In today’s working world, our senses are inundated with an enormous flood of information every day. It is not always easy to keep track of this flood of information and a lot of working time is wasted just to filter out to-dos from various mail histories and to structure one’s tasks. There is a simple way to minimize this e-mail flood: The cloud-based collaboration in Asana. Using an example, we will show how the task and project management tool can be used to reduce both your e-mail inbox and that of your colleagues.
Who has not had this problem? You need a short answer from a colleague, but can’t reach them, so you write them an email explaining the issue. It is not uncommon that another colleague has already asked the same question and most likely already has two e-mails about the same topic in his or her inbox. Let’s look at another example: A colleague is on vacation or away from home and you urgently need the offer he or she has asked for. Of course, you don’t have access to the colleague’s mailbox and since they’re not there, they can’t save from a shared folder either. So you have no choice but to send the supplier another e-mail. This is not only annoying but also costs time. Asana offers several options to get around these problems.
The first way to reduce e-mail is to use comments. Comments can be left in every single task, milestone, or approval. This way you can give feedback or ask a question directly to the colleague in Asana. The tool offers the possibility to mention people by name, which notifies them about the comment in Asana. The advantage of the comment function is that it can be read by all project participants and duplicate requests are avoided. Also, information is automatically structured according to tasks, so that the number of queries is minimized and at the same time the long search for the relevant information in one’s mailbox is eliminated.
The ability to add documents from the PC, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, or OneDrive on a task basis also helps to reduce the number of e-mails. With cloud-based storage services, a link to the corresponding document is simply stored. A file can also be uploaded to Asana. In this way, repeated requests due to the absence of colleagues are a thing of the past.
An additional advantage is that the documents can be opened directly in Asana and no other program is needed. Uploaded documents can be commented on and thus provide direct feedback. This feedback generates a subtask which can be described with details and assigned to the responsible person. This ensures that the relevant colleague is notified and keeps track of his or her task without the need to send an e-mail reminder.
If you communicate exclusively via e-mail or chat, it also happens that relevant topics are discussed that not everyone is aware of. In this case, it is recommended to use the higher-level discussion function at the project level in Asana. This allows project participants to follow the discussion, join in the discussion, or simply stay informed. Of course, project participants added later can also view this communication without having to open a new e-mail loop. The same applies to the discussion function at the team level.
Another way to reduce e-mail is to standardize processes. In this context, the use of Asana forms is particularly practical when obtaining quotations and inquiries. In the beginning, a project is opened with the required user-defined fields. Documents can be attached via the form, which is then directly added to a task and saved in the project. A link generated individually for each form ensures that a form can only be used by the people who have the link. The form can be integrated on a website or other platforms, for example.
The planning and communication in Asana make it much easier to manage information overload and workload and thus to work more effectively in a team. Through the task-oriented platform, everyone always has access to the information they need. As a result, e-mails can be reduced and more time can be spent working productively.