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  • Billie Lou Sastre 9:00 am on April 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: email, ,   

    Tips for improving your email productivity 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Recently on our Mexico Facebook channel, we posed a simple question that generated several responses, many of which surprised me and made me rethink about how we manage our email. Is it the master of our time?

    Having an empty inbox is not something we need to impose, but managing our inbox so that email doesn’t dominate our working day is essential. Let me share a few tips with you that can help you to achieve it.

    Managing your inbox with the 3 folder technique.

    It’s a simple method that aims to ensure that we spend the least amount of time on archiving our emails. How long each day do you spend archiving your emails? There are people who create folders by topic, by departments, by projects, and add subfolders to those folders… the list is endless and often you don’t know where to save an email because it probably complies with the requirements to go in more than one of those folders. The 3-folder system I propose is:

    1. Follow-up: Those emails you need to manage during the day without anyone else’s intervention.
    2. Hold: Those emails that you need the reply or supervision of someone else to be managed.
    3. Archive: All answered emails go in this folder

    Thanks to powerful search engines in the leading mail managers, you can find your emails quickly without losing 20% of your time archiving.

    Short, concise emails addressed to the right person.

    There are various currents of thought that seek to improve email effectiveness, like the one of the 3 sentences in which they assure that with 3 short paragraphs you can transmit the message, improving productivity and effectiveness for both the one writing and of course, the person receiving it. As Albert Einstein said, “Everything must be as simple as possible, not just simple.”

    If an email becomes an unending conversation, change the font!

    Emails are meant to transmit important messages, from one person to another. When it involves too many people in “email chains” or when it becomes more a conversation rather than a transmitted message, maybe it’s time you question whether it’s the right channel. For that, an Enterprise Social Network is the solution.

    Reduce notifications and email subscriptions as far as possible

    Your email shouldn’t be saturated with notifications from other social networks or subscriptions you read. The most important thing is to not become saturated, we should use email intelligently so it doesn’t become the only task that dominates our day, rather we can spend our time on our daily tasks. Don’t fill it with mails that you delete without reading.

    Compose the message subject properly

    The email subject is the way to communicate the topic you are going to discuss with the recipient, it’s the first impression and what will make the recipient decide when to open it. A good option is to write the subject after composing the email, include the topic you cover, try to use keywords.

    You can improve your productivity and enhance your work performance by managing your email properly. Let me close with a quote from Berto Pena: “Email isn’t a place to be. It’s a place to act. Read, process, decide, assign, and exit as quickly as possible so you can DO.”

     
  • Joan Alvares 9:00 am on October 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , email   

    Classes of spam 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Of all the ways you can lose prospective customers, spam is definitely the quickest and most effective way I know. For that reason, I find it fascinating how many companies continue to use this weapon of mass pollution, giving their money to “direct marketing” agencies that offer mass mailings with a click-through rate of 3%. 3%?!! It doesn’t matter that the other 97% don’t receive the mail, immediately trash it or are bothered by this method, just as long as a part of that 3% click through and a part of that part end up thinking of buying.

    We can classify it into at least three categories of spam according to the contents and nature of the spammer:

    • Genuine spam: Or common spam. Those mails that fill our inbox because a company has taken our mail address from a directory—or simply our web—and included in a BCC mail without our consent. If we are unsure whether we have agreed to that mail, best to ask the sender directly how they got our address. If there’s no response or the answer is unconvincing, we should remind them that spam is not only ethically reprehensible but legally punishable.
    • Consentual spam: The price we pay for downloading programs, using services and receiving products apparently free. Nothing is free: at times we pay with money, and other times with our data. I’m not going to try to convince anyone to do otherwise. Offers are tempting and times are difficult. But to avoid undefined spam, it’s a good idea to open a dedicated mail account (e.g. spam@gmail.com). Or create one of those ephemeral mails that disappears automatically once you enter it once. Or use systems like Unroll.me, an extension that strengthens the Gmail filter and groups spam in a single mail.
    • Friend spam: It’s a lighter form of spam, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. I think we all have done it once or twice. A friend is organizing an event and wants to invite as many people as possible, so they send an indiscriminate “send to all.” Another friend’s selling his car and, before placing the advert, he sends a mail to everyone. In other words, even though you don’t have a drivers permit, you start to receive responses from people you don’t know about a subject that you couldn’t care less about.

    Each time I talk about spam, I think about an anecdote from storekeeper in Malaga. Each week one locksmith or another stuck one of those classic stickers on his store shutters, until one day, tired of having to peel them off time and time again, he called all the phone numbers asking for their service. Once he had all the locksmiths in the city there at his door, he asked them to remove their stickers. And despite more than one leaving with a disgusted look, the truth is he’s never found another one stuck to his shutter. And for the moment, luckily, he hasn’t needed a locksmith.

    Joan Alvares is founding partner of Poko and lecturer at Istituto Europeo di Design

     

     
  • Jaume Jané 9:00 am on July 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: email, Gmail, , ,   

    You’ve got mail: Gmail directly in Zyncro 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Access your Gmail account from Zyncro. This ZyncroApp allows you to receive immediate notification of new mails and directly access your inbox. Zyncro and Gmail unite to make your job easier 😉

    Do you use a Zyncro business account? Do you have Gmail? Would you like to be able to receive notifications in Zyncro when you have new emails? This integration is made for you: You can now zyncronize your Gmail account on your Zyncro Enterprise Social Network.

    Google is becoming more and more integrated with Zyncro. For almost a year the Google Calendar ZyncroApp has been available, and now integration with Gmail is possible. This is only the beginning of a happy friendship.

    As with other ZyncroApps, in order to start using the application, first of all the Administrator of your organization must enable it in the ZyncroApps section on the Administration Panel.

    Once this is done, access the right menu of your Profile > Gmail Integration and the ‘Connect to Gmail’ screen will appear.

    After clicking on this connection option, follow the steps below:

    1. Enter your username (or Gmail address) and password and click on ‘Enable access‘ by Zyncro to your Google account. Once you’ve introduced your Google details the first time, the registration screen won’t appear again
    2. If you have several Google accounts, all of them will appear, so you’ll have to select the account you wish to connect
    3. Now, the Gmail icon with the number of unread emails will now appear in the top right-hand side of your Enterprise Social Network.
    4. Also, you can set from Profile > Integration with Gmail how often you want Zyncro to check if you have new emails: 1, 2, 3 or 5 minutes.

     

    Control your emails with just one click with the new Zyncro integration: Zycronize your Gmail now!

    Jaume Jané is responsible for ZyncroApps and integration at Zyncro. He is an expert in analysis and development for integration possibilities in Online Social Networks, enterprise software and productivity cloud applications. He coordinates interactions between Zyncro and third party technology solutions. Before, he worked with distinct companies as a web programmer and a functional analyst.


     
  • Juan Manuel Rodríguez 10:30 am on February 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , email, , ,   

    Time, the last frontier 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Time for Success

    First of all, let me introduce myself: I’m Juan Manuel Rodríguez. As of today, I’m part of the team of contributors in Zyncro who help spread the idea of what enterprise social networks are and how they can help us be more productive.

    The greatest challenge in this crisis is going farther with the same… or even with less. The unquestionable challenge is efficiency. It can be interpreted in every imaginable way: reducing the costs in raw materials, personnel, infrastructure, etc. but we always come across a barrier, a structural obstacle that is difficult to overcome.

    Only by improving efficiency in our team and in our information management can we cross that last frontier and continue to be competitive. Because, if we don’t, our competition will get there before us. This is the prime reason behind the explosion of tools like Zyncro, which aim to notably improve efficiency.

    “Time is the last frontier. Information overload results in time starvation. Technology lets us consume the information we receive with increasing efficiency.”
    (Alfons Cornella, in Update7 in Infonomía, November 2011)

    A few examples we can all identify with:

    Email abuse

    How many times have we silently sweared at those chain emails with 15 or 20 people in copy that don’t say anything important or urgent but constantly interrupt us? Or who has mailed a report to everyone for fear that the document will sit on the intranet without anyone knowing it exists? Email abuse in recent years has led many companies to declare Fridays as “email-free days”, for example, achieving notably improved results! It gives us food for thought, doesn’t it?

    Improductive meetings

    When it comes down to it, we all know that many follow-up meetings are a complete waste of time. Most of the time they cover things that could have been transmitted much sooner, in real time. We could have saved the valuable time of all those gathered there to do essentially nothing. Leave those face-to-face meetings for quick decision-making and not for communicating something that should be already known before you walk through the door.

    The key idea, the common factor in these examples and the great many more that we could give, is the challenge to assign the appropriate time and means for each type of information and interaction. If something is really important, pick up the phone and call. Or use instant messaging. For the rest of the information to flow with the appropriate priority (i.e. so that the team communicates efficiently), we need tools that enable us to readjust that balance between importance, the means for storing it and the time when we can be interrupted.

    Can you imagine a day where you’re only disturbed with really essential interruptions?
    Having all the information you need updated and sorted, available for when you decide to check it?

    This means creating a range of communication intervals, beyond the limited number we’re used to: email, telephone, chat, intranet and face-to-face meetings. If social networks outside the company’s walls have enabled those “grey” intervals, between the “white” of our friends who we talk to almost every day by telephone and the “black” of those who we don’t have time to even send an email every few months, a change in paradigm similar to that is occurring in companies for managing information.

    The enterprise social network Zyncro has been designed to achieve that rebalance, using an environment similar to that which users are familiar with for personal use, such as Facebook or Twittter, but that has been fully integrated and adapted to the needs and goals of the business environment. What’s more, these tools encourage all members of the team to participate in ways unknown until now and enables us to discover talent and intra-entrepreneurs who we may already have in our team… without even knowing it! But we’ll talk more about that in the next post! 😉

     

     
  • Tatiana Nascimendo 10:56 am on June 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , email, , , , ,   

    When email becomes a contaminating nuisance 

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Collaboration from Tatiana Nascimendo from ZyncroBlog Brasil!

    In the same way businesses take measures in order to reduce environmental pollution by means of recycling waste or rationalizing production until the company becomes sustainable, why don’t we propose to reduce contamination from the information piling into our inboxes?

    Studies carried out by the agency MT Criativa show that 59,61% of directors within the technological sector receive more than 50 e-mails per day and 90,38% get upto 50 emails per day. In addition amongst them, 77% of them send less than 10 personal e-mails per day.

    E-mail has become the main form of business communication but the volume of traffic generated by the exchange of this type of message is a huge amount of work ordeal as well as being detrimental and can lead to the loss of information.

    Many businesses have recognised this reality and are trying to develop new and more effective ways of communicating and on many occasions have implemented costly and time consuming solutions that do not always meet the initial expectations.  Instead of giving way for the development of a system, why not try using one that meets business needs?  Intranet 2.0 is an innovative solution that:

    • eliminates unnecessary e-mail from our inboxes,
    • optimizes communication,
    • promotes collaboration,
    • encourages participation.

    In order to recycle ideas and fight against the contamination of corporate communications… try Zyncro!

     

     
  • Lluis Font 11:45 am on February 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: email,   

    Zyncro stories: Are you an email addict? 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    A few days ago, I mentioned that Joe Zyncro was overloaded, he was receiving over 300 e-mails a day and however efficient he wanted to be, he just could not manage them all.  Even my partner was complaining that I was stuck to my Blackberry all day.  (Even then I was not able to answer everything…).

    Joe made me reflect upon the following:

    First let us carry out a self diagnosis:

    1.  Be honest with yourself and ask yourself, are you really an e-mail addict? Some symptoms:

    a) Do you constantly check your mobile to see if you have received a message? (Blackberry, inventor of the push email is much to blame for this).

    b) Do you stop writing a document or presentation to check if you have received any new e-mails?

    c) Do you reply to e-mails more than 10 times a day? (Count them).

    d)  When you hear “ding”, do you run to check your phone and/or computer in order to see who has written to you?

    If you answer “yes” to the three questions, you have serious e-mail addition symptoms.  This addiction could affect your personal relationship.  Has anyone ever said to you; “Could you please leave your phone alone and listen to me?”

    2. “I receive hundreds of e-mail everyday!” Some key questions:

    a) How many of them are actually about work?

    b)  How many of them are a call for action? In other words, how many are requesting that you carry out a task?

    c)  How many are exclusively aimed at you?

    d)  How many do you delete without reading?

    e)  How many are subscriptions?

    Some advice for managing your e-mail and improving your productivity:

    a) Break e-mail addiction.  You can answer when you decide, not when you receive it.  How is this done?  Setting aside planned time for answering e-mails every day.  This can be when you want and as many times as you want within reason.  But it must allow you time to concentrate on other tasks, meetings, writing documents, calls, your partner, your children… you can apply this to other activities, Jack Welch calls this working in compartmental blocks.

    b) Do all collaborative activities require an e-mail?  The answer is NO.  Tools such as Zyncro allow you to reduce the number of e-mails you receive by between 20% and 40% and still be informed about topics because on a daily basis you will be able to read and answer about project XYZ on the microblogging. You will follow the project closely and read much more effectively by concentrating on just one topic.

    c) Limit the amount of subscriptions (including those from Zyncro) or create automatic rules so that the bulletins and information do not go straight into your inbox.

    d) I imagine you have an antispam system such as Spamina. If you do not, I strongly recommend one.

    e)  Go back and review point c) once again.  How many Zyncro work groups have you subscribed to?  Reconsider them, there are probably some groups that are not necessary.  Also, what newsletters are you still receiving in your inbox?  That many?!  I am sure these could be reduced.

    Applying these actions in a systematic manner, I have improved my daily productivity superbly.

    Each day, more companies think about reducing the e-mail volumes they receive, below are some examples:

    Atos Origin sets out its ambition to be a zero email company within three years

    About information overload (Spanish)

    How to Survive Information Overload

    “Employees average 20 hours a week managing 350 emails. This costs an average business of 50,000 an estimated US $1 billion every year.” (Harvard 2008 Study)

     
  • Agustín Bosso 11:30 am on February 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , email, notifications,   

    Zyncro optimizes the use of intracorporate mail 

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes.

    Information in excess is noise, and noise makes communication difficult. That is why is it easier to feel more informed by receiving half as many mails. Those of us who work with Zyncro can filter out that noise with most of the advantages of interpersonal communication. Unlike email, with Zyncro, it is possible to establish a face-to-face connection with our contact, following the thread of the conversation or visualizing it in the comments.

    Configuring notifications via email in Zyncro

    Nonetheless, email is still useful for receiving notifications instantly. The solution is not to stop receiving emails, just to receive the right amount. From your Zyncro profile, you can configure which emails and notifications you want to receive and those you do not.

    The configuration is simple. You can choose which types of events you wish to receive and from which groups. For example, I receive notifications via email of contact comments and invitations and only from the groups that need urgent action on my part. In this way, I access Zyncro on a daily basis to keep up to date with what is going on in the office but I only receive what is urgent in my email (even on my mobile).

     
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