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10 types of email eliminated by collaborating over the cloud

Collaborating over the cloud and across devices is a simple way around all these bugbears. Together with Vodafone, we look at ten types of emails which can be eliminated thanks to Drobox Business and the Dropbox Business mobile app for Vodafone Red and Business Flex customers.

1. Here’s the skeleton!

It all seems too easy – the project leader sends around a skeleton document with people’s names beneath sections and headings to fill out. But soon enough, it’s less a skeleton and more a pile of bones. Headings are deleted. Sections are misallocated. Flow is changed. With Dropbox Paper, teams are able to play around and settle on the skeleton at the same time, before everyone sets out to pad out their sections.

2. Whoever has the file open, can you close it please?

Servers and certain software solutions were simply not designed for multiple people to be working on the same file at once. Inevitably, you’ll receive a glut of emails from certain people asking others to close the file so they can add their little bit now, rounded with a follow-up letting everyone know they’re done. Or that they went ahead and made a new version.

3. Wait… which version are we up to?

Between v1, v3, v5.06(JC), v6.7789(JC&ML), FINAL, FINAL_FINAL, and FINAL_FINAL_v2, something is lost – namely, sanity. Collaborating over the cloud means there’s only ever one version – and everyone can be working on it at once.

4. Where’s everyone saving?

There’s always a straggler who was left out on some email chains and has no idea where all the working files are saved. Buried deep in the server under an arbitrary filing system, they may chance upon what they are look for – but not before haranguing the team first.

5. Did you get my feedback?

Feedback is a fuzzy beast when working across multiple versions of the same file. All it takes is for someone to open the wrong version or not track their changes, and the whole process falls apart. Some comments are missed. Others are doubled up. Dropbox neatly displays feedback as comments so none of the work unfurls.

6. I’m OOO.

If ever there was a death knell to collaboration, this is it – so-and-so is out of the office so can’t access the server, can’t give urgent feedback, or can’t make that last minute change. Vodafone Business mobile apps make it easy for team members to work remotely – wherever they are, and whatever device they’re on.

7. Can you resend me that attachment?

Vague email subject lines have meant that that attachment you sent a fortnight ago has disappeared into the ether. Now you have to spend time sifting through your Sent Items to complete the magic act.

8. I don’t have Photoshop!

Unfortunately, Photoshop isn’t installed on the computers of everyone who needs to give feedback. As a result, there’s a substantial amount of back and forth between designers and other team-members asking for midway renders. Fortunately, Dropbox allows people to preview Photoshop files (and other software files) through the cloud, speeding up the whole process.

9. Can you loop so-and-so in?

Someone needs to be brought in at the last minute because someone else is off-site and can’t access the files (see above), or just as a fresh pair of eyes. Now several hours must be taken to bring them up to speed on the many heads of this labyrinthine project.

10. We need to talk…

As everyone’s separate files come together, a hideous frankenfile is born. It’s a monstrous document. Hearts drop to see whole sections missing and numbers not adding up. Worse, it reads like twenty people yodeling underwater. The project leader is horrified at what they’ve created and sends a team-wide email for an urgent regroup.

What are we going to do? The solution is right in front of you.

This article was written in collaboration with Vodafone.

Drop Everything
Summary (on article page): 
We’ve all been there – you’re trying to work on a project with your team but no one’s on the same page. Joe’s figures don’t match up with Jane’s. Lee had a new idea but Sam missed the catchup. Jess is out of the office but needs to give feedback, pronto. And then come the emails.