When I hear the word “inbox,” I feel the slow, cold feeling of dread start to creep over me. Whether it’s my personal or work email, I always expect to open it and find a gazillion emails waiting for me, ranging from my mother writing to tell me that the Red Sox lost, or a thread discussing the new company logo dimensions. Throw in bills, emails from my boss, documents, event information, and it’s a big hot mess.
But your inbox doesn’t have to be an agent of chaos. Imagine being able to actually reduce the clutter in your email in just seconds! You can do just that with LiquidPlanner, simply by forwarding items from your everyday email to an inbox in your workspace. That way you can keep everything related to the project work you have to do in one place. Here’s how you do it:
1. Create a new package to use as your inbox. In LiquidPlanner, you can have both projects and packages. Packages are used to help prioritize tasks from across multiple projects. If you’ve ever worked on several projects at the same time, then you’ll understand how vital this can be.
The cool thing is that packages can also be used as a temporary place to collect tasks before you move them to a more permanent location (a project, a different package, or both). You can even give your new package a super-obvious name so that your teammates aren’t left scratching their heads (like “New Task Inbox,” for instance.)
2. Next, find and save the unique address of your inbox package. Visit the detail page for that package, click the “Get Email Address” link, and copy the email address you see.
3. Start emailing tasks into LiquidPlanner!
It’s easy. Just paste your Inbox email address into the “To” field (maybe even save it as a contact for later), and fill in the subject line. You can name, assign, and even estimate the task right there. Any attached documents and all of the content in the email will be saved in LiquidPlanner. Easy!
4. Figure out the best way to use your inbox. Once you’ve got this all set up, you’ll want to think about the best way to incorporate the new inbox into your business processes. Will it be one individual’s responsibility to process it? Will you review the inbox in a team meeting? Here are a few suggestions based on how we do things at LP HQ and ideas from our customers:
- Issue, Feature Request, and Idea Collector: At LiquidPlanner, we send items that need to be assigned, estimated, and prioritized to a package called “Untriaged.” Twice a week, we meet to review the list as a team. Some tasks are taken immediately (like important bugs), and others are put into our backlog.
- New Project List: If you’re a team that serves clients, whether they’re internal or external, you can provide them with your inbox address and instructions on how to use it to request new projects. The client or account managers on your team can then process the requests on a regular basis and make sure the new work is put into the proper place in the team’s “flow.”
- Landing Zone for Integrated Systems: If you’re using multiple tools to manage your business, you might want to create an Inbox that can collect new items created from those other systems. For instance, if you’re using an online help desk like Zendesk, certain tickets might trigger new tasks that should be managed in LiquidPlanner. That can be handled easily using email integration.
Setting up an inbox in LiquidPlanner creates a place where everyone on your team can not only see everything in one place, but they can access these tasks and collaborate on them as well. Can your regular email client do that?