Could you become a member of the zero email inbox club?

Could you become a member of the zero email inbox club?

Email is arguably the most common form of daily business conversation, communication and notification. Therefore it may come as no surprise that one of the most common problems our customers experience is the uncontrollable high volume of emails they receive. It only takes being out of the office for one day or even a few hours for your inbox to spiral out of control with an influx of new emails.

Could you send me that again?

How many times have you struggled to find an email? You would wouldn’t be the only one. The task of finding the email in question involves sifting through vast amounts of existing mail. The needle in a haystack analogy comes to mind.

Most of the time our search method could be summed up by a ‘long period of scrolling’. After this period, you might end up asking the other person to send you that important document again. Now you have 2 versions, and you’ve wasted hours in your week unnecessarily.

Other problems include critical attachments remaining in personal inboxes, urgent emails interrupting daily tasks and many more.

The Letterbox Analogy

Whether you use Microsft Outlook, Gmail or another emailing system, let's consider your email system as a letterbox...

Letters come in, we open them, review, and either bin them or put them in a pile to be actioned. If we are particularly organised, we might categorise or file them eg bills, business etc. Now imagine we treated our front doors like our email inbox; pick up a letter, open it, read it, and drop it back down on the doormat. Would you consider this a normal way to behave? Probably not, so why do we do this with our emails?

Your inbox was never meant to be a storage container so as important as emails are, that email confirmation you receive about receipt of tender, or the team email arranging the next major product review doesn't need to remain in your inbox. An easier way to keep our inbox clear would be to store emails in a central system.

A better way to manage email

Centralised document and drawing management software

Imagine there was a system where emails were:

  • Visible across your entire team
  • Accesible from your mobile phone
  • Easily searchable
  • Automatically categorised by customer, project, contact and date.

This is the type of powerful functionality that a document and drawing management software like Excitech DOCS offers. The concept is this...

You use the system's Outlook integration to drop emails in your inbox into a related project within the system. If each team member dropped in the same email, you would only see one version inside Excitech DOCS; it automatically deduplicates for you.

Our document and drawing management software Excitech DOCS is based on ‘metadata’, or information attached to an email or document. And this is where things get interesting.

Let’s say you receive an email from John Tomlinson at ABC Architects, related to a building called Sun Towers which is currently under construction. You can see every single email on Sun Towers through the virtual folders view. You could then navigate to an alternative view and see every single email from John Tomlinson, by date, or if attachments are included. Finally, you could view every email ever received from ABC Architects, categorised by who those emails were sent to.

There would be no need to keep these emails within your inbox as they would all be stored within the document and drawing management software. The outcome? A more manageable inbox.

A few helpful email management tips:

Create a ‘CC’ folder. If you’re copied into an email, its likely to be for information only with no immediate action from you. So why send it to your main inbox and let this disturb you? Redirect emails into the ‘CC’ folder using Email Rules in Outlook.

Flag and schedule. When returning to 50 emails in your inbox do a ‘first pass’ and quickly flag any emails that need actioning. Delete any emails that don’t need your attention. Schedule the flagged emails to be actioned today, tomorrow, end of this week etc.

Keep it clean with Excitech DOCS. Filing into a central system like Excitech DOCS will allow you to easily find this email based on what you know about it. Limit results to sent date, sent to etc. Delete from your inbox!

For more information on our document and drawing management software Excitech DOCS, click on the button below.