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Email: The wrong tool to manage your work

In the good old days, an email notification always meant something important. Getting an email back then was like receiving registered mail today. It always got attention. Nowadays though, this is no longer the case.

Your inbox has become a playground for all sorts of emails. This ranges from high-priority work emails to newsletters and spam. Managing your inboxes keeps getting more and more difficult.

According to a McKinsey study, the average worker sends and receives around 124 emails per day. A staggering 11 hours are spent every week sending and reading emails. That’s 28% of the 40-hour week, spent trying to organize work, instead of getting things done.

Email is an inefficient way to to manage work. Imagine adding 20% to your employees work time for free, just by adopting a more efficient work management tool.

Technology has greatly changed over the years, and so did work management solutions. When email first came out, it was the best thing available. However, this is no longer the case, and using email to manage work is a huge waste of time that can be easily avoided.

The following are the top reasons why using email to manage work is wasting your time, money, effort, all while lowering your team’s productivity.

1. Poor collaboration features

Emails are good for their original purpose: sending someone a specific message. That’s why email has become such an important tool that people use on a daily basis.

When it comes to team collaboration though, email fails miserably. Any productive workflow is heavily reliant on collaboration between team members. The better your team can communicate together, the better they’ll perform.

While you can theoretically do that with email, the result is always a mess. Sharing big files or specific file formats requires external links, it’s hard to tell who is talking to who, and that’s just the peak of the iceberg.

When you try to find a specific older message or file that was exchanged between team members, that’s when the nightmare begins!

2. Easy to miss important notifications

Missing important notifications is something that email is notorious for. When you look at how it works though, the reasons become obvious. The longer a thread between you and someone gets, the easier it becomes to lose an email in the discussion.

In some industries, missing an email could mean nothing short of a disaster. Even if you manage to see that important email, forgetting about it is also very easy. And the methods that you can use to remind yourself -like flagging an email- are all manual methods are are prone to human error.

No matter how careful you are, sooner or later, you’ll miss an important email and will have to live with the consequences. And the more emails you receive, the sooner this will happen.  

3. Tracking progress is hard

Whenever there is a business and a team, there are tasks assigned to different team members. That’s how a business works. Can you use emails to assign tasks to people? Of course, you can. All you have to do is send someone an email telling them to get a specific task done. That’s the easy part.

The not-so-easy part though is tracking the progress on these tasks. Asides from the fact that the person you assign the task to can lose your email in the swarm of other emails they receive, you’ll struggle to follow up with them.

You’re assigning different tasks to different people throughout the day, and tracking all of this manually is not efficient, to say the least. It’s a matter of time before a task falls from the cracks and ends up forgotten about by you, and the person you assigned it to. Even if you manage to stay on top of all that, it’ll take an enormous amount of time and effort. And it’s all for nothing. 

4. No centralized location for work 

Emails have been around for a long time, and they work in a very specific way. In other words, they’re not designed to work the same way your business does. And that’s why you need to compensate with additional services/applications. You can’t send that file on email? Host it on DropBox. Can’t have a meaningful conversation between multiple team members? Use Slack.

The result is tangled web of files and messages that’s hard to sort. It’s easy to get something lost in that mess, let alone find it when you need it. You might even find discrepancies between messages exchanged on different platforms, or have a hard time which file is the most up-to-date. And that’s why you need a centralized work location.

Having everything in one place means better-organized work that takes less time and effort to manage. More importantly, it can save your business some embarrassing mistakes that result from poor coordination. 

5. It’s hard to keep them organized

The 124 email per day we mentioned earlier is what the “average” worker deals with. When you’re a manager or a team leader, this figure can grow exponentially. And that’s per day. If you receive around 300 emails daily, imagine the amount of work you’ll have to do to keep all of your emails organized. It’s a full-time job that you shouldn’t be doing.

No matter how hard you try, you’ll always be struggling with keeping your emails organized. And the same applies to your team members, who are also working hard to keep things organized. The result is hundreds of lost hour and lowered productivity. And that’s all for no reason, except using the wrong tool to manage work. 

So, what’s the alternative?

Instead of using email to manage your work, you could use a centralized business management platform like AbraxaIt acts as central repository of information and important documents, organizes team collaboration and maximizes productivity. Abraxa can be customized to fit your workflows and processes so your team can focus on work that matters. 

Conclusion

Emails are good for what they were made for, which is sending messages. When it comes to managing your work, it’s an inefficient tool that’s wasting your, your money and your effort. By using a centralized solution that works the way your business does, you can unleash the full potential of your team and reach new levels of efficiency