Early this morning, I read an email from my supervisor, who wanted me to write this very blog post about—oh, the irony—emailing.
In 2016, over 600 billion regular emails (not including those shady spam emails you get for various reasons) were sent in Germany alone. That’s an average of around 7,500 per person! Statisticians forecast that this number will climb even further in 2017—to over 730 billion (source). That’s certainly a lot of messages, and a lot of wasted time. But first, let’s have a look at where it all started!
You’ve Got Mail…
Regarding the history of email, pinpointing exact dates i is neither easy nor accurate, as the process of its creation was rather complex and ongoing. But generally speaking, Ray Tomlinson is widely known as the inventor of modern email. Back in 1971, the internet wasn’t even around yet, but he sent the very first message from one computer to another via the “ARPANET” (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), the predecessor of the modern internet developed by MIT and the United States Department of Defense.
Since then, a lot of time passed, and refinement occurred. Specifically, different kinds of mail systems and style codes have been developed and abandoned. Meanwhile, the idea of quickly and easily sending messages became more and more widespread and popular, as did email.
Modern email is fast, allows for an asynchronous communication, and lets you share your digital documents directly with your customers and colleagues—without the need for diving deep into any kind of server management. However, these advantages come at a cost.
… You’ve Got Problems…
As easy as communicating via email may seem to be, it can end up being frustrating in the long run, especially in creative business. If you use email to share files with your colleagues and customers, Murphy’s Law seems to apply: Anything that can go wrong will.
In fact, there are some things that regularly happen to me, and they will surely happen to you as well:
You may forget that crucial attachment, or you may even wonder if you’ve sent the correct document. Or perhaps you attached an outdated or WIP file on accident. If you do, it may be that much more difficult to make a good impression to your colleagues or customers.
Since you forgot to download the annotated document your customer sent you this morning, you must dumpster-dive through all the other emails you received to apply the requested changes.
A customer responds to your proposed film piece, graphic, or advertisement, and tries to explain to you that the music is too loud in the scene where the one actress does that one thing, that you should change that color in the diagram, or that you should move that thing a little bit more to the right. And you just don’t quite understand what they mean…
So you ask for clarification, and start a highly inefficient back-and-forth of emails between you and your customers—without getting any actual work done.
…You’ve Got a Solution!
Review and approval tools are your go-to alternatives for avoiding the disadvantages of sharing files via email. If you want to streamline your creative workflow by ending the maddening email ping-pong, Filestage might be the right tool for you.
Filestage allows fast, easy annotations on all kinds of files used in creative business while collaborating with your coworkers. Videos, images, PDF files. It’s up to you and your customers needs.
Simply by sharing a link or sending an email, you can invite everyone to access the latest version of your current worky. Your customers can comment on your work without the need for a signup process, and pinpoint what they want to change.
Reviewers can simply mark an area in your picture, a scene in your movie, a paragraph in your text, or a part in an audio file, then leave a comment. You or any of your colleagues may directly answer this comment, so your customers receive an instant acknowledgment of their request.
Of course, these comments are visible to everyone on your team, so handling your client’s needs becomes more coordinated.
Furthermore, your files are always up-to-date and easily accessible. You and your customers can open a web browser and start commenting from any device. To ensure the integrity and safety of your work, all personal data is encrypted and hosted in Frankfurt, Germany.
With an open mind he tries to bring a little creativity in everyone’s life. His credo: Communication is key to success.