Email has seen many evolutions since the first electronic message was sent in 1965 and since Ray Tomlinson introduced the @ symbol as a way to direct messages to a specific user in 1971. Gradually, emails moved from the domain of researchers and academics to widespread acceptance as internet accessibility grew. Clunky AOL and Yahoo accounts gave way to innovations like Gmail, and for a time, email was viewed as a game-changer for businesses and individuals alike.
It’s a new era, however. Internet connectivity is pervasive. Desktop, laptop and smartphone technology continues to improve. And a generation who grew up asking, “What’s the Wi-Fi password?” is entering the workforce. The by-product of these changing dynamics may very well be the death of email.
Here are some statistics to consider:
- In 2017, approximately 269 billion emails were sent every day, a number that is expected to grow to 320 billion by 2021
- For individuals who work in offices, they receive an average of 121 emails per day
- Nearly half of all emails sent are spam
- Spam costs businesses more than $250 billion annually
- In 2016, 75% of companies were impacted by phishing scams
Seems manageable, right? (insert eyeroll here)
As these stats (and more) show, email is cluttered. It’s easy for an important message to get lost in the noise of spam and accidental Reply All messages. Even tactics such as marking emails as high importance or trying to jam the subject line full of important points, don’t always work. Some email providers have taken this a step further and have tried to introduce filtering, labels and tags to separate important messages from ads. Again, these tools are not fool proof. One of the biggest challenges with email is trying to keep the hordes of emails received and sent everyday organized. While folders and grouping by conversation help, there’s still a high probability for confusion and mistakes.
To Reply All or Not?
Email isn’t really built to handle team messaging or collaboration. Workers in creative fields may find that email is particularly limiting in this regard. Email is built more for long-form communications. It is faster than snail mail but there can be a lag when new messages come in. A common team messaging frustration is when two people reply all and their messages come in at the same time. This leads to confusion and more annoying emails trying to sort out the situation. Another common headache is someone who forgets to reply all during team messaging, and key stakeholders miss important updates or requests.
Who is Responsible?
With email, it’s difficult to establish accountability. Often a request can go ignored until the team worker bee, who always takes on more work than expected, steps up to claim it. Email is also a partial form of communication. Recognizing that email is very cluttered, many workers are hesitant to add to the mess with yet another comment. They may not think it’s worth sending an email out when a project is finished, so many team members may be left in the dark about a project’s status.
Switching Between Tools
While possible, it can be clunky to integrate email into project management. There’s been a revolution in project management software in recent years, with more and more teams realizing how helpful these tools are to improving productivity. Some offer integrations with email, but it’s still difficult to use. It can be tricky to set up and annoying to have to switch back and forth between systems to communicate or collaborate.
Individuals who work in creative and freelance positions often have to send files back and forth for review. Email attachments are usually restricted to a certain file size. Users can compress files or use cloud storage and insert a link in the email, but this recreates the switching problem mentioned above. Additionally, in long email chains, it can be difficult to identify the most recent file everyone should be using. Version control can easily become a problem with workers updating old files.
How is Vabotu Fixing these Problems?
Email is very ingrained into business culture, but a growing number of users are realizing its limitations and are eager to find an alternative. Vabotu, with team workspaces that make collaboration easy, offers solutions to the frustrations and challenges listed above. Here’s how the software delivers a superior experience to email:
- Team Workspaces: The cornerstone of the Vabotu platform is its team workspaces. Everything happens here: instant messaging, task boards, files, project collaboration, task management, media storage, etc. Workspaces can be set as public – anyone can access – or private – only for a limited number of users. Workspaces make it easier to find any conversation or file related to a project or task. Workspaces have advanced search capabilities that make it easy to find exactly what users are searching for.
- Team Messaging: Within this section of the platform, users can instant message with colleagues, share files and collaborate with ease. Messaging can be to the whole group or to a specific individual. Messaging can happen privately between specific users, or it can happen in the workspace so everyone can be kept abreast of any developments. It also helps establish accountability.
- Task Boards: Boards help teams stay in sync, hit deadlines and meet goals. It’s the easiest way to manage tasks and projects. By using task boards, teams can set up workflows for designing, sales, issue tracking and more. It’s easy to organize, track and prioritize different tasks with the simple and streamlined layout. Teams can assign tasks and sub-tasks so everyone can see instantly who is working on what and where the task is in the workflow. Boards help keep teams on schedule and identify any issues as soon as they arise.
- Media Hub: This media library holds all files that teams use in their projects. It enables quick access to any file that is needed. Documents, images, presentations, videos, recordings, templates and more can be stored here for easy access.
- Collaboration Tool: With Vabotu, collaboration isn’t limited to just within a team or organization. Teams can also invite clients to be a part of their workspaces and collaborate directly with them. This speeds up the feedback process and, as a result, the overall deadline. Users can also participate in this real-time collaboration by commenting directly on designs to make sure that feedback is more immediate and better organized.
Vabotu makes collaboration easy by centralizing conversation groups, files and tasks so everyone and everything is easy to find in one place. It provides clear and instant visibility on conversations, people and work. No more wasting time trying to sort through and make sense of emails. Vabotu solves the problems of clutter, version control, task switching, lack of accountability and general confusion and frustration that are often experienced with email.
The combination of Vabotu’s tools is particularly helpful for creative roles. The tool includes a number of visual elements that are likely pleasing for the artistically-minded. Also, Vabotu takes care of the annoying administrative and organizational work, freeing up workers and teams to focus on creativity. As workers are empowered to focus on their core passions, it’s likely that they’ll feel more fulfilled in the jobs. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle: better collaboration leads to better employee satisfaction leads to better work leads to better team and company results.
The Death of Email
Email has served its purpose. It enabled faster and more frequent communications between individuals and teams all around the world. As with all great innovations, though, there’s always a future version, an upgrade or a replacement technology.
It’s likely too early to declare that email is dead, but that future may not far away, especially in the business world. With a tool like Vabotu, teams can communicate and collaborate in an easier, more productive and more efficient fashion. It includes the best of email, messaging and product management tools, without unnecessary switching and confusion. Easy to set up, easy to customize and easy to use, Vabotu is the way forward for creative teams and freelancers across all industries.