Email, not built for Collaboration

Email is good for communication but bad collaboration
Email, probably one of the best business tool ever. Email has made it easy for us to communicate a world away and to the person in the next office. Certainly a tool for every situation. But is it? Email is good for short pointed conversations with teammates you work with, business partners and customers to alert them on announcements and promotions. But when it comes to back and forth collaboration we quickly fall victim to the cluttered inbox.
The Problem with Email
Email lacks ways to assign tasks and track statuses about various processes within a business environment. Emails that were sent as a large CC are normally dead on arrival with recipients not wanting to reply. Another common thing is emails getting lost. These are but a few of our everyday problems with emails and trying to run a business with it. Business owners and management on a whole need to realize that there are other tools that can make their business processes lest stressful.
Using email for document collaboration is another nightmare employees face on a daily basis. Email attachments are great if something needs to be sent just once, and if the sender need not retain it. But the reality is that there are edits and revisions that need to be made. Changes are sometimes made by a number of people and files need to be changed correctly without losing valuable feedback along the way.
What else is there
Email is a tool, one of many in the business landscape that can be used to manage our daily business processes. What should be important to a business owner or manager is identifying the right set of tools for their business needs. This article isn’t about specific applications but the type of tools that can be used for various task. We will dive into these tools more in another article.
Instant Messaging
Instant chat is a great way to have a virtual meeting with a person or group to quickly dish out ideas. This saves users time in sending emails and awaiting responses on basic stuff.
Video Conferencing
If typing is not your thing then the plethora of video conferencing tools like Skype and even Google Hangouts can be a good way to reach out. With the access of web cams and fast networks conducting a virtual meeting maybe better than assembling for one.
Intranets
The intranet was built for this very reason, to alert staff on what’s going on within the business and soliciting feedback. Sharing documents, schedules and other general announcements on an intranet site is far better than sending everyone an email. The information is always there and can be updated with ease without sending another set of emails.
Social Networks
Enterprise Social Networks are all the craze in the business world today. These networks allow for collaboration in a whole new way for the average office environment. Like its counterpart on the public internet, a social network can be a place to disseminate information, solicit feedback, post documents, schedule company events, chat and share just about anything.
These are just a few tools that can be used for general collaboration within a business. There are more specific tools to handle various processes but that’s for another article. In part two we will dive deeper into some of these tools.