Hiver Product Review

Turning Gmail Into a Collaboration Tool

Are you managing your Gmail?

Or is Gmail managing you?

Time is money. No matter how technologically advanced we become, we can’t change the number of hours in a day, but, what we can do is cut the wastage and make the most of the time we do have.

Predictably, working in a team or running a small business demands co-ordination of the business activities and smooth management of projects; fail to do so and one might find themselves in a disorganized and a messy situation, which in turn will lead to inefficiency and leakage.

Email for collaboration

Email is a professional’s standard tool when it comes to collaborating with colleagues, customers, partners etc. It is simple, user-friendly and accessible to everyone on all platforms.

Writing an email, searching and browsing through email inboxes is now effortless, thanks to great email clients and services available today.

We may not realise it but we use email for collaboration all the time. We assign tasks to colleagues over email, report on them or work together on files together by sharing them as attachments.

This, essentially, is collaboration.

Collaborating over a long period of time with a large group using email can turn collaboration into a deterrent. You’d very soon have people complaining about too much email, cluttered inboxes, and information getting lost and never being found.

When I first started my recruitment business, we didn’t begin with a recruitment management system. We only have a “database” and that is our inbox.

This was back in 2004 and cloud based emails were practically unheard of.

We couldn’t share emails with others and it was really limiting how we conduct business.

This is where Hiver comes in.

Hiver makes collaboration on email a cakewalk

23190754

The main reason for starting Hiver stems from Co-Founder/CEO Niraj’s and his peers’ personal experience with collaboration on e-mail – an activity still largely inefficient considering that e-mail is a popular way for people to collaborate.

E-mail clutter and information getting lost keeps people away from failing to achieve daily goals easily, so giving e-mail the power  to make it easier for teams to merge seemed like the logical way to go.

They designed Hiver to help the user

  • Share Gmail labels for collaboration.
  • Share contacts for sales and support.
  • Share Gmail templates.
  • Share notes to make Gmail threads richer

In short, Hiver simplifies internal communication, and client management; and optimizes performance.

Key Features

Here are some Key features of Hiver that will help you streamline your team’s workflow.

Shared Labels

Gmail has a an excellent feature called labels. Once you label an email, all the future emails falling under this label will be nested together under the label. Hiver allows users to share these labels with other Gmail users.

Screenshot of Hiver labels within Gmail dashboard

Shared Labels attached to an email are instantly copied to teammates’ Inboxes, and are a great way to assign tasks and track completion statuses.

For instance, once you get a new request from your client, you can label the email as task and share it with the task owner. After the task is finished, the owner can simply label it as done.  

These labels work on other email clients such as Outlook and Sparrow and also work on Android and iOS devices as well.

This feature of Hiver also allows you to share your Client’s emails with your team and all future and past communications under that label will be automatically shared with the entire team – keeping everyone in the loop without crashing their inboxes and taking the burden off the manager every time a new update comes in.

Shared Notes

Shared Notes are available inside an email thread and helps team members coordinate their efforts smoothly when additional information about a task needs to be shared.

This almost works like a chat box and your team members can stay updated about any new developments.

Shared Contacts

Hiver allows you to share your contact list with your team. Let’s say you have a new client, and one of your team members add it to the shared contacts list – it gets updated with everyone with whom the contacts have been shared with.

Email Templates

If you have the habit of using email templates to get things done faster, you can create them in Hiver. Just install the browser extension and click on the Hiver toolbar button to set up your templates.

Let’s take an example:

Say you are a team lead, and you receive a new task from your client. You decide to assign it to your team member Jack. You create a label – ‘task:Jack’, and share it with him. Jack now has access to the entire email thread.

Screenshot of creating a shared labels in Hiver

But, before Jack can finish the task the client approaches you with a new update. As a manager, it can get tedious for you to forward the email every time there is an update.

This is where shared labels work their magic. A shared label ensures that Jack receives all the updates on that email thread, as and when the client emails you.

Once Jack finishes his task, he can create another label – ‘Jack : Done’, and share it with the team lead.

Lesser tos and fros. No confusion. Easy delegation. Easy tracking.

Screenshot of a Hiver notification

Apart from the labels, shared notes will help the team lead and Jack communicate whenever necessary – just like a chat box.

Hiver aims to help you curb information loss, time loss, and energy loss; and exponentially increase your team’s output generation

It comes with 4 different price plans with the cheapest one being free.

Hiver Price Plan

Conclusion

There are many other ways you could make use of Hiver to manage collaboration. Beside project management, it would also be useful for sales, customer support and recruitment departments.

Sign up for a 14 day risk free trial at their website.

Question: Would you find such Gmail collaboration tool useful? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.