Whether your team works remotely or side by side, minimizing inessential inbox chaos is a constant challenge startups face. Luckily, there are now countless resources dedicated to fixing this very problem. (Actually asking people to stop emailing you doesn’t seem to be an option.)
To find out which tools are the best bets for entrepreneurs who rely on email 24/7, I asked 11 founders from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
What is your favorite Web tool for streamlining internal email among team members and why is it better than the rest?
Their favorites are below.
We use Flowdock as a hybrid tool. It works as both a private messaging app and a group discussion solution. We find that it drastically cuts down on internal emails, and it often gets an answer back in seconds instead of minutes or hours. It also supports file sharing, so we can share ideas and screen shots easily when communicating ideas remotely.
– Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes
We’ve been testing out Redbooth, and we really like the way notifications work on projects. Instead of looping everyone in on discussions, we can keep emails to a minimum.
Basecamp’s platform is rather intuitive, and it allows you to keep all the necessary documents and team communications in one place for each project. You can also apply email notifications that go out to your team members if something important is updated.
4. P2 on WordPress
P2 is a great WordPress theme that we use for internal communication. Instead of sending emails to the team, everyone makes posts to the blog. This way all our communication is public and searchable. It keeps us on the same page and reminds us why we made past decisions.
– Wade Foster, Zapier
We share notes and messages via Evernote, and it dramatically reduces the need to send attachments. Yammer is for non-urgent business communications such as social events and other announcements. We really like the “like” feature in Yammer — every “like” saves an email.
– Ryan Buckley, Scripted, Inc.
In my opinion, internal emails are handled wonderfully by Gmail. For other communications,Atlassian has a great line of products I’m very partial to — namely JIRA and HipChat. The integration with both into Gmail is also superb.
– Daniel Wesley, Creditloan.com
HipChat is the best enterprise chat client out there. By engaging in chat rooms and one-on-one chats, we are able to keep conversations out of email. Chat is always faster and more actionable than email.
– Adam Lieb, Duxter
Skype is great for sending messages that need to be known immediately, but don’t need the formality of checking your email. Every employee has a copy of Skype, and we set up chat groups divided into departments, so any employee can send a message to an individual employee or to a department.
All team members send a complete list of what they worked on that day to iDoneThis. The software then compiles these lists and sends a report out to the entire team the next morning. Back-and-forth email is greatly reduced when everyone can easily stay abreast of the progress of the entire team.
– Laura Roeder, LKR Social Media
10. Google Hangouts and Adium
We use email for things that don’t require an immediate response. We use Google Hangouts for our real-time communication. It works inside of Gmail and Google Plus, but it also works with any Jabber-compatible client.
11. Help Scout
Help Scout is awesome tool for keeping our team on the same page. It’s basically a way for any team of two or more people to share the same inbox and delegate to the appropriate departments.
It lets you streamline specific inquires to others, add private notes about the client/case, keep track of previous history with people and more. It’s a good way to prevent things from slipping through the cracks.
– Heidi Allstop, Spill