Email is a fantastic tool for working together, especially remotely. However sometimes it can allow people to pass the buck or forget about their initial responsibility on a particular project or task. Having fired off an email, the ball is now in the recipient’s court.
Assuming you are a responsible employee, though, it really is still up to you to make sure that ball does not get dropped.
At Greenslade Creations we use a CRM and project management tool online, which has a fantastic TASKS system and easily can set up reminders at particular times. These can even recur or be re-scheduled en masse. You can even use tools like Outlook Tasks or Apple iPhone tasks to achieve this.
When you send an email to someone, and you will have to wait for them to do something or reply, and there is even the slightest chance they will drop the ball, create a task for yourself in a week (or whatever other appropriate timeframe) to chase it up.
Include the subject line, recipients and date in your reminder so you can easily find your email and double-check for replies before you make a phone call to chase it up!
Emails sometimes go astray, and we are all getting more and more emails, especially with many workplaces outsourcing or having employees working from home or travelling.
Sending someone an email and them dropping the ball is not an excuse for something you are ultimately responsible for getting missed or not done properly.
By “Drop the ball” this could be anything such as:
- Email goes to Spam
- Email does not arrive for some reason (eg. email server blacklisting)
- Email is read and then forgotten about
- Email is opened and not read
- Recipient has a different idea of timeframe than you
- Recipient does not think they need to do anything (MISCOMMUNICATION)
So next time you shoot off an email and think you don’t have to worry about that any more, until they reply to you, just consider how important the matter is. And if it is important enough, take the time to make a follow up task for yourself.