Replace Email Chains with Comments and Tasks

In this article, you will learn how to:

  • Exchange ideas and feedback with your team through comments
  • Set deadlines and maximize productivity through tasks

 

Comments and tasks are a great way to stay on the same page as your teammates, and to keep others accountable for their work.

 

Comments

Comments provide a powerful way to drive discussion around content in your Box account. Use comments to request feedback from others, make notes to yourself, notify others of updates to a file, and a variety of other social interactions.

 

You can view comments in the Preview page of a file within the sidebar to the right, or post your own in the "Write a comment" box at the bottom. Collaborators in that folder can reply directly to a comment or add their own comments.

 

@-mention

To communicate with a colleague:

  • Start your message with the @ symbol and begin typing the name of an individual that you are directing the message to
  • Select the name of the collaborator you want to message, and then finish typing your comment
  • @-mentioning will directly email the person and populate the message in their Box account.

This message will also stay with the file or folder on which you’ve commented, giving context for others coming to work with this information.

 

Note: When @-mentioning, the person to whom you are directing the message must already be a collaborator in the folder.

 

To keep assignments on track: Assign a Task, set a Due Date, and select the appropriate action item (yellow); the recipient will receive an email as well as a ‘Task’ to complete.

 

Tasks

Here’s another way you can use Box to tame the email beast and get your inbox under control: assigning tasks. Example: Instead of shooting your coworker an email asking for quick feedback on a file, consider creating a task for them to keep the whole process right in one centralized location.

 

This feature will allow you to assign a task to yourself, and/or your Collaborators. Tasks can only be created if comments are enabled. To create a task:

    1. In the comments section of the file page, select the  Add a Task. Additional fields will be displayed.
    2. Add a brief description of your task in the comments area to help the recipient understand your task.
    3. Enter the name of the collaborator who you would like to have complete the task.
    4. Optionally, add a due date when the task should be completed.
    5. Click Post to complete and assign your task.

Note:

You can only assign tasks to existing collaborators in the folder. If you would like to assign a task to a person who is not already a collaborator, you will first need to invite them to join the folder, then assign the task.

 

When you assign a task to a collaborator, that person will automatically receive an email reminder 7 days after the date you assigned the task.

 

Only the creator of the task can edit the task. To edit the task:

  1. Locate the file associated with the task and click on the comment icon to the right of the file name.
  2. You will be able to view all the tasks and comments associated with the file. Mouse over the task, then click on Edit to make changes to the task.

 

If you have been assigned a task you will receive an email notification containing a link to go directly to the task. Additionally, you can also navigate to Messages and select Incomplete Tasks from the drop-down menu at the top to see any open tasks assigned to you.

 

To complete the task, select the Complete option on the task and click Yes to confirm when prompted. You can leave a comment on the task without completing it, by mousing over the task and clicking Reply.

  

Version history
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Last update:
‎04-17-2019 08:24 AM
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Comments

My previous employer had departments that all but quit using email for day to day communication and rely explicitly on comments and tasks while other groups still remain loyal to archaic email chains that span generations of accidental "reply all's" and late or new participants that have been included into the frail.

 

Personally, I like a balance of both. 

Hi @-Rxu-,

 

Thanks for the post! I'm also using a mix of comments/tasks and email for work – the right communication for the right job. Thought it's nice to keep every communication centralized when possible.

 

Thanks again for sharing your experience!