April 24, 2019

Introducing Shared Email for Teams

Introducing Shared Email for Teams. Say goodbye to FWD, CC and Reply-All. You can now share email with your Team, natively right in Gmail.

We’re excited to announce a new feature that turns email into the ultimate collaboration tool for Teams using GSuite and Gmail! Sortd now allows you to share and collaborate on emails with your team – in a completely native Gmail experience.

Say goodbye 👋 to the old FWD, CC, and REPLY-ALL that drives everyone crazy.

Drag emails from customers, suppliers and partners to a shared Sortd board – and all team members who have access to the board can read and respond as if they had received the email themselves. All replies, regardless of who they are sent by are included neatly in the thread for all team members to contribute to.

There’s an easier way to manage teamwork in email

If you use email to manage your sales, work for clients, service etc, you’ll know all too well that it’s hard to keep track of things.  Everyone in the team has their own version of the conversation and there’s no single team view on where things are at. You rely on all members of the team to be organized and to update a spreadsheet or some other system in order to give the team visibility into the status of work (whether that means your sales pipeline, a project for a key customer or anything else that relies on a lot of up and down emails to coordinate and keep people up to date).

And spreadsheets work great…
Until they don’t.

The good ol’ spreadsheet only gets you so far – it’s a lot of work, eats into productive time, it’s only as good as what you put into it, and worst of all it quickly becomes unwieldy.

Here’s the problem – no matter what system you are using to manage projects, tasks and work, you will always end up back in your email – so you’re managing things in two places.

Sortd turns that into one thing.

The days of email being limited to individual mailboxes or sharing a login to a single email account are over – with Shared Email for Teams you now have the ability to create a workspace in your Gmail, share it with your team, and collaborate on email and team tasks in a structured, visual way.

You and your team can now add email conversations to your workspace from any mailbox, collaborate on work for customers, assign emails to each other, action your conversations and track them through to completion.

What is Shared Email for Teams?

With shared email for teams – at a glance anyone in the team can see what the status of work is at any point in time, who’s responsible for what, and pick up on a conversation seamlessly from where a team mate left off.  Best of all this happens right inside your email where you are communicating with customers already, and it’s a 100% native Gmail experience.

At Sortd we believe in the power and usefulness of email as a communication tool for business – it works.  But it also comes at a cost – our time and our attention. Our mission is to transform email into something that helps you and your team to get organized and aligned, and simultaneously solve your email overload problems.

With Shared Email for Teams – all of the messy email conversations that typically go up and down to get information, follow up and update people on the status of work are now baked into a structured system that’s designed to help you manage work and projects as a team.

Sharing Email can be super useful

Because we use email so extensively to communicate with people outside the organization (like customers and suppliers), this is a great way to keep track of that kind of work.  Here are some of the most common uses:

  • Managing your sales pipeline and keeping track of closed deals against team targets (the type of thing you would typically use a CRM for)
  • Processing customer orders
  • Project management for bespoke customer solutions
  • Account management
  • Customer service and support
  • Candidate tracking
  • On-boarding new recruits
  • Managing Debtors and Creditors

How does it work?

When you drag an email to a shared Sortd workspace it becomes a trackable team resource.  From the customer’s perspective nothing changes – they still simply get an email from whoever sends it.  But from a team perspective it’s a whole different thing…

Once an email has been added to your team workspace – it becomes a single, neat conversation that all team members can track and contribute to. You now have complete transparency within the team on where things are at, and anyone can step in to help out or do their part at any point.

At a glance you can see what’s going on in the team, when things are due and what’s overdue.

Most importantly with the ability to assign emails to team members it becomes crystal clear who’s working on what.

Assigning emails to team members

Email assignment is not an concept that’s native to email.  We’re used to forwarding emails but we do it this way because that’s the only way to do it. With Sortd, rather than forwarding an email to delegate it, you now have a simple way to assign it, and you can keep track of progress to see things through to completion.

What else can I do with this?

  • Create a shared team workspace (board) for keeping track of team work, just like you would in Trello, Asana or even Google Sheets.
  • Customize the board to suit your team’s workflow.
  • Assign email conversations to team members.
  • Keep notes and comments.
  • Set due dates and reminders.
  • View your team plan on a timeline to get a sense of what’s due by when.
  • Filter your workspace to show emails assigned to a particular team member.

The difference between sharing and forwarding

When we want to pass something that originated in email to a colleague, we typically just forward it.  Here’s the problem – once you’ve forwarded the email you no longer have any visibility into what happens after that point. Even if you are copied on correspondence you don’t know what you haven’t been copied on, and if the conversation runs dry there is simply no way for you to know, other than to ask (if you remember to ask). So basically once you forward an email it’s out of your hands.

Sharing email in Sortd gives you the ability to explicitly assign it to a team member, and to stay 100% in the loop on progress.  At any point in time you can view the entire conversation on the board, post internal comments to disuss with your team and even set a reminder.

To see what you’ve requested from other people in your team that’s still outstanding and what’s complete is a simple matter of opening the board and taking a look.  There are even handy filters to help you zone in on what matters to you.

How to get started

If you don’t already have Sortd installed, start by installing it.  Then you can start as follows:

  • Open Sortd in Gmail
  • Create a shared workspace
  • Invite your team members
  • Drag an email to the board to share it with the team
  • Any team member who has access to the board can now open the email and reply to the original sender (note: if you do forward the email to someone in the team it will add that message to the thread – same as it would if they weren’t in the To field, but it will also appear in that team member’s Inbox)

How to use Shared Email for Teams with a shared mailbox (eg. support@acme.com)

  • Open Sortd in Gmail
  • Create a Team and add a board under that team
  • Invite all of the individuals who have access to that account using their individual email addresses
  • Now anyone who logs into the mailbox can drag emails to the board and assign to themselves.
  • Once an email has been assigned, you can either continue responding to customers from the shared account, or each individual can respond from their own mail and the correspondence will automatically be synced to the shared mailbox.

What ends up in your Inbox and what doesn’t

Anyone who is added to the To field will get the email in their Inbox – and archiving the mail thread doesn’t change anything on the board. The rest of your team will be able to see the message but it will skip their Inbox. So if you want to draw attention to a mail for one of your team members, either add them to the To field or just @mention them and that will happen automatically.

For more information on Shared Email for Teams you can read these related articles on the Sortd Knowledge Base:

How do I share a board with my team?
Shared Email – More info?
How do the various Sortd pricing plans work?

Need to Install Sortd?

You can Install Sortd here
Look out for the “TRY IT FOR FREE” button.

Written by
Wayne Silbermann