As every working person has been adjusting to the new reality of everyone in quarantine due to the COVID19 virus, working from home has changed from being an exception to becoming the norm. There are those of us who have done years in the office, reporting five to six days a week, who are so used to printing documents or manage important data through filing cabinets and in and out trays and thus will have to struggle a bit with dealing with data and information. With this new norm, we may need to embrace email and messaging document hacks. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t be too long ago when you had to adjust to document and email management hacks in the office, so you should also be on your way to adapting to your own best practices in managing documents. Who knows, you’ll get your own system up and running efficiently soon, if you haven’t already.
Adapting to email and IM attachments
Since you are now working remotely, you do not have the luxury of printing important documents or storing them in a flash drive and SD card and giving them to your teammates. Thus, distribution of content can only be done through email or instant messaging. However, there are also some concern with document attachments, including difficulties in versioning (as tracking which is the latest versions can be challenging), concurrency (as more than one person can update the document all at the same time), distribution (is everyone who needs the document been given a copy), and of course, security.
Email is still among the most widely used communication tools in the workplace today. However, while email is still the go-to medium for a lot of people, companies find that its disadvantages overtakes its advantages if they don’t take steps for improving email communication.
Links rather than message attachments
Volleying emails and instant messaging back and forth can be the most popular, but unfortunately a time-consuming and inefficient manner of document or information distribution. Thus, sending links to increase the control you have with the recipients and users of the document is better. By sending links through “collaborative software” like Google Docs and Microsoft OneDrive, you can be updated with the most recent and updated version of the document in real time, and you will also know who has seen and who has reviewed and edited the document. Moreover, links allow you to avoid bloated attachments that make email sending a pain in the neck.
So now that we have a choice, how do we get our files to our colleagues, clients, and vendors? Do we send them as attachments or get links and paste into the email? Change is never easy, but with this post, I would like to explain and prove why it is time to ditch the old habit of sending attachments and start sending links instead.
Viewing of documents
These collaborative software suites, as mentioned earlier, allow you and your audience access to the documents you want to share. Moreover, they also allow your audience to edit and review the documents online, so there’s really no need to download these documents. This is because these platforms have online apps that allow whoever gets the link to the document to view and edit the documents without having to download them. Your edits also get to be seen by other people who have been given access to said documents.
Google’s cloud storage platform, Google Drive, is a fantastic tool for bridging physical gaps between coworkers and collaborators forced apart in today’s business world. It’s tightly integrated with G Suite, Google’s cloud-based office software platform, and its ease of use makes it a perfect collaboration hub for businesses large and small.
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