A good collaboration tool is necessary to streamline your workflow and smoothen out the confusion and chaos caused when teams work together. Effective collaboration can prevent information loss, time loss, and energy loss.
Let’s examine a tool called Hiver which aims to do just that – turn Gmail into a powerful collaboration tool.
10 Key Things about Hiver – Turn Gmail into a powerful collaboration tool
1. Share your Gmail labels with other users
Now, Gmail allows you to add labels to the email and sort your inbox.
What it doesn’t let you do is share these labels with other users. The Shared labels feature of Hiver fills that gap – it allows you share your labels.
What is so great about that? For starters, if you want to loop in your team in an email conversation with a client, all you have to do is share it with them; they will be privy to the past and future conversations.
2. Write notes on email conversations
After you share a label with your team, you decided to give them all an update about the task, so what do you do? Well, you can send more emails with updates making the email thread long and confusing, or you can use Shared notes.
These act like sticky notes to your email – you can leave any new information in a note that appears next to the email, and the note is visible to the people with whom you shared it. Almost like an instant communication tool, ain’t it?
3. Share your Gmail contact groups with teammates
The Shared contacts feature of the tool allows you to share your contact list with your team, or anyone else. In short, it helps you maintain a centralized contact list – a convenient feature for sales and support teams. Any updates you, or anyone makes in the contact list will reach everyone with whom you shared.
4. Schedule emails to send later
Let’s say you are an email marketer. You would rather prefer your weekly email, or newsletter to be fresh in someone’s inbox. So, what if some your subscribers are in India? Are you gonna wake up in the middle of the night to send the newsletter? You don’t have to!
Email scheduling feature lets you decide and set the exact time when you want the email delivered, and automatically delivers it at that time, even if you are not physically present.
5. Delegate tasks from Gmail without having to forward emails
Forwarding emails to assign tasks to others is now, a crude way to delegate work. It is doable for one or two tasks, but not for a multitude of them.
Using Shared labels you can seamlessly assign and even track tasks. For example, If you want to assign a task to Rosa, you can create a label ‘Task: Rosa’ and share it with her. Rosa can then, work on that task and add another label, ‘Task: Done’, once she finishes it.
Easy to assign, easy to track – plus no chaotic to and fro of emails.
6. Get notifications about new tasks
When you do assign tasks to Rosa, she doesn’t have to constantly stare at her screen waiting for a new task to show up, she would get a notification to alert her about the task.
And when Rosa adds a new label about the status of the task, you will get a notification. The notification system makes the collaboration process much smoother.
7. Save time on composing emails, with templates
Saved templates can be such a life saver. Take a customer support team, for example – they can have standardized email templates to respond to every customer.
All they have to do is add a few lines in response to the customer’s query, and the rest is already done and ready. Takes a lot of extra effort off the plate.
8. Have emails come back to your inbox at a future date
Right, so you get a mail from someone you might wanna do business with in the future, but you are too swamped to work on it right away. So, you may put it off for later and end up totally forgetting about it.
The email reminder feature of Hiver lets you have the email come back to your inbox at a later time; this ensures that you don’t forget about the email and you don’t have to worry about putting it in your planner or to-do list.
9. Know when someone else is replying to an email that is shared with you
It is not enough to just collaborate, it is important to coordinate well too. For example, in a shared thread of emails, what if you and your teammate both end up giving an answer to the new email from the client? It’s not a big deal, but it shows a lack of coordination in the team to the client.
Hiver has a collision detection feature, which allows you to see when someone starts replying to client mail. So, once you see the alert ‘Rosa is replying to the email’ in your inbox, you know you don’t have to worry about the reply.
10. Run customer support, sales, and project management – all from your inbox itself
There are quite a number of task management tools out there, but the problem with them is – none of the information about the tasks is available in the inbox. You will have to go to and fro between the email and the tool. Will be time-consuming!
Hiver lets you do all the delegation and collaboration right out of your inbox. Plus, you can also see all the necessary information right next to the email.
Hiver is hands-down the best way for us to collaborate on email. Managing our scheduling has never been easier – Christian Leybold (General partner, eVentures.vc)