How To: Cut Back on Email and Save Time

It's pretty common for Box users to reach out to us on Twitter with feedback, questions or suggestions. Just a few days ago, one of our users asked us an interesting question about moving his team over to Box. He tweeted:

We've heard this story over and over again at Box – workers are frustrated with disorganized, never-ending email chains and attachments, so they decide to move to Box to centralize their content. But what do you do if your team is still buried in email and hasn't yet made the jump to the cloud? Surprisingly, getting your team to slowly give up their email addiction is easier than it sounds. All it takes is a little dedication, some patience and a desire to be more productive. And while email will always be necessary for some aspects of every job, spending less time in your inbox and more time actually working can only be a good thing.

Here are 3 quick and easy tips for getting your coworkers out of their inboxes:

1. Encourage face-to-face contact

Have you ever tried to send a "quick" email, only to have the conversation spiral into a full-blown, in-depth discussion? When this happens, it's a lot easier to simply speak in person (or over the phone) rather than continue the conversation in your inbox. Misunderstandings are pretty common when it comes to email - why not eliminate that possibility altogether by chatting for 5 minutes? If you'd still rather not speak in-person, you can always try tip #2.

2. Use instant messaging

We're huge fans of instant messaging at Box. It's incredibly convenient, and for questions that need a simple yes or no response, there's really no need to send a lengthy email. Some clients like Google Chat feature chat logging, making it easy for you to keep track of everything for later use. Using IM also encourages your coworkers to respond more quickly - a blinking chat notification is more likely to get a response right now than yet another email in their inbox.

2 Centralize your content

Spreading your content across multiple users is the easiest way to get sucked into a endless email chain. Since people are constantly passing around the most recent version of a file, no one's sure what's updated and what isn't, which ultimately leads to confusion, lots of unnecessary emails and wasted time. Moving all your content online (with say, a service like Box ;) )means that your team will never have to deal with versioning problems or attachments ever again. Most of all, it means you'll be more organized. Keeping your documents in one place is a whole lot easier than furiously searching your inbox for that document you need.

Have any other tips for cutting back on email? Share them with others by leaving a comment below. A big thanks to @fredericg for starting this conversation!