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Posted in: Collaboration, FMYI

Step up team communication with the new “Stoplight Email”

What does your overflowing email inbox have in common with my eight-month-old, just learning to crawl? They’re both frustrating and oddly enough, share the same solution!

Travis, the newest addition to my family, was learning this weekend to crawl. My wife, my three-year-old and I were a team, trying to figure out how to help him move forward. I put lots of toys all around him so he’d have many options – it lead to a few cute squirms but proved too overwhelming. My wife did the opposite and took away all toys so there were no distractions, but that lead to loud shrieking screams! Finally, our three-year-old put just one object out of his reach so he could focus, and we got to see him make real progress!

We all have individual work styles when it comes to team communication through email. Everyone works differently and the key to reaching goals is to provide each individual the option to select the perfect amount of email. Many people recognize the value of an internal collaboration system to manage their information and send email alerts, using tools such as Basecamp, SharePoint or an alternative, however they struggle with different work styles in a one-size-fits-all solution.

That’s what’s different about the new Stoplight Email approach for internal team communication. It works with your current email and works with each person’s individual style:

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1. Some people are on the go and prefer a constant flow of email to keep up with what’s going on – however they want to simply reply to their emails and then delete them, not worrying about staying organized.

2. Others refuse to add a single email to their inbox and instead prefer an activity stream (similar to the newsfeed in Facebook, but for work) to review what’s new.

3. And some want one email a day or a week to keep up with what’s going on. If they need information more frequently, they can look it up within a project or contact management system.

It’s a trifecta that ensures user adoption, reduces email stress and allows people to focus on reaching their goals. The keys to success are to first have a system to securely leave files and details organized for select team members, with the ability to automatically email alert when someone needs to know about new information. Secondly, satisfy mobile users who live and die by email with the ability to reply and not have to sign into any system. Thirdly, there must be options to select how frequently to receive emails (digest options). And, for the emergencies that inevitably pop up, a bonus is an override to send an urgent alert to digest users.

And there’s a business case for making email more efficient – people spend 2.5 hours a day (600 hours a year) on email - wasted time is money out the window. Not only are Stoplight Email features available to anyone, it’s also built into FMYI’s project management and contact tracking collaborative tool. Sure you can upgrade to grab more space and more features, but all elements are in theFMYI Free team collaboration version as well!

imageMy eight-month-old hasn’t given up on crawling, and you shouldn’t give up on striving for perfect team communication. Here’s a way to take your first step: take a break from email madness and join the FMYI crew on Friday, May 4th in not checking email for 1-hour at 1:00 PM local time. Instead, use that hour to simply focus on a project that will make a different in your business day.

-Seth

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