5 common email pitfalls – and how to avoid them
Advanced email client applications greatly improve the way data from crowded inboxes is stored and managed – reducing stress and inconvenience caused by common email headaches, says Vladimir Spirin, managing director at EverDesk
Email is the de facto communication method for both professionals and individuals and will likely remain so for many years to come. However, as work styles become more flexible, standard email applications are rapidly falling behind newer cloud-based technologies in meeting individuals’ needs.
In particular, the lack of integration most standard email applications have with other desktop technologies means that users are continually spending more time than they need in organising and saving information. Too often, they will also find themselves caught out when data is lost or irretrievable, causing major headaches and frustration.
The following are five key areas where using an integrated email, calendar, address book and file management application - also known as an advanced email client - can help overcome the most common pitfalls that occur when using email. In turn, it becomes easier for email users to access, manipulate and organise their incoming and outgoing data:
Pitfall one: Wasting time finding and organising related files. Most email applications store messages, documents and files relating to the same subject in different places and therefore require different applications to access and manage them. As such, users are forced to spend time switching between different applications and opening different windows. Many people also have huge volumes of different data types, creating a real need to make it easier to search and identify different files.
The solution: Bolstering a regular, standard email client with an advanced, personal information and file manager makes it easier to access and manage data because all information related to the same subject can be saved in a single Windows folder. Having the ability to mark, add tags and assign categories also makes managing information much simpler.
Pitfall two: Dealing with loss and corruption. Standard email client technology stores messages, attachments, calendar data and contacts within a single database file (in Microsoft Outlook, for example, data is stored as .pst files). As the file grows in size, this can lead to loss of performance. In some cases, the application will simply freeze, unable to handle the large volume of data in a single file. And in the event that it gets lost or corrupted, all emails, attachments, calendars and contacts may be lost.
The solution: An advanced email client application avoids these stressful scenarios occurring because it processes and stores messages and documents as separate files in regular Windows folders. In turn, this also makes working with incoming and saved data more straightforward.
Pitfall three: Lack of data security and unwanted downtime. Despite the fact that almost every major email application is now hosted, understandably many people still feel uncomfortable about saving and storing sensitive and confidential information in the cloud. Equally, the same is true of sending it via email, which is only really secured when it’s encrypted. With web-based solutions, this has to be done locally prior to being sent. Meanwhile, from an access point of view, downtime can also be an issue: even with the largest, most reputable solution providers, users face the very real risk of being cut-off from their data.
The solution: Using both offline and online solutions to synchronise and store files, confidential information is stored securely and messages can comfortably be sent and received encrypted. Downtime or lack of Internet access is also no longer a challenge because data is located on the computer and can therefore be accessed at any time using the application.
Pitfall four: Feeling held back by limited features and functionality? The fact that many email and file-sharing services are web-based means that they can go a long way in helping to meet modern flexible, mobile working requirements. However, even the biggest cloud applications are still pretty limited in terms of the features and functionality they offer, especially compared with desktop applications. In particular, it’s difficult to access different email accounts, address books, calendars etc. without having to log in and out all the time.
The solution: The fact that advanced email clients sync with multiple cloud-based accounts makes it possible to work simultaneously with multiple mailboxes, calendars, address books and cloud drives. Being a desktop application, they also offer better functionality and features, creating a more efficient user experience.
Pitfall five: Lack of technical support when things go wrong. Modern email applications are gradually becoming more sophisticated, which naturally is a good thing. On the other hand, when there’s a problem – especially using a free application – it can feel like you’re on your own. And as most people can relate, searching around in forums for a fix or deciphering generic ‘help’ items can be very time-consuming and frustrating.
The solution: A good low subscription fee advanced email client provider will offer multiple, interactive support channels, including email, Skype, phone and knowledge-based FAQs – making it easier to overcome testing challenges and get back on track.