Anyone who’s ever thought it important to become an expert in document management or operate in a digital environment knows that email is a staple of our work lives. However, it will begin phasing out and growing defunct within the next several years, and for two reasons:
1) document management technology exists to sidestep the cumbrous process of email, and 2) for whatever reason, most workers have not mastered the art of email etiquette, and have therefore made its usage problematic for the recipients of their messages. The result? Nobody feels good about using email. Think about it: When’s the last time someone quipped, “Yes, look at all the Email I have in my inbox!”
That’s right, never.
Without further ado, here are 5 tips to endure email usage until its soon becomes obsolete.
Once You Complete a Requested Action, Tell the Person Who Asked for It
We’ve all been there before. We do our best to be deserving arbiters of document management prowess, sending everything a person needs to complete our requests of them via email, and once sent, we sit and wait.
Minutes turn to hours, and hours turn to days. We become frustrated at the lack of response. We decide to finally reach out to them again via email and check whether they received our first email, which feels stupid – because we know they received it and are trying to tell them to hurry up. What’s more, sometimes we feel obligated to send this email because there’s no other way to verify whether this person has completed our requested action(s).
So, we hold our breath and message them, only to avail a response saying something to the effect of “Oh, I already did that.”
You could’ve at least told us, guy. Geez.
Upload Email Attachments to a Document Management Solution
Putting all the files in your email inbox into a Windows file structure does not equal good document management, in large part because you will be arbitrarily naming every file, and there is a smart way to avoid this, such as Zonal OCR, which functions as the equivalent of a virtual office assistant and more easily lets its users managed scanned and frequently used forms.
Once email dies out, you’ll eventually need a central repository to store and collaborate on files through, which holds at least some degree of compliance facilitating security.
Unless You’re Dying or Being Stalked by a Murderer, Do Not Send as “Urgent”
We all know someone who’s sent us an urgent email request characterized by the gigantic red exclamation mark—usually a panic inducing visual until we open the email in question and see the email is either impertinent to us or overstating its significance.
The great thing about a document management technology is its workflow—which doesn’t let its users send a request as urgent, but enables administrators to track who’s completed which task in the workflow without enabling them to overstate the importance of to dos or other action items.
Don’t Waste Time Encrypting an Email Message: Use a Document Management Solution Instead
2015 and 2016 have been heydays for data breach, and they are only forecasted to become worse. What’s more, email phishing is becoming a popular way for scammers to dupe email users. So, even, if you spend all that extra time encrypting documents on your email server, there are others ways hackers can launch an attack at you, so removing yourself from the space as quickly as possible and learning how to navigate on other platforms will prove useful.
What’s more, email is one of the main reasons content remains unstructured in organizations, and therefore more difficult to trace and derive insight from. Essentially, email acts as a silo between individuals and inherently lacks the collaborative capabilities of most document management technology. To transcend these limitations, relying on a secure and encrypted web portal to share information will render immediate and future benefits.
The sooner you stop tweaking email to fix its inherent difficulties, the sooner you can move on, and the more likely others will be to follow in the footsteps of you and your organization.
If You’re Going to Use Email, Use an Appropriate Subject Line, Please
Many email subject lines are non-sequiturs meaning the subject line has nothing to do with the content of the email. This becomes even more prevalent when people create another email chain to address the same problem that another chain attempted to address, culminating in information chaos.
Until companies learn to rely on the workflow features of a document management system, we can expect to continue seeing these results.