document and data management systems are regarded as end process bins, or just simply a sorting and storage system. Using an inbox management tool is like having a regular general cleaning method for your business email inbox, to be able to fully utilize the more valuable content for your business benefit.
For more information about email management tools and its latest benefits for your business, read on these email management tool reviews here.
Tactics on Getting an Organized Email Management
Deploying technology based tools such as an email management app, will not achieve a full success on its own. Human intervention and participation is still the keys in realizing the best potential of using technology for your business’ own benefit. Here are some email management best practices that you can adopt:
- Reduce email usage to more important tasks.
An absolute necessity should be the driving point in maximizing email usage in the business. Highly effective communicators don’t just use either single or multiple communication channels, but to utilize such in relation to its effectiveness to the directed recipient.The rule of thumb is basically, when you send less emails, you will receive also less of it. But a more specific approach would be: if you use email wisely, it will give you peace of mind.
- Maximize email inbox tools.
Your email inbox has a lot of useful buttons, options and settings, which can enable better email management with little time. One of the simplest tools to try is the “Mark Read” and “Mark Unread”. These buttons make it easier to sort irrelevant emails which are usually subscription based ones, from the most important ones. Simplifying the number of emails to open can refrain you from being overwhelmed with your email management task, which can also act as a to-do list that you can easily deal with your downtime.
- Establish a regular routine.
A habit is a certain behavior that is done automatically and effortlessly. Setting aside time in doing one stuff, at the exact time everyday will make you establish a routine. Make it as a positive opportunity to routinely manage your emails in the most regular manner you can, say, everyday. The cumulative effect of not sticking to a schedule can cause bigger stress for you, so make sure that you make a plan that you are most comfortable with.
- Choose email wordings carefully.
Sending emails can be critical at times, especially that because of its simplicity and fast delivery, some users are not mindful of their choice of words, or in conveying their message in a specific and straightforward manner. This can reduce responses that seek additional clarity, thus reduces the strain on your email.
- Choose recipients wisely.
Email messages tend to be in chains, and a lot of times aren’t used appropriately for the sake of sending a single message to many recipients. There are instances that even if the responses doesn’t concern you anymore, you will still receive it as part of the thread. So it is wise to properly use an email for a specific and targeted purpose. Your email inbox will thank you for it.
- Acknowledge upon receipt of email.
Well, this can be also an aspect of email etiquette, but it is not only respectful, but it can refrain subsequent follow up’s for you, and lengthen the thread. A simple and short acknowledgement might be enough, and you may also include other means to reach you if they have any clarifications that just require casual answers.
A good thing about this is that you can use an email tracking tool for this kind of requirement, which can tell you if your intended recipient has already opened your message, or has downloaded its attachment. This kind of tracking is non invasive of privacy, to note.
- Keep email usage in a professional level.
Being professional in the workplace as well implies that certain sensitive matters and issues should be dealt better with face to face communication rather than using the email. Nonverbal communication tends to be misinterpreted, especially in the absence of associated emotions. It is also important to note that what was put in writing can be used against you when such circumstance arise. So it is wise to refrain using email in dealing with sensitive issues, especially when you don’t want your company file associate your name with it.
Organizing your email management system shouldn’t be an elaborate and exhausting task to do. Developing good habits over organizing work related matters will actually help you be a more productive and efficient member of the business organization.
The best email management tools can help you better achieve the tremendous benefits of effective communication in your own business. Reviews of email management tools will give you expert user feedback about its actual impact on certain industry settings.
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