Email plays an important role in project management. Every day, project work is planned, discussed and shared via email all around the world.
Even with the wide variety of new project management apps available for teams to use, some work will still always be done through email.
Project managers know the importance of email in project management. Despite some shortfalls, it has advantages over other systems — provided you use it correctly.
Here’s how an email-based project management system can simplify your workflow.
Importance of Email in Project Management
`Email was the first work tool that made it easy to communicate detailed information, ask questions, assign tasks and troubleshoot problems, even when you were on the other side of the country.
Today, email is important in project management because it’s still the primary way we communicate about work. According to Hubspot, 86% of professionals still prefer email when communicating for business purposes.
Whether you need to communicate information about a project, a client account or a process, you’ll most likely still use email. Email is preferred whether you’re communicating with team members, customers or VIPs.
A strong email project management system is beneficial for planning, managing and monitoring projects and keeping everyone involved up to date on changing statuses. Done right, email can contribute to more efficient workflows and better productivity. However, managing projects through email isn’t always easy.
Challenges of Email-Based Project Management
Even though email is most people’s go-to communication solution, there are still some challenges you are likely to encounter in email-based project management, such as:
1. Finding time
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when you’re doing email-based project management is finding the necessary time to read and write messages. Professionals have many important tasks to get done each day, and email doesn’t always get the time it deserves.
2. Avoiding overload
The average professional gets more than 126 emails per day. That’s a lot of email and it can make it tough to avoid email overload. It’s a must to ensure that important emails are read and followed up on, or else mistakes and delays can result.
3. Processing email
The task of processing email can take up a lot of time. The average professional spends 2.5 hours in their inbox email every day in order to keep up with reading and writing emails as well as managing to-dos, answering questions and staying organized.
4. Organizing messages
A high volume of email messages and a limited window of time to deal with them is a recipe for disorganization. In order to stay on track, it’s important to match each email message to the correct project and keep your inbox neat and organized.
5. Handling attachments
Most projects involve sending and receiving documentation of some sort, so it’s a must to handled attachment documents correctly. Whether as contracts, plans, results or something else, these documents all need to be organized and easily accessible.
6. Avoiding miscommunication
The potential for miscommunication is always high when you’re managing projects, but there are unique risks for email communications. It’s important to identify any miscommunications due to unclear emails so you can get back on track quickly.
These and other challenges can make it difficult to stay on track or complete your projects on time and under budget when you’re using email for project management. However, the right email task management system can help.
Benefits of an Email Task Management System
Even though there are challenges to using email for project management, email still offers some of the best benefits over other systems. With an email task management system, you can:
1. Minimize the learning curve for team members.
One of the nice benefits of email is that everyone you will work with already knows how to use it. An email-based project management system works just like email with a few extras, so it’s easy for new team members to jump in and get started.
2. Have one central place for communications.
A central place for all your communications is a great asset when you’ve got a team that’s spread out across the office or around the world. Missed memos and lost instructions are less of a problem when everything goes through email.
3. Streamline communication between parties.
Lines of communication are streamlined when you use email for project management. Communication is what email was designed to do, so it’s easy to connect and collaborate with other parties on project work using messages and chat.
4. Manage your task work more efficiently.
A workflow that lets you manage your task work more efficiently is a huge advantage. Email project management is great because you don’t need to waste time jumping back and forth between programs and systems. Everything is right in your email.
5. Take full advantage of your email features.
Email is simple to get started with, but offers lots of hidden features you can use to gain even more capabilities for managing your projects. Both Outlook and Gmail include built-in features for messaging, managing task lists, scheduling due dates and more.
An email task management system doesn’t have to stop with the basic functionality of your email program. You can add email project management tools to your email to get the most out of your email.
Email add-on tools are valuable because they can help you overcome some of the challenges of managing projects through your email, letting you enjoy more of the benefits of using email to manage your projects and tasks. Folio is our answer when it comes to managing projects through email.
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Features of Folio for Email Project Management
Folio is a great email project management tool for all your project management needs. It can help you save time and get more done, without adding extra work.
Here are a few of the features of Folio that make it a great add-on for your email project management needs.
With Folio, you can:
1. Organize your inbox
Email inboxes become cluttered very easily. Folio’s AI-powered algorithms can help you get back to Inbox Zero fast.
2. Turn emails into tasks
Folio makes it easy to manage your project work right inside your email, easily turning emails into tasks automatically.
3. Set reminders
Staying on schedule is easy when you use Folio. Use it to set reminders for tasks, due dates and other key project items.
4. Send updates
Folio makes project work more transparent. Just one click lets you share professional-looking project updates with stakeholders.
5. Manage attachments
Attachments are easy to manage with Folio. Use it to automatically find and sort project messages and attachments with Smart Folders.
6. Automate processes
Folio saves time in Gmail and Outlook by automatically prompting you to organize your workflow in just a few clicks.
7. Increase efficiency
Enjoying increased efficiency is easy with Folio. It’s like an email assistant helping you get the most out of your day.
8. Save time
Folio can help you save a lot of time managing your projects. Most project managers save 10+ hours a month!
Email plays a central role in project management, helping you communicate more effectively in your work. But using email alone can be challenging, despite the benefits. The right email project management tool can help you get the most out of managing your projects over email.
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We've built Folio: the first AI email assistant for professionals.
Folio plugs directly into your work email inbox and automatically organizes your email, giving you contextual access to all the information you need to increase your productivity in minutes.
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We're a venture funded company backed by Accel Partners, Vertical Venture Partners, and other leading venture capital firms and angel investors such as Ash Patel and Jerry Yang.