We don’t use email in our organization. At least not internally. Why? Would you agree that nowadays email is mostly mail you don’t want to see? Would you agree that mail gets lost, is hard to retrieve, and hard to save for later processing? We found a way around all of this.
Here’s how we avoid email
What we do is use One Note, both online and on the desktop. If you’re new to One Note, let me explain how it works. For those familiar with One Note, you can skip to the next paragraph.
Microsoft One Note
I’ve used One Note on and off for years, alternating it with mind mapping software, Mindjet. When I train employees in its use, I tell them this. I tell them imagine a set of 3-ring binders, each with tabbed dividers, and each tabbed divider containing punched paper pages. Well, that said, in One Note you have notebooks. And in notebooks you can create tabbed dividers. And in those tabbed dividers you can create pages. In other words, it’s a virtual representation of notebooks.
But it’s more powerful. Besides being able to add images, links to websites, you can add hyperlinks to other pages (more on this later). You can also see a list of recently modified pages, so that if you use only a few pages routinely, you don’t have to search for them, they are at the top of the list and ready for you.
How We Avoid Email Using One Note
Each employee has their own notebook, which is shared to others. Within each notebook is a section called “Notes from Others”. And within such section are pages from colleagues. When a colleague has something needing addressing, they enter it onto the page dedicated to them. The original employee looks at that page periodically, and responds to it on that page. An example would be:
Page Notes from Tom: “Can you send me the report with prospect addresses?”
Reply: “I’ll do it tomorrow afternoon when I run reports”.
If Tom needs to see the status of ALL outstanding issues with his colleague, he goes to that page and sees the commentary for each such issue. Not only that, but One Note makes it easy to see all recently modified pages, so it is an easy matter to quickly check outstanding issues with colleagues.
So let’s say I delegate something to multiple employees and I want to see what’s outstanding for everybody? One Note allows you to flag posts, so you can create a flag called delegated and it will pull together for you all pages with that flag. It also allows you to see all pages sorted by modification date, so it allows you to follow up that way, as well.
If you try this, I hope you have a good experience. Let me know what you think.
Michael Emerald, CFA
Owner, Wall Street Analyst