Happy teams are alike in their habits of tracking communication. Seemingly, the most traceable communication medium of all is e-mail.
Sent messages arrive in writing and never disappear from the searchable inbox unless you explicitly say so. This positions e-mail uniquely.
Email messages appear more concrete than chats and post-its and simultaneously familiar enough to trust in the workplace.
The combination of these reasons encourages the use of e-mail to send action items to team members as well as to engage external participants.
Inevitably, in time, what used to be a simple mailbox became a form of task management in the inbox. The connection between email and task completion made email an inextricable part of our lives at work.
Customizing your email inbox to keep track of to-dos
To handle the incoming action items we get via email, receivers customize their inboxes. Essentially, we augment the structure of our inboxes in order to accommodate task processing in addition to messages. In our day, we’ve seen it all.
Switching between external task management tools constantly, sorting actionable communication in various folders, tagging messages that contain tasks with a star or bang, pushing todos to a mobile device to use desktop only for email and, last but not least, scribbling desperately in the formidable Moleskine notebook.
The overarching goal of all of these tactics is to ensure that nothing slips between the cracks. Further, the goal is also to make it easier to track todos separately from the ongoing feed of communications. Why does this simple aim often turn into such as mess?
The email client’s current format is not built as inbox task management
The Harvard Business Review’s Alexandra Samuel got it right when she noted, in her 2014 article “Stop Using Your Inbox as a To-Do List”, that if we’re:
“…conflating email and task management, then the job of simply communicating–reading and replying to your messages–gets bogged down by all the emails you leave sitting in your inbox simply so you won’t forget to address them.”
As is, the format of the typical Gmail or Office 365 inbox cannot support both task management and message management activities at once.
At the end of the day, there is only so much you can accomplish with a huge list of 1,981 unread messages and no idea whether any or all contain a task pending no you.
We believe that task management and email have much in common and would benefit from finding a way of coexisting.
That’s why we decided to change the conversation by making Flow-e’s interface highly visual, intuitive and flexible.
Check out how to add to-dos to your emails using Flow-e:
This week, we added the ability to make and track To-Dos related to emails in Flow-e:
- Easily add To Dos to the bottom of an email;
- Attach To Dos directly to the communication from which they stem;
- Never have to flip between the inbox view and the task management view;
- Track To Dos in one place, an intuitive visual inbox;
- Effectively manage inbox and task management for best results.
Learn more about Flow-e