Teamwork is messy right now to say the least. Ironically, people are spending more time in meetings than ever, and they are feeling the impact that has on their productivity. See how Sortd can help you with the practical challenges of keeping things moving when managing a remote team.
The number one rule for remote work management is – Communicate Communicate, Communicate! But that comes with an unintended consequence – more communication, and less time for productive work.
If your conversations are not well aligned with some kind of action plan, you’ll struggle to build momentum.
Apps like Slack make remote communication easier, but instant messaging is definitely not the right tool for keeping track of deliverables. Email, on the other hand, is still used as an ‘official’ channel for asking other people to do stuff – everything from a simple Go / No-go decision, to preparing for this year’s company retreat (let’s hold thumbs).
Please see email from the client and prepare a quote"
As discussed this morning, here are the Next Steps..."
Please review this contract and approve"
The requests never end, and that makes email a pain in the butt for most of us. No one thinks about all the other commitments you have – they hit that Send button faster than you can say “Where’s the Zoom link?”
So how do you keep track of all the deliverables for customers, and the commitments you’ve made to suppliers and partners across the company (without the informal, coincidental updates that usually happen throughout the day)?
Here are the 10 Ways Sortd can help you manage your remote team
1. Turn your Email and your Work Management tool into one system
You and your team already use Gmail – you can make it work a little harder for you.
Email is the app you spend the most time in. You know you’ll always come back to it, so it’s a reliable place to store actionable information. You even send emails to yourself, don’t you??
With Sortd, rather than duplicating work with multiple systems – you can work from a single all-in-one, collaborative workspace in your email. It’s an ideal (and very practical) way to keep track of your own work, your team’s work and follow-ups.
One of the main things our customers love about Sortd is this…
Sortd replaces a bunch of pipeline and teamwork tracking apps with one lightweight tool that does it all, in Gmail!
Less app switching, less context switching, less time wasted looking for tabs.
2. Supercharge collaboration & remote work with visual Kanban boards
Collaborative workspaces for you and your team allow you to manage Email, Tasks and Teamwork in an organized, all-in-one, email-nativeworkspace.
3. Delegate and assign Emails & Tasks, and keep track of how they progress
With Sortd, assigning work to members of your team is really easy. Let’s say you receive an email from a customer requesting a quote. All you need to do is drag it to one of the stages on your board and assign it to a team member to take it on.
Emails on a shared board can be viewed and replied to by all members of the team on that board, like any email in their own mailbox. Replies on the thread stay in sync for everyone.
4. Drag & drop related email conversations into groups and add notes for context
With the ability to group email conversations together, you can keep everything related to a project or customer in one place.
Notes give you a comprehensive history so that anyone who looks at a deal or project later will see the full picture.
If you use this right, you’ll have the simplest CRM imaginable, with no elaborate setup or complexity.
5. Turn your team’s email into organized workflows without the need for complicated systems
Sortd allows you to easily map out any business workflow that typically starts in email (e.g. order processing, sales admin, sales pipeline) which means that every team in your organization can use the same system, regardless of the type of work they need to manage. That makes it easy for you to see everything that’s going on in your business.
6. Know the state of play at all times with Next steps
Because Sortd works in each individual’s mailbox and helps with both teamwork and personal task management – all people on your team can use the same system for tracking their own work, and collaborating – ensuring everyone has the same version of the truth, and information is current and up to date at all times.
The Next Steps feature on Sortd tasks gives you a snapshot of what’s going on with any team at a glance. You can see what’s next (and when), without the need to click around and waste your time looking for that information.
7. Transform productivity for your team and yourself to keep things moving
Sortd places a particular emphasis on making it easy for the people who use it to be on top of their own work, without the need for additional tools or much habit change.
With features like a simple Day Planner in your Gmail (where you can add both tasks and emails), it becomes much more realistic for people to get a complete, stress free handle on the work that needs to get done.
People who have committed to using Sortd as their go to system have seen radical improvements in productivity and have freed up headspace to direct their creative energy into producing their best work.
8. See when people are dealing with the things you’ve asked them for with Read Receipts
This helps to align efforts and even simply time conversations better. If you know when a coworker is on top of your request, it’s a good time to start a conversation to add the missing details.
9. Use follow-up reminders for delegated work and create more headspace to focus on your own agenda
You can’t always trust that if you send an Email it’s as good as done. Everyone has their own agenda and getting those into alignment is always a challenge.
If there’s something that absolutely needs to be done by a certain date, set a follow-up reminder as you send the mail. On that date, the email will come back to the top of your Inbox, and you can shoot off a quick reply to follow up.
10. Keep track of your sales team, and your deal pipeline flowing
In the current environment it’s hard to maintain a steady sales pipeline (for many companies that’s unfortunately putting it mildly). So any benefit you can get from better tracking, time saving and more efficiency will go a long way to improve your closing rate and keep revenues up.
Sortd sales boards make it easy to keep the pipeline current and organized without the need to spend time on admin maintaining it.
With the Remote Work challenges that we are facing, productivity has taken a real knock – we need to do what we can to keep the ships afloat, so increases in efficiency and time saving matter now more than ever.
Any thoughts or questions on this – please feel free to comment below. Or email us 😉 If you need to install Sortd again, look for the red button at the top of the page on sortd.com
Be well, and hope you can keep your head above water in these trying times.
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
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
Customer service and support
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. email@example.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:
We’ve just added the ability to track email opens to Sortd. Email tracking is great for timing your follow-ups on opportunities to improve your results, and for chasing up internal emails to make sure things get done! Here’s how it works…
When you compose or reply to an email, you’ll now notice an icon next to the Send button that looks like this:
Enabling / Disabling
To track emails you simply enable the Open Tracking feature (note: it will be on by default so you can turn it off for emails you don’t want to track).
Viewing the Open status of tracked emails
If you want to know which mails have been tracked you’ll see an icon in your Sent Items (and Inbox). If it’s gray the mail has been tracked but hasn’t been read.
As soon as a mail has been read, the icon will change to blue. It will update in real-time – no need to refresh.
Tracking status in the mail preview
You’ll also see the tracking icon in thread view (note that tracking works on a per message basis, so you can see which specific messages in the conversation have been read).
From here, if you click on the icon you’ll see more details, like how many times a particular message has been read, on what device, and in some cases the location of the recipient.
What about GDPR?
We would advise that you use your discretion with open tracking. If you are based in the EU, Sortd has an option for overriding tracking for EU-based recipients – if this setting is on, even if tracking is enabled – email sent to recipients based in the EU will not be tracked.
Please read this post on the Sortd Knowledge base to learn more about how Sortd deals with GDPR.
I haven’t used Sortd in a while, how can I try Email Tracking?
Email tracking is a premium feature in Sortd – it’s unlimited on either the Pro or Team plan. If you want to try it for free and you haven’t yet used your 14 day free trial of premium features, you will need to Upgrade. Read more about how to upgrade here – you’ll get a 14 day (no credit card required) free trial. If you have already used your premium trial please log a support ticket and we’ll try to arrange an extended trial for you.
Reminders are one of the most useful tools to add to your email if you know how to use them right. They are particularly handy for things like following up (eg. closing a deal / a task that needs to be completed to deliver a project); or for getting back to an email that you don’t have time to respond to right away (eg. sending a proposal).
If you are a big emailer, having the ability to add reminders to your messages can take your results to a whole new level. In this post I’ll explain how you can use Sortd’s simple but powerful reminder features for following up and planning ahead.
Setting a follow-up reminder when you send a mail
If you want results you need people to get back to you. Following up and doing it consistently is a necessary weapon in your arsenal, especially when you’re trying to get someone’s attention. People are busy, just like you, and you sometimes just need a way to get on their radar. Sending a simple follow-up mail creates top of mind awareness and can be a super effective way to get results.
It can be as simple as this…
“Hi Jon, just following up on my mail below. Regards, Wayne”.
You wouldn’t believe how effective an email like that can be for getting results, and it’s so easy to do – but you do need a system that will “surface” the mails that you need to respond to at the right time. That way you don’t need to remember anything.
Whether you’re trying to close a deal, complete a project on time or bring a funding round to a close, Sortd has a number of handy reminder tools to help you manage your follow-ups.
The most natural way to work follow-up reminders into your email workflow is to set them right after you send a message. Every time you send an email you will notice a bar that slides up from the bottom of your screen.
Setting a reminder to follow up is as easy as clicking “Set follow-up reminder” right after you send the mail. You’ll see a quick selector that will let you specify the most common options with one click – like “later today” or “tomorrow”, but if you want to specify a date and time click on Custom.
When the reminder date is due you will see browser notification, and you’ll receive a reminder message on the thread, which will bring the message to the top of your Inbox – you can send a follow-up mail right then and there.
Setting a reminder on a mail in your Inbox
We’ve learnt some interesting things about our customers’ email habits over the last couple of years. It turns out that you aren’t the only one who marks emails as unread when you want to get back to a mail later. I’ll admit, I do this myself on occasion and it actually works pretty well, but it also has a problem – if you keep the mail in your Inbox you are going to read it over and over again – it’s going to hog your attention. And if you leave it there for long enough eventually it disappears below the fold and you’ll likely just forget about it.
This is where Snooze comes in. If you aren’t already a snoozer try it out for a week – it’s a satisfying, zen-like email experience that quickly becomes completely addictive.
Snooze, Reminder and Add to List buttons in Gmail
Sortd has 3 ways for you to manage your ’email in progress’ – what combination of these you use is really up to you (they are all useful for different things). In Gmail mode, when you open a mail you will notice 3 new buttons underneath the search bar.
These buttons are for Snoozing, Setting a Reminder and Adding to one of your Sortd lists.
This button snoozes the email, which means it will be archived right away and placed back at the top of your Inbox when the reminder date is reached.
In full screen mode, look out for the Snooze option next to the Archive button in your Sortd Inbox.
Clicking the reminder button simply sets a reminder. There are some one-click options like ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Next week’, but if you want to specify a date and time click on Custom.
Add to list button
You can use this button if you also want to add the email to one of your Sortd lists. This can be useful if you want to also keep the email on a categorized list (eg. you might want to keep all open emails for a particular client on a dedicated list for that client).
One of the most useful features in Sortd is the ability to set a next step on a task – just a note that this is a team feature and only works on team boards. Setting a next step will prompt you for an action date and set a reminder automatically – this is a great way to keep track of progress on deliverables and keep the momentum going. It also gives you a way to keep track of progress on an individual task.
You’ll see the Next Step option when you open a card on a team board. I’ll cover it in more detail in another post.
Being smart about how you set due dates and reminders can make you much more reliable, and much more effective at getting the results you’re after! Use these powers wisely 😉
Sortd has always been a great way to manage your email. But how do you grow your business? Introducing Sortd for Sales! This is by far the simplest and most intuitive way to keep track of your sales pipeline. It’s still just your email, only now you can see what deals are going to close, when and what they are worth to your business.
It’s the same old Sortd you know and love, but with all the things you need to be better at working your pipeline, closing more deals and keeping your team in the loop on where things are at.
No more clunky spreadsheets or frantically trying to figure out what’s going on before sales meetings. With Sortd for Sales you focus on your pipeline and the rest takes care of itself.
How does it work?
At its core, Sortd for Sales is a special type of board known as a Power Pack, but it also comes with a shared Contact Database for managing all your contacts and a really straightforward Sales Report that tells you everything you need to know about how your deals are progressing.
Power Packs are very similar to standard boards, but they give you the ability to do more. Sortd for Sales works differently from a standard board in the following ways:
It’s collaborative, so your Sales Team can all work from the same board (you can also filter the board to show only your deals).
Each list is more than just a list – it’s a stage in your Sales Pipeline.
In a quick glance you can see the amount in each stage of your pipeline.
Items on the Sales Board are not tasks, they are deals – when you click to view something on the board you will see a new Deal View.
Here’s what your Sales Pipeline might look like:
Viewing a deal on your board shows you the stage it’s at in your pipeline, the amount and the date you expect the deal to close:
And if you want to feel like the boss you are, check it out on your Sales Report:
Where can I find Sortd for Sales?
To add a sales board, use the board switcher on the right in fullscreen mode (note you can add as many boards as you want)…
What if I don’t have Sortd installed anymore?
If you don’t have Sortd installed anymore just head over to the Sortd web site and install it again from there. Any data you had from before will come up again after you log into Sortd from Gmail.
That’s all folks!
If you have any questions or comments please post in the discussion forums and we’ll do our best to answer you there.