When working in a team, we email our colleagues to do stuff all the time. An email about a bug or a query from a customer immediately becomes a task that needs to be taken care of by someone in the team. Think about it – a Gmail thread can be a task and a conversation around a task – all at the same time. Yes, threaded email conversations are amazing. Thanks, Gmail!
But doing this can have serious consequences. If you are a team of, say 5 people, then very soon you’ll have no way to figure out who is responsible for what, what has been completed, and what tasks are still pending.
Just to drive home the point – thats what my inbox looks like right now. How do I know who was doing what, and what is still pending?
Gmail gives me a great tool to keep track of who is doing what – labels. I can use labels in my inbox to keep track of the tasks assigned to me, and remember what I have completed and what needs to be done. But then, everyone in my team would have to do this in their inboxes. I would be creating labels to keep track of tasks assigned to everyone, and then updating the status to “Done” with another label when someone completes a task. Andeveryone in the team would be doing this in their inboxes.
Too much pain. Thats precisely why we never do this!
But what if my personal Gmail labels could be shared within my team. What if I when I sent an email to, say, John asking him to do a task, I could assign a label to the email called “Assigned to John”, and it would sync to the inboxes of everyone in your team. And if John, on finishing the task, could attach another label called “Done” to the email it could then sync to everyone’s inbox?
Our Gmail would immediately become a simple way to assign and keep track of tasks. Not just tasks, I could then easily use labels to share important email conversations with my team. For example, a label called “Support” would help me keep my team in the loop about all support email conversations going on with customers. This is how my inbox would look then: