In the dynamic world of WordPress and Web Development professionals often encounter a common yet overlooked issue: the chaos of lengthy email threads encompassing numerous project questions and answers and sometimes related and sometimes different topics. This chaos hurts productivity and also makes it really hard to find important information later on.
That is a very interesting case because people like to just hit reply and type their answer. The problem arises when you have hundreds of questions and answers.
How do you find the information or the reply you need?
Another weird case is when clients are in a hurry and type a quick email but it’s brand new to a previous conversation.
The solution is to spot the problem early on when there are about 10-15 exchanged emails and especially when the topic starts to change.
The solution is to try to keep the conversation to one single topic. If the client replies with a brand new email then you copy and paste the contents and hit reply to an existing and related email thread. You’ll thank me later!
It is a very productive approach to discuss only one issue per email because you will be able to search within emails more easily. For example, gmail and probably other email service providers have very powerful search filters.
Let’s say you email a client an invoice for a custom WordPress Plugin Development in case the automatic invoice email got lost.
Subject: ORBISIUS-INV-2023-1492 Custom Plugin Development Invoice: Stripe integration
just resending your invoice list in case the previous one got lost.
This is regarding Custom Plugin Development for the Stripe integration Custom Plugin.
If the invoice is still not paid you can use GMail filters to search
you can ask it to show emails that are from a given period or a year and contain some text
Leveraging Gmail's Advanced Filters
after:2023-01-01 before:2023-03-31 Stripe Invoice
It will search for emails that contain the text stripe invoice and have been exchanged sometime between January and March 2023. The date format is YYYY-MM-DD.
The search is so much easier that way and this approach saves time, reduces confusion, and ensures that important information can always be found very quickly.
Another solution to the lengthy email threads depends on the project. If it’s going to be an ongoing one that will have multiple tasks that you’ll prioritize every 1-2 weeks then it totally makes sense to set up some sort of a project management system.
That way you can have a single task/issue/ticket and discuss it with the client in the comments section. That way things will be focused again.
Another benefit of the project management system is that the client will know what’s the status of a given task: started, in progress, completed, blocked (waiting for another task etc) at any given moment.
What’s your solution regarding the long email discussion?