Tools to Eliminate Unnecessary Emails Between Coworkers

September 15, 2011

too much emailEmail. Yes, we all get a lot of it.
If you haven’t taken a few moments to set up filters and priority lists in your inbox, sorting through your unread emails can be quite the time-consuming chore.
Many small businesses rely on email as their main form of internal communication. This can be problematic. First, quick email reminders from team members can be annoying. Unless of course– the subject matter is hilarious or urgent (careful- remember the boy who cried wolf?). Also, internal emails can easily get lost in the mix. When we receive an email from a coworker we think, “Oh it’s just from Sally, I will read it after I follow up with my clients.” Yeah…it’s so easy to forget.
We’ve been working on decreasing the amount of internal emails between our team here at thinkspace. We have been using the following tools to keep each other in the loop without adding to each other’s unread inbox count.
1)    Yammer
Yammer is your company’s very own social network. Yammer functions like a Facebook wall. Anyone with permission in the network can post, like, and comment on the wall. We use Yammer to keep our team in the loop.
2)   Google Docs
We have several Google spreadsheets dedicated to streamlining communication processes. Instead of sending out emails with updates, our team knows to look inside certain documents for the information.
With a text document, users can add comments on the side bar in a discussion format. For example, we post all of our blog content into a Google text document before we publish it to the web.  On the sidebar we have a running dialogue of comments, edits, and feedback bouncing between our writers.
Google Docs are also great because we never have to re-save, upload, and send out documents to the entire team via email.
3)  Chat
Chat tools are great for quick communication between individuals. If you’re a Mac user, I recommend Adium. Adium is great for connecting multiple chat accounts in the same window.
4) Words
By words, I mean your actual voice. When you’re working on your own individual tasks, it can be difficult to get out of “the zone” and speak up. However, If you work in the same workspace with your coworkers it’s often more efficient to communicate face-to-face. Give it a try.
What tools do you and your team use?


Picture of thinkspace