The email has been the most used business communication tool for the past couple of decades. It’s been available almost since the beginning of the internet. Also, it’s probably one of the first things you set up when you start browsing.
However, email has been designed to be used individually. There are only personal accounts that cannot be shared unless you make use of FWD, CC’s, BCC’s and other confusing features traditional email tools offer.
As companies have been urging for more collaboration on their business activities, the concept of “Shared Inbox” has emerged and rapidly spread across thousands of organizations. Here’s what you need to know about it.
We have already talked about different ways to share inbox with your team in our blog. But if you want to have a better understanding of Shared Inboxes before deciding whether to apply it to your team, this post is probably for you.
Nothing is perfect. Although the concept of Shared Inbox is absolutely brilliant, there are some pitfalls that you should be aware of to ensure you make the most of this for your team?
Why sharing inboxes is brilliant
There are a series of reasons why Shared Inboxes are brilliant. That’s why we developed and use Drag every single day:
– They remove extra steps: In the normal email process, whenever you want to share an email with more people, think about how many steps you need. Click on “forward” + some typing like “FYI” or something like that + some typing to input the recipient(s) + click on “send”. Do you know how many steps do you need to do the same on a Shared Inbox? That’s right: zero;
– They process things faster: Basically, different people are able to access the same messages and reply to them in real time. On the normal Email process, the total time to process an email might be long. Your time to receive & read the email + your time to forward the email + the time to the other person receive & read the email + the time he/she takes to make an action on that (let’s say this action is to reply to you) + your time to receive & read it again! Whereas on a Shared Inbox, all of this is instantaneous.
– They keep your team on the same page: Miscommunication has always been one of the biggest problems with Email, most of all when it involves several people.
All of complex forwarding, cc’ing, bcc’ing, email threads and other stuff adds lots of risks on every single step of Email communication. And all of this disappears in a Shared Inbox.
Every teammate will receive exactly the same information, at exactly the same time, from the exact same person. The team is always aligned.
In addition, the only thing that is even more brilliant than a Shared Inbox is a Kanban Shared Inbox. Allied with a Kanban view, shared inboxes go absolutely unbeatable. You can visualize everything much better, add standalone tasks or extra information to emails such as notes or due dates. A GAME-CHANGER.
The risks of shared inboxes
Nothing is perfect. To make shared inboxes work, you need to get some organization in your company. If you don’t have the time, it might seem difficult from the beginning, but you guys can get there?
– Duplicated messages: When you have multiple people receiving the same message and replying to it in real time, there is a risk of different team members reply to the same message at exactly the same time. If your team doesn’t engage, messages might be redundant. To avoid it, the team should clearly assign emails to specific team members. Ideally, the Shared Inbox should contain a collision detection feature, that displays when someone is typing;
– Lack of ownership: That’s the opposite of the first issue. In a team with communication issues, some people might start feeling like they don’t need to follow up if the other person started the conversation.
This kind of issue solves easily by aligning information with the whole team. Shared inboxes work very well when people clearly understand their internal processes and roles;
– Loss of context: People work on different paces. As mentioned above, one of the nicest things about Shared Inboxes is to keep the team on the same page. However, this is subject to the team being minimally aligned on when they check their email.
This is especially critical with teams that work on different time zones. It’s like a WhatsApp group: how many times have you checked it and you had 457 unread messages? It’s really tough to keep being on top of that, right?
Interested in sharing an inbox with your team?
Well, there are different ways to do it.
The best way is by instantaneously turning Gmail into a Shared Inbox with Drag. We aim to help companies be more collaborative and productive by sharing everything they need to do. Together, into one single place. In that place, they spend most of their time: their Inbox.
Shared inboxes work very well, they just need some set up done to make it perfect for your company.
Our opinion? Well, it’s worth it.
You wouldn’t be looking for a solution if everything was fine in your company. Solutions require changes, and you’ve got to work in order to achieve these changes. The more you’re active about this, most your company will make from this change.
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and then feel the difference in productivity after your team collaborates more in a platform as simple and crucial as email.
What you’ll learn inside Drag
Starting now, we’re aiming to share what our plans are, how we’re doing and what lessons we’re learning along the way.
- Just like this article, you’ll get real-time updates on what’s happening, what’s working and how it feels in a startup.
- Quick videos explaining quick wins and how to grow your business
- Live Instagram updates. Real-time stories of what’s happening
This is our attempt at sharing everything. It’s as simple as that You don’t have to be a customer to follow us.