Team Zeus Blog

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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!

Team Zeus Development Roadmap – November 2016

It was with great joy and excitement that we released the latest version of Team Zeus last month, which we believe helps you and your colleagues to further enhance your productivity. Because we always strive to make the platform as user-friendly as possible, we’ve made further improvements to the application since the launch. Below is our latest roadmap that lists all of the modifications that have been made so far:

Team Zeus Version 2016 Chat Update

Chat

Creation of a conversation: explicit confirmation when a conversation is sent to all users in the company.
User detail: remove groups’ x button visible only for admins.
Push notifications: new items in the Inbox are sent only when offline or after an hour of inactivity on desktop. We will allow further configuration for mobile notifications in future.
Links: any links in messages will now open in a new tab by default.
Last activity: when a user is online, his last activity (in a tab of the desktop version) is shown on his profile and in message sender in chat. Last activity is updated every 1-3 minutes on browser/tab activity.
Email import: fixed formatting of imported messages – we have completely disabled markdown on imported messages, so it does not conflict with source formatting.
Markdown: fixed both links and embedded images
Message attachments: these are now displayed in a ‘responsive’ grid next to each other for higher resolutions.
The “create a conversation” window: navigate through the different sections of the new conversation’s window by pressing the ‘tab’ key on your keyboard.
Update mechanism for the desktop version: we have added a system that detects if someone is running an old version (typically when they keep Team Zeus on after leaving work). This creates a persistent notifications with some explanation and a ‘Reload’ link.
Group member dialog box: group members and conversation recipients are now visible at the top, when in a group or conversation. New members can be added from this dialog box as well.
Inbox: we removed the three-dot context menu from the Inbox and replaced it with icons visible when an “INBOX or LATER” item is focused.
Inbox: archived conversations were moved to the bottom of the inbox, with indication that a conversation is archived.
Keyboard shortcuts: the shortcut key a was added to archive a conversation.
Improved user interface: group / conversation recipients with ‘add members’ is now in a fixed position, removing the need to scroll through a list to add a member.
Action icons in the Inbox (Inbox, Later, Mark As Read): these are now shown as separate icons without the need to focus on the icon
Conversation addressing: copying and pasting a link into a conversation (from browser URL bar or by copying the ID from the conversation settings) will create a ‘Team Zeus’ formatted link in a conversation with the ID number of the conversation combined with its name.
Auto-archiving of inactive conversations: by default, if there is no activity in a conversation for the last 14 days, it’s automatically archived.
Auto-archiving of a group: a group can be auto-archived from the group settings.
Mac OSX: Various fixes for Safari.
Formatting of messages: code blocks can be made by preceding the code with three back-ticks: ```.

Team Zeus Version 2016 Later Update

Later

Attachments: indication that a message in the “Later” section has attachments.
Announcement: when an announcement is in your “Later” section and you mark it as read, it is automatically removed from the list of messages. There will be notifications with ‘undo later’ in the next release after actions are completed that will automatically remove an item from the “Later” section (replying to a message, mark as read in announcements).

Team Zeus Version 2016 Announcement Update

Announcement

“Mark as Read” button: this button was moved to the toolbar to be consistent with other user interface elements. The button does not appear again after marking an announcement as read.

Team Zeus Version 2016 Groups Update

Group Directory

Archived groups: they were moved into a separate section of the directory.

Team Zeus Version 2016 Calendar Update

Calendar

Current day: better highlight of current day.
Event confirmation (going: yes/no/maybe): it is now possible in the event details of the pop-up window.
Drag & drop: creating events using the drag & drop functionality, resizing event and moving events using drag & drop is back.
Guest list: better guests list view in the event details of the calendar.
The Calendar ICS export link: this link is visible under the ‘calendars’ drop down menu of the calendar interface.

Team Zeus Version 2016 People Directory Update

People Directory

Filters: filtering of users by group or office location.
Design: Improved user interface styling for filtering by group or office in the people directory.

Team Zeus Version 2016 People Mobile Apps Update

Mobile Apps

iOS

Sending of image attachments to a message is now possible.

Android

— There is an update available on the Play Store that fixes issues with Android 6 on tablets.
Archiving a conversation is now possible in chat.
Later / remove from later are now available in chat.
New: message like in conversation and chat.

Team Zeus Version 2016 People Mobile Apps Update

Admin Portal

Templates: changes in “Templates” are logged in the Admin portal within the Audit Trail section.
Added logging for the following events: ‘invited user’, ‘password change’, ’email change’, ‘group add/remove member’, ‘conversation add/remove member’.
Report ‘inbox unresolved items': added number of ‘later’ items of user.
Audit trail improvements: filtering.

A lot of our development is based on user feedback, so if you have any ideas about a feature that could improve the productivity of a team, contact us now!

Instant messaging for business — in depth

Although internal communication can take up a lot of work time, effective team communication is essential for a company to be efficient. Office workers often dread the thought of dealing with an overloaded inbox, because it can be a gigantic task to prioritise messages, as they may get mixed with communications from customers and external partners.

When dealing with email, you have to go through each message to sort out your inbox and check whether you need to reply, file or delete your different emails.

Fortunately, we have the solution for an overflowing inbox: Team Zeus! A team communication and collaboration application for businesses, which takes messages from colleagues out of your Email Inbox and prioritises them on an intelligent communication platform.

The Team Zeus platform organises all your internal conversations into defined communication channels.

Zero admin: all internal conversations are automatically organised for you!

The Team Zeus platform organises all your internal conversations into defined communication channels that take place in virtual groups, ensuring transparency and faster message transmission.

As a result, you can save a lot of your precious time, and – unlike email – Team Zeus removes the need to have to find people’s email address, add recipients’ email to a list, and write a subject line for your message. Our instant messaging interface eliminates the communication barriers that commonly slow down team communication. By pressing the + button on the messaging interface, you can quickly create a conversation with one or multiple groups, and/or one or several individual user(s) using our smart autocomplete functionality. Team Zeus is a signature-free world with the ability to share information out in the open to facilitate collaboration.

Our instant messaging platform is user-friendly and divided into the following sections:

Team Zeus’s centralised inbox

The inbox is the centrepiece of the Team Zeus application. All users have their own centralised Inbox that groups together the streams of notifications from the instant messaging interface and the shared calendar.

Every time you receive a new message from a group or a colleague; a meeting is created or is about to start; or if a task is flagged as overdue; you will receive a notification in the “NEW” section of your Inbox. You can press the “Like” button for a short and quick response new messages, rather than responding: “thanks”, “Ok”, “Yes”, to rapidly move onto the next message.

Once you have clicked on the notification and read it, it will disappear from your Inbox when you go to another page; messages from your colleagues will automatically be filed in the right place. To go back to a message you have just viewed, simply press the “recently viewed” button on the top right corner, where a list of all the recent messages, people and rooms you have interacted with is displayed.

If you want to respond later to a message, you can press the “Later” button, so the message is filed in the “Later” section of your inbox for quicker access at a later time.

Important messages can be marked as an “announcement” and will be displayed in the top of your inbox, highlighting their importance. To acknowledge receipt of their content, users have to mark them as “read”, which ensures that the information is delivered to each colleague.

Groups

The Team Zeus instant messaging interface favours group conversations, rather than private one-to-one chats, as we consider that team collaboration enables users to contribute to projects more efficiently.

A Team Zeus group corresponds to a set of people that are part of the same department (such as sales or marketing), or a group of colleagues from different departments who share the same workflow and need to collaborate together (i.e. stock, logistics problems). Within a Team Zeus group, everybody can take part in a conversation, share files. It prevents employees from having the same discussion several times with different colleagues.

Users can create as many groups as they want on Team Zeus, and have the choice between three group categories, with different levels of visibility:

Public group: anyone in the company can join a public group with a pre-approval. A public group is generally designed for content that benefits the entire company.

Restricted group: groups are set by default as “restricted”, which means that there is limited access, but that users can see it listed in the group directory, even though they are not a group member.

Private group: a private group is only visible to the group members and is invisible to other users. This type of group is designed for topics that should stay confidential and will not be displayed in the group directory of non-group members.

The instant messaging feature is linked to the People Directory, which means that when colleagues take part in a conversation, you can identify them at a glance via their Team Zeus’s profile pictures. This is particularly handy for new employees or those who are part of a remote team to put a name to a face.

Team Zeus is based on the concept of having up-to-date information, so when somebody new comes on board you can easily add the person to a group, or on the contrary, remove someone from a group when they leave the company. When a new member is added to a group, they have access to the entire history of conversations, so they can quickly pick up the work of their predecessor.

In addition, group members can have different conversations within their group for frequently discussed information, talk about a particular project, or make an announcement. A group announcement is created when a message is of high importance in order to make sure that no one misses it. Once a conversation is over, users can archive it manually.

Finally, Team Zeus gives users the possibility to filter group conversations, depending on whether they are active conversations, archived discussions, or group announcements to find a specific element that was shared. Last – but not least – they can also filter a conversation to find a file amongst different messages – no more scrolling through a long list of messages to find a file, as files are only a click away!

Group Directory

The Team Zeus Group Directory enables you to see the list of all existing groups (except private groups). Users can also view the list of group members, the date of creation of the group and each of them has a symbol that defines their level of visibility (a green eye for “public”, a red open padlock for “restricted”, and a red closed padlock for “private”).

More importantly, the Group Directory is user-managed, which means that anyone can create a group on Team Zeus, set the group visibility to one of the options available, and easily add group members to allow a new colleague to join a conversation.

Team Zeus is based on the concept of having content that is always kept up-to-date. Thus, when an employee leaves the company their profile can be made inactive, so they no longer appear as a member of any groups.

Other Conversations

Team Zeus supports flexible conversations!

In the event that people from different groups need to discuss a particular topic, a user can create a temporary conversation in the section: “Other Conversations”. Let’s say for instance that the sales team needs to liaise with the marketing team about the launch of a new range of products, simply add both groups to the discussion.

Like with groups, users will be able to make a conversation an announcement, if people from different groups need to be made aware of any major changes. And conversations will also be categorised in three categories: active, archived and announcements, in order to help users find a conversation more easily.

Chats

Although we consider that a company should favour open communication in a group, we know that employees will often need to discuss certain topics with one colleague in private. This is why, Team Zeus also enables private chats between two users, providing a secure place to keep the content of a conversation confidential.

To have a chat with a person in particular, simply click on their profile in the people filter or use the search bar. Their automated user status provides transparency to see at a glance if your colleague is online, not available, or on vacation.

All the messages that are exchanged between two colleagues are part of the same conversation, and are classified in inverse chronological order, with the most recent messages displayed at the top. As a consequence, it’s easy to continue a discussion where you left off.

Templates

Team Zeus also allows users to create a template for any type of conversations (group conversations, chat, announcements) with content that infrequently changes. So, if you want to be productive rather than having to re-write the same text time and time again, creating a template is a great idea.

As Team Zeus is all about teamwork, templates you created are shared with everyone in the company, so your colleagues can also use them to avoid having to write a message from scratch.

Once your template is saved, anyone can create a conversation and select the template from the list to use it – it’s that simple!

Team Zeus is a powerful platform that revolutionises the way people communicate and collaborate, by promoting teamwork! Access your company communication and stay in the know – wherever you are – as Team Zeus is a responsive web application that works on any devices, including smartphones and tablets. It is also perfectly suited to enterprises, as it meets the requirements of businesses with dispersed teams or remote workers, and keeps everyone connected! Thanks to effective communication, Team Zeus will improve all aspects productivity.

So, what are you waiting for? Try our platform now with our 30-day free trial and enjoy the immediate benefits!

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