Last month I started to tell you about the Death of My Inbox. Your feedback on that post and the questions that followed were very helpful, so thank you! As we continue with the story of my dying inbox, I will give you more details on exactly how I give and receive information in this new world of work.
Not long ago, I was plagued by a ton of emails, many of which included information that was not at all relevant to what I do every day. Of course this barrage of information also included the dreaded messages from my dear colleagues who simply cannot help hitting “reply all.” All of this clutter just piled up in what resembled one giant file drawer with no file folders - a pile waiting to be cleaned up and organized while it continued to grow and grow. Thank goodness for the search function.
Today I make use of our cutting-edge social and collaboration technology to connect with people, to find expertise, and to exchange information. Here is a glimpse of how I work today.
The Power of @
When I want a specific person to see something I simply target them by including @ and their name in my post. My post can be private to that one person or I can post it to a large group and target that one person so that I make double sure he sees it via a notification.
Notify me when….
Just like we are accustomed to with social programs outside of work, I can set my notifications to tip me off when someone @ targets me, or when a topic that is of interest to me is being discussed in the communication stream.
Go with the flow!
My personal stream keeps flowing with information that I have tailored to be just right for what I want to/need to consume. For example, I keep watch over a few customers so I monitor any new news on those companies. I am part of several communities and I see a flow of activity in those communities right in my individualized stream. Of course I want to know when our CEO says something so I have his posts in my stream too. And anything that is meant for the entire company automatically comes through my stream.
Finding what I need is somewhat boring now because it’s that easy. I search and what pops up are any posts, communities, and documents on those topics in the system. So let’s say I want to find the latest on our new Travel Guidelines. Searching on the word ‘travel’ I will find any recent posts in the activity stream, the actual document that sits in a shared library (ahh, another beautiful thing about collaborative technology that helps eliminate my stress over version control), some people who are experts on the subject, and even a community that was formed for Sitrion Travelers. Every possible resource available in my company on this topic is here less than a second after I type in the word.
Once I find what I am looking for, I can quickly share it with certain people or the whole company. Viola, there it is.
As I mentioned in Part One of this story, I still keep a traditional email inbox for my friends who unfortunately do not have access to the cool tools in my new world of work. And yes, I have a physical inbox for those folks who actually still use paper. I am making progress and am doing my best to educate my friends so work can be better for all of us. Pretty soon we will see more recycled inboxes being sold as flowerpots in the local garden shop. As for our electronic inboxes, think of all the bandwidth we will get back! And I don’t mean just from our internet service provider – more bandwidth period.