Managing emails

Learn the best practices for managing your emails in Karbon

Erin Jamison avatar
Written by Erin Jamison
Updated over a week ago


How Karbon replaces client & email folders in your email client

Many accounting firms create folders for each of their clients in their email inboxes. This creates a problem where these emails are visible only to one person. We link folders to Timelines in Karbon—Karbon can automatically store client’s emails on the appropriate timeline if they are saved in your Karbon account as a shared contact. 

Here are three quick ways you can store a client as a contact in Karbon:

  1. From an email, click on the sender’s name and click on Add Contact. Your emails will then be automatically be stored on their timeline.

  2. Use the global add (+ button) in the upper right-hand corner or “Add Contact” from the Contacts page from the Main Menu to add a person or an organization. Make sure you check the box “Make your emails with this person visible to your colleagues”. This will ensure your emails will be stored on their timeline.

  3. Lastly, you can import from Gmail or Office 365 from the Contacts page. There, you will find a list of email addresses that you have emailed or have emailed you. Just click on Add Contact for those that you want in your Karbon account.

With any of these three steps, you will be able to maintain your emails per contact on their timeline.

When you create a new contact, make sure you check the box Make your emails with this person visible to your colleagues. This will ensure your emails will be stored on their timeline and shared with your colleagues.

Add email to other contact timelines or a work timeline

Additionally, you have the ability to add an email to other timelines. Simply add the email to a contact by clicking on Add to Contact. If the email relates to a work item, add the email to work using the Add to Work link or by adding to the work or client timeline in the info tray on the right side.

Note, you want the piece of work to serve as a central repository for all things regarding that work item. When you are ready to start that work item, everything will be at your fingertips from emails to notes to documents to tasks. Once completed, that work item will be there for easy access with everything that pertains to it in one location.

Effectively managing Triage

There are five key things you should do to effectively manage your triage. This article discusses them in detail.

#1. Try to limit the amount you go to Triage to just three times each day

Get in the habit of replying and/or assigning items each morning, afternoon and before you leave your desk for the day. By doing this, it allows you to clear out your new items faster. And if you're not constantly coming back to Triage throughout the day, you won't be distracted from the work that needs your attention.

If you plan on assigning that item to yourself, you can additionally add it to My Week to get an overview of your planned items for the week.

#2. Just like adding an email to a folder or tagging an email, add the email to a timeline

Karbon likens tags and folders to timelines. You can add the email to a contact timeline or if the email relates to work, add that email to work or create new work directly from that email.

If you're not sure if you should add an email to a piece of work, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Does the email contain an attachment?

  • Are there several steps you need to take with this email?

  • Will the email conversation eventually end up into a larger project/job/work?

If the answer is yes to one or more of the above, add the email to a work item. The attached file will be stored on the details tab of the work item, and you can document the items you need to complete by creating tasks.

Handy tip: You can copy text from the email and paste it directly into a task.

#3. Add new contacts as you go

If you receive an email from someone new, add them as a contact. You can do this directly from the email. By adding new contacts and email address, you can be assured that any emails to and from them will automatically be stored on the contact timelines.

Don’t forget to link contacts to organizations if needed.

And if you’d like to add this email to the organization timeline, you can do so using the email information tray, or by clicking on the email options menu (the three dots "...") to “Add to contact”.

#4. Use comments to @ mention your colleague on an email rather than forwarding

You can bring your colleague(s) into an email conversation by @ mentioning them in a comment. It allows you to have an internal conversation with your team members without the risk of your external clients seeing the conversation. Great for asking quick questions, providing an FYI or requesting approval for a draft reply.

#5. Send notes to colleagues instead of email

Instead of sending an email to someone internally, you should @mention them in a note. Not only will this notify your team member in their Triage, but the conversation will also be stored properly on the Work or Contact timeline you are discussing. Your teammate will also have more context to work from when they read the message.

Don't CC or BCC colleagues

At Karbon, we recommend you do not BCC team members into emails.

  • If the email is for someone's information, they will be able to find it in the client, organization and/or piece of work timeline;

  • If the email actually requires the person's attention, @ mention the colleague in a comment. This email will appear in your colleague's Triage with the comment where they can comment back, assign the email to themself or unfollow the conversation.

Example: Lachlan is sending an email to Fred requesting more information; he wants Michelle to keep track of the documents and send them as they come to the auditor.

Bad practice

In this example, you see that the email is just clutter and requires me to reach out to my colleague to understand whether I should do something or not. It's not clear at a glance.

Best practice

In this best practice example, I can tell at a glance what is required of me, for what client and in regards to what job or task.

Linking an email to an individual's timeline and an organization's timeline

You might want an email to sit on the timeline for a person contact and the timeline for an organization contact.

There are two ways you can do this:

#1. For a new email, create it from the organization's timeline.

Now the email and its subsequent replies will exist on the organization timeline, as well as the timeline of the individual contact you send the email to. The email will exist on a third timeline if you add the email to a piece of work.

#2. If your email is already in Triage, you can add it to a contact and then select the contact or contacts you want to link the email to.

Now, this email and future responses will exist on the contact timeline(s).

Deciding whether to action an email that involves another team member

If more than one team member is included in one email, you might be unsure whether or not should action it. To ensure you are not going to duplicate work or tasks that have already been created, you will see when an email has been tagged to work, has already been replied to, or if the email has been assigned.

Open the email and get a view of what has already been done. If you are satisfied that the email has been actioned already, you can clear it from your Triage.

If the email has not been assigned and a task is required, assign it to yourself or someone on your team. Do yourself or your teammate a favor by adding a due date—even if this is a rough date—as this can help with prioritizing items in My Week.

If the email pertains to a work item in motion and has not yet been tagged, we recommend the following:

  1. Click add to work and search by organization name and a keyword of the work type (i.e. payroll, bookkeeping, etc.). This will help narrow your list of work to choose from

  2. If you find the work, click on it to tag it. Now that email will be listed on the timeline for that work

  3. If you don’t find the appropriate work item, click on Create work

If the email is important and needs to be stored on the client timeline, simply add to contact and search for the client name.

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