Are you opening your email inbox to hundreds of emails and nowhere near enough time to go through them?
The constant ping of email notifications can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to miss, overlook and lose vital information.
And, because most people are in the same boat, there’s a high likelihood of your emails – that you spend so much time crafting – also get lost in someone else’s inbox.
Luckily, there are so many ways that the Microsoft Suite can help you get control over emails and improve communication across your organisation – whether you’re a business, school or trust.
Firstly, it’s important to think about what you’re trying to communicate and who you’re trying to reach.
- Is it for the whole organisation to see?
- Do you need people to respond?
- Is it urgent?
- Will people need to refer back to the information at a later date?
From here, you can start to see whether or not an email is the most efficient and effective way to communicate with your colleagues.
Simple ways to reduce your email inbox with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint.
Use SharePoint to communicate with a mass audience.
Sending out an email to everyone in your organisation or a large group of people, like a department?
Consider creating a dedicated SharePoint site for this group to share all news and announcements in one central place.
It’s easy to set up central areas for specific groups (I.e. “All staff” or specific departments), and you can use this as a central hub of information that people can log into whenever they need to.
For example, upload a student uniform policy to a student-facing SharePoint site for your whole school. Or, share a news item with your staff about an upcoming charity event that needs volunteers.
Not only does this reduce the number of emails being sent out and landing in people’s inboxes, but it also makes sure information isn’t being lost or overlooked in a busy inbox.
Instead, people can get updates at a time that suits them.
With SharePoint, you can set up multiple authors so that they can add their own news items and announcements.
(Pssst… Here’s a guide we wrote on how to make your SharePoint sites look great.)
Share urgent updates on Microsoft Teams.
If you have an urgent message to send out to a group of people, use Microsoft Teams.
Setting up Teams channels for departments and project groups means you can instantly communicate urgent and important information without it getting overlooked in an inbox.
For example, you may need to share an issue that needs resolving urgently or update a team on the progress of a project.
A benefit to using Teams instead of email for this type of communication is that you avoid long and confusing email threads caused by that dreaded “Reply All” button.
With Teams, you can use the @[channel name or username] feature to tag specific people in the post or notify the whole channel. Meanwhile, you can make your most important announcements stand out by customising fonts, adding images and pinning posts to the top of the channel.
Start conversations with individuals and groups using Chat.
You can also instant message colleagues (individuals and groups) via the Teams Chat function. Similar to social media platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, the Chat feature in Teams makes collaboration a whole lot easier compared to email.
For starters, it’s a lot easier to quickly chat over an idea for five minutes during the workday rather than wait for an email or try to arrange a meeting at a time that suits everyone.
You can also see who is available to chat. Users can manually set their availability, and it syncs with your calendar, so people know if you’re in a meeting or on holiday and won’t be able to respond immediately.
And, of course, the ability to host video calls, share your screen and collaborate on a whiteboard means that you can get everyone on the same page in a shorter amount of time than you would be able to over email.
Found this helpful? Share this guide with your colleagues and students.