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Using ActiveInbox in an Enteprise-Level Company

Tips for making the most of Gmail in the Enterprise

First and foremost, deploy a great platform for collaboration… Email is dreadful for evolving shared data (such as tasks, projects, documents), because despite feeling like a tool for collaboration, it's really just many individual siloes that crudely copy data between each other.

But, in spite of your best intentions and no matter how great the collaboration tool is, employees will keep using email. There are a few good reasons for this:

  1. Employees are busy, and email is a deeply ingrained habit that they'll keep resorting to out of convenience. (And because they'll always need to communicate outside the company, it's impossible to go cold turkey on that habit).
  2. Collaboration tools are never as well understood as email - especially whether or how the recipient will be notified. So if an employee urgently needs a response (and what isn't urgent?), they're more likely to choose the thing they know will interupt a colleague in multiple ways: email.
  3. People often feel new ideas are too small/unproven/ill-defined to be put into the "official" collaboration tool. So they'll send it as a casual email to their colleagues, and if it's good it'll begin to evolve. Ideas are born fuzzily in email.

So we recommend that employees should continue to use Gmail (and maybe even 'live' in Gmail - i.e. for it to be the center of their daily workflow), but to integrate your collaboration tool into Gmail. (The best collaboration software should already provide plugins to do this).

In addition, I recommend treating Gmail as a task manager for emails too small to be worth moving into a shared project/task manager, as despite being small they can't be forgotten.

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