Team Zeus Blog

Motivational musings from Mount Olympus and beyond.

Reply later to a message on Team Zeus by pressing the LATER button

Stay on top of your conversations and keep track of unanswered messages with the LATER button

When you first logon to Team Zeus and check the messages you have received from your colleagues, you should start by reading through your Team Zeus inbox. Before Team Zeus existed, emails would be primarily used for internal communications, and staff would dread that time in the morning where they would have to sift through their inbox to find important messages. Some emails would have to be ignored and marked as unread, but this practice is particularly inefficient.

Keep track of unanswered messages with the LATER button.

Fortunately, Team Zeus does all the hard work for you, as messages will be automagically categorised into groups or chats after they‘ve been read. The Team Zeus Inbox contains notifications of any new messages from co-workers, so they aren‘t mixed with old communications in your inbox– enabling you to quickly go through the messages and reply as needed.

We appreciate that depending on your workload, you may not have the time to respond straight away to some messages. This is where the Team Zeus LATER button comes in handy!

Introducing the Team Zeus LATER button in more detail

In the Team Zeus inbox, part of the content for each message is displayed, helping users to identify at a glance whether they should reply now to messages or delay their responses. If users can‘t immediately reply to a message, then they can press the LATER button.

The Team Zeus LATER button was designed with productivity in mind and is featured in different places on the application:

  • In your Inbox: on the right of all new messages, next to the “Mark as Read” and “Like” buttons.
  • At the top of any group conversations.

Conversations that are marked as “LATER” will be added to the LATER section of your Team Zeus Inbox, meaning that they are separated from new messages. The LATER section of your Inbox acts like a personal to-do list that contains a list of messages awaiting a response, which are listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent items you added at the top and the oldest ones at the bottom.

Note that when a conversation/chat is added to the LATER section, you will no longer receive notifications when people post other replies – enabling you to keep your attention focused on more valuable tasks.

What happens when I reply to a message placed in the LATER section?

When you respond to a message that is marked as LATER, Team Zeus considers that it‘s been processed and will remove it automatically from your LATER items, and as such, crossing it off the “list” for you. At this point, a notification message will be displayed that gives you the option to keep it in your later items. Alternatively you can manually remove a message from the later section, when a message no longer requires further responses.

Combining the Later button with good productivity habits

At Team Zeus, we promote the application of good work practices that enhance your workforce‘s efficiency in the office. We believe for instance in the OHIO (Only Handling It Once) theory of only handling communication once, which we recommend to use in combination with Team Zeus.

Thus, we consider that users should do their utmost to process messages in their Team Zeus‘s inbox only once. However, we admit that certain messages may require more time than others to manage. Therefore, we advise to follow the GTD (Getting Things Done) rule that suggests you instantly reply to a message that require less than 2 minutes of your time to answer; any others can be added to your LATER queue if you haven‘t got the time to answer, or need more information from your team.

If a LATER conversation involves a workload such as the collection of information, the write-up of a report or the design of a brochure, you should create a task on your Team Zeus personal to-do list to ensure that the work is completed on time and is on your list.

Why is the LATER button more effective than the Mark As Unread functionality?

Some of you may already be familiar with different methods to reply later to an email, when you haven‘t got the time to answer. The most common one being the “Mark as Unread” functionality. People use it to trace unanswered email, but what they don‘t realise is that this is detrimental to their productivity.

thumb_down Pressing “Mark as Unread” is often inaccurate, as you have already read the email once. As a result, you will usually need to spend another five minutes to read the email again, in order to remind yourself what it was about before you can take action. In the meantime, other emails would have hit your inbox and you may struggle to go through all of your unread messages. Marking messages as unread also implies that there isn‘t any distinction between emails that you‘ve already read once and unread new emails. Consequently, your Inbox is disorganised and no level of priority is defined, which makes it even harder after to respond to emails on time.
thumb_up By comparison, the LATER button enables you to differentiate new messages that haven‘t been read from the ones that you‘ve already consulted, but could not answer to at the time. Team Zeus‘s users can also see at a glance the most urgent items to respond to, as the oldest messages that were added, are placed at the bottom of the LATER section.
thumb_down On the other hand, marking emails as unread involves multiple operations that are time-consuming. After marking an item as unread, you have to find it again, read it one more time, answer to it and file it in an appropriate folder.
thumb_up In contrast, one big advantage of the LATER button, is that once you‘ve answered a message placed in the LATER section, it will be removed automatically from your Inbox and filed in the correct group or chat.

Benefits of the LATER button

The many benefits of Team Zeus LATER button on your efficiency at work include the following:

  • Effective time management: as indicated by their names, LATER items designate communication tasks that cannot be handled straight away. So, when you have few minutes spare, after taking care of urgent tasks on your to-do list, you can go back to the LATER section of your inbox, and start replying to your LATER messages. This will have effective results on your productivity and will ensure at the same time that all matters are resolved quickly.
  • Improved communication: the Team Zeus LATER button isolates messages that needs a reply from other messages (new and old), so they are accessible at a click of a mouse. Therefore, there won‘t be any risk of losing messages that were left unanswered. This will prevent employees being forgetful and will improve team communication.
  • Greater organisation & no admin: once you answered to a “LATER” message, Team Zeus will automatically archive it in the right group or chat; keeping your inbox cleared from any clutter, without you having to worry about it.

So, say goodbye to inefficient habits and adopt the use of the LATER button to manage your Inbox effectively, without too much effort!

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