While new managers will have ample training and support as they become acclimated to InboxDone, this page addresses many of our frequently asked questions. Please carefully review before booking your final interview, as several of the questions you might still have are addressed below. We welcome any and all questions, but may refer you back to this page if you ask a question that has already been addressed.
Clients will expect a high level of privacy and security from their managers at all times, meaning the content of their inboxes should not be discussed with anyone who is not on the InboxDone management team.
Managers should also clarify their availability upfront, both time-wise and task-wise. For example, a client may reach out to a Manager during “off hours” (after 5pm) to get a task accomplished. If the Manager is available/open to this request, then those hours should be tracked and included within the hourly cap like normal.
However, it is perfectly fine for a Manager to politely respond that they understand the assigned task and will work on it during their next check-in. We aim for a "yes we can" attitude at all times (especially during the first few months), but respecting your time frames and schedule is very important to us.
It's normal to be somewhat "on-call" in between inbox check-ins for urgent, time-sensitive items (specifically during the first 30 days while trust is being built). However, performing work after hours is a different story. If a client continues to call/ask for for tasks outside of your normal check-in times (even after you've established a boundary), let us know so we can reach out to the client.
Finally, if there is a task the client asks you to take over that you either don't feel comfortable with (or don't want to manage), let us know so we can add an additional manager to the client's account to handle that specific task.
For example: "I'm open to working on X part of this project — for everything else, we can bring on another manager with this specific skill set. Sound good?"
Just like the relationship as a whole, these boundaries are relative to the details worked out between the client and the manager, but it’s best to work them out as early as possible for the best possible expectation management.
We love transparency at InboxDone, but there is a difference between client-facing and team-facing communication.
We encourage you to be completely transparent with our team if this is your first time managing an inbox so we can provide extra training support. However, we always want to reassure a client that we feel confident in our abilities to manage their inbox, since they are looking to us for suggestions and best practices.
Although the client is the only person who has the specific answers about their business, they will be looking to you for best practices in the inbox and will want you to create systems for them.
Here's our favorite on-the-spot response when you aren't sure of an answer:
"Great question! Off the top of my head, I think [xxx] would work great here, but let me research a few options for you and add them to your next recap. Then you can simply choose which option you like best!"
Or even easier: "Let me do some quick research to troubleshoot this, I'll let you know what I find!"
If after a quick Google/YouTube search you still aren't able to find solution, feel free to reach out to our Training Manager (or inside the #managers channel) with any unanswered questions.
The same method applies when the client asks if you have experience with an outside platform. If you've never heard of the platform, it's okay to let them know that you're open to learning. Ideally, it's best to do some (minimal) research about any outside platforms the client uses before the Intro Call so you know what the platform's intended purpose is.
Important: If a client has joined InboxDone's Slack channel, make sure you ask for help in a channel separate from the client's recap channel (ideally the #managers channel). That way we spare the client all the back-and-forth involved in troubleshooting, and can instead simply give them a few options to choose from.
We know it isn't easy to ask questions in a group channel with several people you don't know, but we all learn from each other's questions on a daily basis and are constantly adding to this FAQ page. Your questions help us grow!
So although we'll always expect you to conduct your own independent research first, but we're always here to support you behind the scenes.
If your first client asks about your prior inbox management experience, always focus on the work experience you've had up until this point and how past work has allowed you to cultivate the skills needed to solve your clients' specific pain points.
You can also focus on the extensive hiring/vetting process and training period you went through with InboxDone before being matched.
So instead of "This is my first time", you could say something like:
"I've communicated with hundreds of customers in all different capacities for past clients, so I can see where this nuanced communication will come up in your inbox."
"I'm used to juggling many moving parts with previous clients, so I will set up systems that ensure none of your emails fall through the cracks."
If your client continues to ask how many InboxDone clients you've worked with previously, you could say something like:
"You are actually my first client, but after going through InboxDone's extensive training and reviewing your onboarding materials, I feel completely confident that I can help you get to the place you want to be."
Since we will often match two managers for every one client, you will most likely be co-managing with a more experienced manager, thus alleviating this issue completely.
Most clients are much less concerned with your exact experience and are only interested in whether or not you can solve their pain points, so always focus on how your skills apply to their needs (the reason we matched you with your client!), rather than focus on the length of time you've been with InboxDone.
We always want every client to feel like they have our undivided attention and dedicated management. That's why they're hiring us! So even though your client most likely knows you're working with other clients, always avoid referring to your other ID clients when communicating with a client.
Under no circumstances should you blame a mistake with one client on another client.
For example, instead of saying "I'm sorry I forgot to recap last night, I was fixing something for another client," say "I'm so sorry I blanked on the recap, I've set up systems to ensure this will not happen again. Here is the recap I was going to send..."
At InboxDone, we're not interested in excuses — we own our mistakes, set up systems to ensure they don't happen again, then move on.
In the rare instance that one of your clients wants to work with you full-time, check with InboxDone first. It's possible to reassign your other clients to different managers, though we try to avoid this if possible. As long as you give us plenty of notice (and speak with us first before promising anything definitive to a client), we can always find a solution that works for everyone!
In the beginning, weekly calls and daily recaps occur, but the relationship should evolve based on the best interests of the client.
For instance, some clients may realize they need more help than just their inbox (and ask for tasks from our Services page). Others may soon decide that weekly calls are too frequent and switch to monthly. Some clients are fine with just one check-in per day, while others ask for full blocks of time to be covered.
There’s no single “shape” of a Manager-client relationship, but the Manager should always be considering ways to progress that relationship, in order to constantly strengthen the value of InboxDone for the client and increase ROI. Bonuses will be awarded accordingly!
InboxDone recommends you create a separate user account on your device from which to work. This account will have its own password and all of your LastPass passwords and client accounts will be saved here.
Another option is to use one browser for all InboxDone work (i.e. Chrome), and one browser for everything personal (i.e. Safari). This way anything you bookmark for ID would only be visible in your Bookmarks Bar when you're working on that browser.
When you have finished with your work for the day, you can log out of your work user account, and return to your personal user account.
Implementing one of these options is not only essential for security reasons, but also helps you create more work-life balance in an all-remote setting.
The most important thing here is to let InboxDone know right away if a client makes this request so we can connect with the client about their plans.
Although we would never train anyone on ID's processes (for example anything from our training modules, policies and procedures, etc), it's okay to share the client's specific processes if that's what they've requested. Processes specific to the client would include things like: how they like emails to be organized, scheduling parameters, etc. Essentially anything that would be added to the client's Knowledge Base, SOPs and templated resources (Links sheet, rules sheet).
If SMS or text messaging arises as the clients preferred communication method (outside of emergencies), then it's up to the Inbox Manager’s comfort level and discretion to determine whether they're comfortable using SMS or if they would rather defer to another platform.
At times, clients may rely on SMS / text messaging to request a task that needs to be done or to offer reminders to an Inbox Manager. Again, there is no strict policy in place against this through InboxDone, but Inbox Managers should have a personal policy in place around time boundaries.
If an Inbox Manager received a request via SMS / text message from a client, it’s normal to feel as though that task needs to be completed at once, even though you may be outside of your check-in time. In such a case, an Inbox Manager may need to express a boundary around completing that task during a check-in time, or they may choose to silence notifications from that contact when outside of their inbox.
If an Inbox Manager is not comfortable being contacted via SMS / text message, they may recommend alternate platforms such as WhatsApp or Google Chat.
The only caveat to the above is if a client specifically requests SMS/text communication for all their recaps and training questions. The same time boundaries would still apply (i.e. not completing tasks outside of predetermined check-ins), but if it's easiest for the client to get you the information you need via SMS/text, then let our Matching Manager know upfront if SMS is not a platform you feel comfortable regularly using so the client can be reassigned to someone else.
Absolutely! We always offer LastPass as a default since it's reliable and free for all parties, but always defer to the client's preference.
If the password manager they would like to use requires a fee, check with InboxDone. We can most likely cover the cost of the password manager as part of the client's plan.
The client may also opt to create you a new email address (email@example.com), which they can then send you login details for. This way the client never has to share their personal password, but can create a separate extension that's just for you.
When LastPass doesn't work, the client will most likely look to us for help, so always troubleshoot the issue first instead of looking to the client to fix it. Here are the first things to try when LastPass glitches:
- First make sure the client's email address is correct in your vault. Update it accordingly if needed.
- If LastPass doesn't auto-populate in the password field, try to copy/paste the password by clicking the browser extension.
- Restart your computer, then try LastPass again. If this still doesn't work, uninstall and reinstall LastPass from both your computer and browser extension. Then schedule a time with the client to send you the verification code to get you logged in again. As long as the client's team hasn't changed anything on their end, reinstalling LastPass usually fixes any glitches.
If you still aren't able to solve the issue, reach out to LastPass directly and describe the issue (create a support ticket here).
At this point, the client might opt to add you as a delegate to their account instead of using LastPass (instructions are here). The client would need to use the "Grant Access To Your Account" section in Gmail.
The client may also opt to create you a new email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), which they can then send you login details for. This way the client never has to share their personal password, but can create a separate extension that's just for you. The client may also ask you to reset your password, then send you the new password via LastPass so that they are able to access your personal account as well.
1. Go to the Slack web portal or open your Slack desktop app.
2. Click your workspace name at the upper left-hand side of the app.
3. Select "Sign in to another workplace ..."
4. Enter the Slack URL of the team you want to sign in to. (inboxdone.slack.com)
5. Enter your e-mail and password to sign in.
Calendly gives us a snapshot of each team member's availability to remove all the back-and-forth involved with scheduling and to streamline our systems.
Once a month (when you submit your monthly invoice), update your Calendly as well to reflect your current availability.
Most clients will integrate at least one outside platform into their inbox (if not several) to help make their email process run smoother. These platforms will be listed in the Onboarding Call Details form (though the client may add more platforms on as you grow with them).
For example, if a client receives payments via Stripe, they will most likely want you to acquire a basic knowledge of Stripe's platform (for tracking payments, helping a client update an expired credit card, issuing refunds, etc).
Although we will do our best to match you with clients who use platforms you're familiar with, this is not always possible. You may be assigned a client account with a co-manager who does have experience with a certain platform, in which case you can learn from them.
It's the client's responsibility to show you how they interact with each outside platform, but always try to acquire at least a baseline level of knowledge about each platform before the client's Intro Call.
For example, if the client mentioned during their Onboarding Call that they use Help Scout, search Google or Youtube for an Intro Tutorial to this platform. Every digital platform now offers free tutorials, either through their own site, or made by another user on Youtube.
Watching just a few of these videos before you first connect with the client will provide you with an overview of what to expect (as well as establishing trust with the client). The client can then use your weekly call time (or Loom) to teach you how the platform is used for their inbox (instead of needing to start from square one).
Although we don't expect you to be an expert on an unfamiliar platform, we do expect you to be proactive when it comes to learning a tool that will assist the client. We assume you will spend some time (albeit brief) doing your own research first, after which you are free to ask in the #managers channel if anyone has experience with a platform and would be willing to do a quick screen share.
While completing our online course (Become an Inbox Manager), you'll be prompted to complete the our Security Checklist (required for all new managers).
Please review the Digital Safety Checklist we send to all clients before your Intro Call so you know what to expect!
- Send an @channel message in the relevant #admin-client Slack channel so that everyone is notified.
- The next Inbox Manager to contact the client to let them know there may be a lapse in check-ins and that everything should return to normal soon, and update the channel to let all know they've contacted the client.
- Put a set deadline on when the CSM will give notice, so if you don't hear anything new within 24 hours, that's when the CSM will reach out to the client.
- If another IM is able to cover the missing IM's check-in, they should always add that extra time to their invoice.
- More than 5 days missing need to be evaluated/elevated by CSM and MM more closely since the internet is (for better or worse) the most necessary tool for this role.
- If no other team members are online and there have been no updates in the channel regarding client notification, then the Client Success Manager or another internal team member will send an email to the client to notify them, and then update the team.
When possible, we always want to avoid the need for managers to wait for a client to manually approve account access because that can cause missed check-ins, lower ROI and create additional work for the client.
Here are a few common solutions to troubleshoot by order of preference:
- (Outlook) - Assign delegate accounts. One of the easiest and most convenient ways to resolve login confirmations is to have the client create delegate accounts for the Inbox Managers, which will allow them to access the clients inboxes using a separate login, and prevent 2FA requests.
- (Gmail) - Delegates are possible in Gmail but implementing them can be more complicated. This is an option that is worth exploring when the client has an IT person or IT team that can implement delegate accounts through the Google Workspace.
- (Gmail/Outlook/All Platforms) Remote Desktop access - If delegate accounts aren’t possible, the client can install remote desktop software such as AnyDesk, which allows the manager to access the client’s computer. For this to work, the client can’t be using the device at the same time that the manager is accessing the Remote Desktop software.
- (All Platforms) Removing 2F/Multi-Factor Authentication. As a last resort, we can suggest that the client disables the authentication, though this option is never preferred. This is always a last resort due to the potential for security risk and the potential to reduce client confidence. Some clients may be open to this, others may not.
If all steps above fail to work, please reach out on the #managers-tech channel on Slack or reach out to an ID training manager.
If your device is lost or stolen, report it to InboxDone. It is advised that your work account on your device be placed under a secure password, and InboxDone uses LastPass to manage and protect client passwords, so should your device become lost or stolen, your client information should not be easily accessible.
InboxDone will alert your clients to the situation and we may have your co-manager help with your check-ins until you are able to retrieve or replace your device. At which point, it is recommended that all passwords be changed.
After 9 successful months with a client, there is an option to switch over to a "retainer" model, which would pay you the same consistent amount for each client each month. The retainer model is equivalent to the average of the first 9 months combined.
Some Managers prefer the retainer model since it means they no longer have to track hours and can always rely on the same consistent amount (even during slow months).
However, other Managers like to be paid for the exact hours worked, rather than potentially earn less during a busy month.
If you are interested in a monthly retainer, reach out to InboxDone so we can set up a call with our Financial Manager.
After we set up your direct deposit, payment is divided into 3 categories:
- Training Stipends: Flat-rate payments will be sent to you after each specific training task is completed.
- Training Period Rate: All hours logged in the first 30 days with a new client (your trial period) should be logged at the designated training rate (which includes any calls you have with our Training Manager)
- Standard Rate: After you successfully complete your 30-day trial period, you will graduate to the designated standard rate. This rate will apply to any future clients as well, you will never go back to the training rate.
You are hired by InboxDone as an independent contractor, so you will file your own taxes according to your state and federal requirements (without InboxDone's involvement).
As we are a Canadian-based company, we do not issue tax forms (i.e. 1099s). Instead, you will simply declare earnings as an independent contractor/sole proprietor by totaling up the monthly invoices you sent InboxDone.
We highly recommend FreeTaxUSA, which allows you to file for free and walks you through each step of the process.
If you are a freelancer/contractor based in the US, you are by default considered a sole proprietor. This means you can deduct business expenses (like your wifi, office equipment, and even your phone plan) from your taxable income, even if you are not registered as an LLC. FreeTaxUSA will walk you through exactly how to do this.
If you would like us to send you a statement to-date of all payments that have been sent to you by InboxDone for the year, simply email our Financial Manager to provide you with a record when you're ready to file (email@example.com).
Your 30-day trial period begins the day you are officially assigned to a client. You should start tracking billable hours as soon as you've been assigned to a client (in order to prepare their Action Plan, review their onboarding call recording and research their website), however these hours count as part of your hourly cap so use them wisely.
During your first 30 days with InboxDone, you will bill the designated trial rate, after your first 30 days are complete, you will bill the designated standard rate. There is also potential for bonuses and hourly raises depending on performance and how often you come in under your hourly caps.
Upon being hired, you will receive a to-do list from us that is due by the deadline we provide. These tasks will include logistical tasks like setting up LastPass, Calendly, etc. You will then "respond to" five example emails, which we will use to further gauge your writing abilities. This can all be easily completed within 3-4 hours, so a flat rate of $50 will be sent to you upon completion.
Next, you will work through our Inbox Manager Training Course, easily completed within 6-8 hours (or within one week). Upon completion, you will be sent a flat rate of $100.
Assuming all of the above is successfully completed, we will then book a call with you when we have a potential client match. Keep in mind that there is often a delay between completion of the training and being assigned to a client, though our goal is always to have you matched within a month. Some managers are assigned a client in as little as one week.
Once you are assigned a client, there is a 60-hour cap for your first month with the client (about 3 hours per day). The Standard Plan (which most of our clients are on) is 45hrs/month, but we offer 15 extra hours in the first month (split between co-managers giving you each an addition 7.5 hours) so that you have time to learn more about client, study their website, sign up for their email opt-in, and for any training calls. This prep work is mandatory, not optional! Showing the client how much you've already learned about them and their business is the fastest way to establish trust.
At the end of the 30 days, we will schedule a call with you and with the client (separately) to assess how the first month has gone. If the client chooses not to upgrade or downgrade their plan, the hourly cap reverts to the standard 45hrs/month and you and your co-manager will determine who will take what hours so this cap is not exceeded. At this point, you will also "graduate" to the standard rate, which will remain in effect for every new client you take on going forward.
The training rate is in place for the first 30 days so that our Training Manager is able to work with you one-on-one and answer any client-related questions you have. Although your first month will include regular training calls (separate from your calls with the client), feel free to book a call with our Training Manager at any time for additional support.
We work on a pre-paid model for all clients, therefore the hourly caps must be strictly adhered to. Always speak with us first if you feel you don't have enough hours, then we will work out a plan that works for both you and the client without going over.
We recommend thinking of hourly caps in terms of months (rather than days), since each day's work can fluctuate so drastically.
For example, you may need 3 hours on Mondays (to catch up from the weekend), but only 30 minutes on Fridays. As long as the hourly cap for the client's plan is adhered to, you can distribute those hours however you need them.
The standard plan for (most of) our clients is around 45hrs/month — however, since there is so much to learn in the first 30 days, we provide 15 extra hours for you to use in your first month with each new clients. These hours do not have to be used, but are there for you if you need them. Any training calls you schedule with our Training Manager would be included as a part of these 15 extra hours (split with your co-manager).
If you're feeling really tight on time by the end of the first month, let us know — that's a good indicator that your client might need to upgrade their plan.
Less time is usually required as you progress since you will naturally overcome the initial learning curve and find your groove inside the inbox — however, this may not be the case if the client is looking to quickly grow and have us take on even more.
There are several ways to earn bonuses at InboxDone:
- Upgrade bonuses — These are the easiest bonuses to earn, as they can happen naturally whenever the client decides to add more hours to their account, and are equivalent to 5% of every upgrade. For example, if the client increases their plan by $1k/month, you and your co-manager will each earn a $50 bonus. Earn unlimited upgrade bonuses by offering to take more off your client's plate (review our Services Page for ideas). Please note, these upgrade bonuses are calculated based on the current monthly rate, not on the annual rate.
- Retention bonuses — These are awarded with continued client satisfaction over 6-month periods (every six months). This is a 5% bonus per manager. For example, if the client’s current rate is $2495/month, your bonus will be $125 bonus each. You are responsible for tracking your own retention milestones, as we can only compensate for the most recent 6 months. Please note, these retention bonuses are calculated based on the current monthly rate, not on the annual rate.
- Referral bonuses — If someone who has never heard of InboxDone signs up because of your recommendation, you will receive a $500 bonus. If you refer an Inbox Manager to us who passes their 30-day trial period, you'll receive a $50 bonus.
- Profit Sharing — We want everyone on our team to feel invested in the growth of InboxDone, so we distribute annual profits with the team based on your performance, initiative, follow-through and client satisfaction (at the founders' discretion).
Retention bonuses occur every 6 months, indefinitely.
If an IM joins an existing client account, their clock starts on the day they join. Any previous months before the IM was added on don't count toward their retention bonus, since the retention bonus is directly correlated with each IM's efforts.
It's up to each IM to track their own retention bonuses, since ID can't backpay for more than the most recent 6 months.
Retention Bonuses are awarded with continued client satisfaction over 6-month periods and equal 5% of the client's current rate (the rate billed in their 6th month).
For example, if the client's current plan is $2495/month, you and your co-manager will each receive a $125 bonus at the end of every 6th month with the client (applied to your subsequent paycheck).
All 6 months must be completed with the client before the retention bonus can be billed. You are responsible for tracking your own retention milestones, as InboxDone can only compensate for the most recent 6 months, we cannot backpay.
After you have completed your 30-day trial period and have been officially added to the Managers Slack channel, you can add your graduation bonus to your invoice by typing the $50 amount into the 'bonuses' line of your invoice template and writing a short description (ie. graduation bonus) next to it.
We suggest using FreeTaxUSA for our US managers, and there is an optional section where you can enter these sorts of expenses if you choose (under "home office"). Essentially, based on the dimensions of your home office (and how long you've had it), the software calculates how much of your utilities you can write off. The IRS has strict guidelines on how a home office has to be used exclusively for work, but even if you just use one desk only for work, and use a folding screen to separate it as your work place, that might be enough to count.
If you have a scheduled call with a client and they do not attend, you can bill the time you spend waiting on your timesheet, but please do not exceed a 10-minute wait period (as this time counts as part of your client's monthly cap).
Your time is valuable, so we recommend that you place the boundary around how long you will wait for a client to join a call early on. For example: "I completely understand you're busy, so going forward I'll wait up to 10 minutes on our scheduled calls (so we don't use too much of your monthly cap) and will send you a written recap instead."
Once you've established this time boundary with both your client and co-manager, feel free to log off the call and attend to other tasks once the time limit has been reached.
If this looks like it will become a regular occurrence, it may be best to develop some strategies with your client to ensure you are not waiting too often, such as text reminders the morning of your meeting, or shortly before your meeting is scheduled to take place.
Yes, weekly calls with your client do count towards your hourly cap.
On days when you meet with your client, you may need to adjust the amount of time you will be in their inbox if it looks as though these meetings will cause you to go over your cap at the end of the month. This arrangement can be negotiated with your co-manager and explained to your client.
Please keep in mind that it is for this reason we have placed a boundary around how long you should wait for your client to join a call if they have not contacted you to let you know they would be joining late ahead of time. If your client does not show up for your meeting, you can wait for ten minutes before logging off, as we do not want this time to eat into your hourly cap.
Rather than thinking in terms of daily time allotment, it’s best to think in terms of monthly time allotment, and spend as much time each day as needed.
There is no need to spend exactly one hour per day in your client’s account. In fact, InboxDone encourages you to adjust your daily time spent so that you have some additional time at the end of each month to account for emergencies, meetings, etc.
You’re free to increase or decrease daily check-ins (eg. 1.5 hours one day, 20 minutes another day, etc) as needed.
The training period and the trial period are two different things.
The training period takes place before you are ever matched with a client. It consists of working through our training course, taking some quizzes and responding to some example emails. The training period can easily be completed within 1-2 weeks. You will be paid a flat rate for each training step you complete.
The 30-day trial period begins on the day of your Intro Call with a newly matched client. Our Training Manager will work alongside you during the first 30 days to make sure you have all the support and answers you need, but we will also be looking to you to see what kind of initiative you take and how much of a self-starter you are.
The trial period is just as much a trial for you as for the client. The client is testing out our services and seeing if they can trust us for something as important as their email.
The trial period is also in place to ensure a successful match between client and manager (one that will last for the long-term).
At the end of the 30 days, we'll have a call with you and the client (separately) to gauge progress and to congratulate you on completing your trial period!
Any hours logged during the trial period should be billed at the designated training rate, which increases to the designated standard rate upon "graduation." After you've successfully handled your first client, every subsequent client you take on after will always be billed at the standard rate.
Other than punctuality, reliability, and a receptiveness to feedback, we quantify your progress in 3 ways during the training/trial period (KPIs):
- Hourly Caps — During the 30-day trial period, we will give you a clear hourly cap to adhere to for your first client. This time may increase if/when a client upgrades their plan, but in the early days, we're evaluating your output against your effort to see how you manage your time within this cap. If it looks like you're about to go over your hourly cap, always let InboxDone know before you go over so we can discuss a plan, otherwise the client gets accustomed to unrealistic output.
- Deadlines — We set strict deadlines throughout every step of the hiring process and training period. These deadlines are non-negotiable, since the client will also have deadlines that need to be met. InboxDone (and your client) should never have to wonder when something will be finished or if/when you're working on it. If a specific deadline is not provided, you should still offer updates regardless (without us or the client having to follow up). Ex. "I'll get started with this right away and will send you updates of my progress. I'll plan to have this back to you by [deadline]."
- Response Time — Our standard response time for emails is (minimally) a 24-hour turnaround time (minus weekends), so that always needs to be observed. However, during your trial period, quick responses (in Slack or email) are essential, since it's the first impression you're making with the client. We also want to see how responsive you are in our team channel. After the first 30-60 days, this expectation relaxes a bit and you will only be responsible for responses during your scheduled check-ins or calls with the client (unless you'd like to be more available).
- Concise Recaps — Recaps are the main way we keep our clients in the loop and build trust (in between weekly calls). Recaps need to give the full picture (both FYIs of action you've taken and to-do items that need the client's action). The goal is to gradually shift from to-do items to more FYIs as you learn to take over more from the client. If the recaps are too long, important details can get lost in the weeds, so always keep them concise and include links to specific resources and emails inside your recap so everything is in one place for the client. Here are six examples of concise recaps.
- Proactiveness — We're constantly looking to see whether or not you go the extra mile. For example, even if you have only 1 hour/day with your first client, we want to see if you are fully showing up to maximize that time. Are you updating us in Slack on how you're progressing with the client (without us asking)? Even better. Do you bring solutions/ideas to your meetings with the client along with your list of questions? That's what we're looking for.
About 90% of managers complete their trial period without issue. As long as you continue to show up as an A-Player, we will be celebrating your graduation soon!
After the initial onboarding/setup of logistics, managers get paid for each training step they complete with one-time stipends:
- Respond to five example emails and practice using LastPass — $50, completed within 1-2 hours
- Become An Inbox Manager training course — $100, completed within 9-10 hours
Hours logged during the 30-day trial period (with clients) are billed at the designated training rate, which bumps up to the designated standard rate once you successfully graduate.
Once you've successfully completed your training tasks, we will then book a call with you when we have a potential client match.
There is often a delay between completion of the training and being assigned to a client, though our goal is always to have you matched within a month. Some managers are assigned a client in as little as one week, so completing the training promptly is essential!
Remember, your 30-day trial period officially begins when we send you the client's Discovery Call recording to review, at which point you can start tracking billable hours (here).
Because there can be a waiting period before we find you a good match, we always recommend that you keep any additional work initially. Many of our Managers find it easy to hold on to several streams of income (even after being matched with a client) because you can often custom-make your InboxDone schedule and because everything is remote.
Multiple streams of income has been proven to be the safest way to conduct any contract work, as you always have a few options to fall back on. That being said, there are only so many hours in a day! We recommend keeping any current work you have as you gradually increase your hours with InboxDone. Although unlikely, it's always possible that a client could cancel and that your hours with ID could temporarily be put on hold. Although we would immediately look for a way to replace your hours with another client, we always want to be transparent about that possibility.
When our Managers feel ready to make InboxDone their primary source of income, they'll either decrease hours with their other job, or negotiate an on-call option to keep the option open. As long as you show up as an A-player, you'll most likely have no shortage of InboxDone hours and can simply let us know when you've reached your capacity!
For an example of what this transition can look like, read the experience of one of our Manager's here.
The training period can be easily completed within 2-3 weeks.
Upon being hired, you will receive a to-do list from us that is due by the deadline we provide. This will include logistical tasks like setting up LastPass, Calendly, direct deposit, etc.
For your first training task, you will respond to five example emails, which we will use to further gauge your writing abilities. This can easily be completed within 1-2 hours, so a flat rate of $50 will be sent to you upon completion.
Next, you will work through our Become An Inbox Manager Training Course, easily completed in 9-10 hours (or within one week). Upon completion, you will be sent a flat rate of $100.
Each course module includes a quiz and your results will be reviewed with our Training Manager during your first training call.
There can sometimes be a delay between the completion of your training period and your first client match, which is why we recommend keeping any additional streams of income until you've build up a roster of clients with InboxDone.
- Remember the ultimate goal is for every recap to get shorter the more you are able to take over for them!
- It is key to watch how your client interacts with these recaps, are they responding to specific numbered points, or not responding at all?
- Try to avoid double recaps a day (per IM) and see if you can send one EOD recap, so at least the client is only getting one recap daily - unless otherwise specified by the client.
- If the client has opened an FYI and no action is required - it is not necessary to add to your recap unless the client has mentioned that they would like it during your training in their inbox.
- Make sure your clients "To Action" items are clear, bulleted, and first on your recap list.
- Remember to add any responses from your client to your Knowledge Base so that you don’t need to repeat questions.
In some cases, there is a possible benefit of adding more detail in a recap in that the IM would be able to archive those emails mentioned in the recap immediately.
If the recaps are truly replacing the need to reference emails, they could hit inbox zero every day, and valuable to the client to have a screenshot of what's happening. In this case you will need to ask yourself:
a) how much of your hourly cap do you feel goes into writing recaps (on average) and
b) if you feel the time going into recaps is worth it for what it accomplishes?
These longer recaps are only a concern if they're too long for a client, or if the time going into recaps is taking away from higher-value action points.
Please complete the form in the best way that you can - based on your experience so far - to give your client a preview of the proactive approach we always take. If you're ever unsure, just reach out to our internal team for guidance!
The Onboarding Manager will do a final scan of all APs before sending them to the client, so they can edit the document if needed.
As we always want to build trust with the clients (especially during the Intro Call), our goal is to be both professional and personable.
- A Training Manager hosts on his/her zoom link and at the start of the call will introduce him/herself and welcomes the client to InboxDone, then introduces the two IM’s to the account.
Steps 2-4 only apply if the client has not already set up LP/sent their login details to both IMs-
- The Training Manager will proceed to let the client know that he/she is there to make sure the IM’s are able to get access into their inboxes via LastPass.
- The Training Manager is there to walk the client through LastPass if they have never used it before (if they use another Login Sharing platform, they’ll know what to do)
- While the client is setting up their LastPass - ask the IM’s to share their email addresses on the chat for easy access for the client.
- Once both IM’s have access which is our ultimate goal (unless the client would prefer to do this off the call) - you can then hand it over to the Lead IM of the account.
- The Lead IM should be able to take the client through the Intro Checklist and the co-manager to cover her should she forget to ask anything (Like the check-in times, recap calls etc).
- The TM remains on the call to answer any questions, especially tech questions that the IM’s may not be able to answer.
- Here is the link to the Intro call Checklist. The lead IM will work through these questions, and the co-manager completes and submits after the call: https://inboxdone.com/intro-call-checklist/
- Eventually, once you've built up enough experience, we may ask you to lead an Intro Call with your co-manager, but only if that's something you're open to.
The links and instructions for LastPass are always sent to the client before the Intro Call as seen in this sample:
To help smooth things along, please watch this 1-minute video on how to share your login details (you can sign up for LastPass here and download the Extension into your browser here). You can use LastPass to share access to any of your software and tools going forward.
Your first month with a new client can be a busy one, as there is a lot to learn and organize within the new account.
Keep in mind that you and your co-manager each have an extra 7.5 "training" hours (15 total) to add to your hours during the first 30 days of learning a new account to give you a little wiggle room.
When you find you are coming close to your hourly gap, communicate with the client in your daily recaps that you are reaching your hourly cap for the month and let them know what may need to be prioritized. Please also reach out to the Client Manager inside the client's #admin- channel before you go over your cap so that we can help you create a plan to finish up the client's current billing cycle.
It's also helpful to divide your monthly cap up into a set amount of daily time at the beginning of each billing cycle, then try to stick to that set time for each working day to keep you on track. As per our policy, InboxDone can only guarantee payment for hours logged within each clients' monthly cap unless prior approval is received, so make sure to reach out to us if you think you may go over and we can help you form a plan moving forward.
Our preferred protocol would be to send a timesheet/invoice at the end of that first month. There is no need to submit a timesheet for all of your training hours at once.
At the beginning of the following month you can start a new timesheet with your continued training hours.
If you are a new Inbox Manager and have not received access to the Manager Training Packet, you may submit an invoice for your hours to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have been granted access to the Manager Training Packet, you will find the InboxDone Timesheet there.
Yes, any calls or meetings used to prepare for and onboard a new client should be billed under training hours on your timesheet.
ID provides extra training hours during Month One with new clients to cover things like submitting Action Plans, Pre-Intro Calls, Intro Calls, and the weekly Strategy Calls. These extra hours in Month One should not be used for client work, otherwise the client may get used to a higher level of output that we can't match in Month Two.
It's dependent on the client's needs, but no longer than 60 minutes per call. If a client is very busy and would rather power through your list of questions or notes they have, a 10-minute call is totally fine. Some clients may require a daily call in the beginning to build more trust upfront, although this is rare.
Be flexible with calls in the beginning (to build trust and rapport) and schedule around the client's personality. For example, if you have a very communicative client, allot for 60 minutes on calls (so they don't feel rushed), whereas a more blunt, direct client may feel overwhelmed by 60 minutes and reassured that the call is only 10 minutes.
Your weekly client calls can be moved to monthly or quarterly once mastery of the inbox is achieved. No matter the frequency, never stop offering new suggestions or ideas for growth on each call.
Even if your client is perfectly happy with the work you're doing, we never want to plateau or grow complacent, so suggest at least one new area you could take off their plate (pull from the client's WishList for ideas). These additional tasks could either fill up any remaining hours you aren't currently using on the client's plan, or lead to a plan upgrade.
Remember to always submit the Weekly Call Form after every call with your client and follow the structure of the questions listed.
Typically both managers are present during the weekly call with the client. This ensures that both managers are up to date on updates/action items made within the inbox, and that both IMs can ask their individual questions in real time.
However, there may be instances (such as varying time zones) that could make it hard for both managers to be present. In these cases, usually the Lead IM assigned to the account is the default facilitator for each call, however a different arrangement can be made if agreed upon by both Managers and client.
If you find you are unable to make a weekly call, you can ask your co-manager and client if they are alright meeting without you that week, or if they would prefer to reschedule. If you miss a call, you can always ask your co-manager to record the call and send you the recording for you to review.
The most important point is to communicate ahead of time and to never leave your client (or co-manager) waiting for you on a call.
Almost every new Manager feels some nervousness and anxiety leading up to their first Intro Call. We have a few solutions that help keep the nervousness at bay:
- Training course: The training course contains the answers to four years of Manager questions, so really take the time to absorb the material and keep it bookmarked to reference frequently as you progress with a client.
- Training Manager: Our amazing training manager will join you on the Intro Call (for your first client) so that you have some added support and someone to answer any questions you're unsure of. She will also schedule several calls with you in your first month, both to screen-share your first few inbox check-ins and also to gauge your overall progress. You can also book into her calendar at any time when you need some additional support.
- Deep Dive: Before starting with any client, always do a deep-dive into who they are and what their business encompasses. Watch the call recordings we send you, submit an Action Plan, thoroughly review their website(s), sign up for their newsletter and hang out in their social media channels. Referencing things you've learned about the client and their business during your Intro Call (and Weekly Calls) is an excellent way to build rapport and trust. Do not skip this step!
- Slack Channel: Our Slack channel will be your go-to place for team support. All of our managers have varying degrees of experience (some will be new just like you!), so really lean on us inside Slack and never hesitate to ask any question, no matter how small. In fact, your questions help us immensely by paving the way for future Managers. Any question you see listed here in the FAQs has been asked previously by a new manager!
Note: Although you will receive nothing but support from us, please always start by looking for answers in the resources we've given you (the Training Course and these FAQs). We may point you back to a certain Module or Lesson if your question is referenced there, but absolutely love receiving new questions too.
We won't know what job title or industry your client will have until the matching process is complete, which is why the training course and tasks are broad enough to adapt to any type of client.
Titles may include:
- CEO / COO / CFO
- President, Vice President
- Small business owner (brick and mortar, online, or a hybrid)
- Franchise owners
- An employee who is part of a larger team
- Podcast Hosts
- Even a Rabbi!
Industries may include:
- Real estate
- Finance/venture capital
- Psychology/social work
- Restaurant/food products
- Business development
- The list is endless!
The training you'll work through before being matched will help you build systems for communication and efficiency inside the inbox. After the standard steps of inbox optimization are applied, you can then tailor your work with the client to meet their specific needs, deepening your growth within their business.
Even when you're paired with a client, you'll most likely be surprised by the range of obstacles you help them overcome — making you an essential collaborator and core part of their team!
The Services Page and Client Wishlist is a good representation of tasks you may be asked to perform as you progress with a client, so we encourage to you review both before getting started.
We hire managers who are not only looking to work with our clients, but looking to grow with InboxDone's team over the long-term.
In the rare instance that one of your clients wants you (and your co-manager) to work with you full-time, talk with InboxDone first. We have a strict process in place that the client is also aware of (outlined in both your contract and the client's contract).
It's possible to reassign your other clients to different managers, though we try to avoid this if possible. As long as you give us plenty of notice (and speak with us first before promising anything definitive to a client), we can always find a solution that works for everyone.
Most clients are matched with two managers to start, for a few reasons:
- Co-management ensures that all requested check-in times are covered (leaving a lot of flexibility in your schedule)
- Co-management also means you will always have an additional set of eyes on the inbox, adding in good redundancy to preemptively catch potential mistakes
- You'll always have someone to brainstorm and troubleshoot with without needing to involve the client at all (which is the ultimate goal!)
- If one manager needs a vacation, the other manager can cover in their absence
- Assigning two managers upfront makes the matching process more complicated initially, but makes everything easier down the road. So it’s more work upfront to do less work later!
- Sometimes a client may decide that the writing style or skill sets of one manager aligns more with their business. While this may feel personal, this decision simply comes down to what is best for the business. If one manager is made "Lead Manager," the other manager may continue to perform a routine set of tasks, act as back-up to the Lead Manager, or leave the account altogether. As long as the client's reasoning is business-related (and not performance-based), the other manager will be assigned a new account so that no hours are lost.
- It’s normal for one manager to have more experience than the other. This provides an excellent training opportunity, where the less-experienced manager can follow the lead of the other more-experienced manager. Any training/guidance between managers happens behind the scenes so that the client experiences the same quality and level of work from both managers equally. This can be achieved by assigning the less-experienced manager easier tasks to start until they feel fully ready to share the work equally.
- Different tasks can also be distributed between the two managers based on preference and skill. For example, if one manager is proficient in social media management and the other loves nurturing leads, each manager can opt to take responsibility for different areas on the client’s Wish List (in addition to the routine daily tasks).
Both managers can join the weekly client calls and whoever handles the final inbox check-in can submit the daily recap. The AM manager sends any relevant notes to the PM manager (to be included in the recap if needed), as well as how much time was used during the AM check-in so the PM manager always knows how much time is left.
Since our company is US-based, regardless of where our clients are based, our team will still take those US holidays off. Here are the holidays we observe:
- New Year's Day, January 1st
- Memorial Day (Last Monday In May)
- Independence Day, July 3rd or 4th
- Labor Day (First Monday In September)
- Veterans Day (Thursday, November 11th)
- Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday In November)
- Christmas Day, December 24th or 25th
Our clients already know we take off US holidays, but in addition to reminding them prior to those dates, you can also let them know in passing that you won't be available on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and NYE.
However, if you think it would really help the client to be in the inbox during US holidays that they (and you) don't observe, and you're okay working (especially if your co-manager is off), feel free to log your normal hours and then apply the holiday pay to another day off so you still get that PTO (or double your pay on that day). We can only offer this double-pay on a case-by-case basis (since the US holidays apply for every account), so always confirm with InboxDone first.
We always like to start with drafting everything, no matter how off we may be initially because the draft helps to reveal any gaps of knowledge you currently have.
Use the client's instructions, search prior emails, refer to outside resources, or just Google to fill in the draft's body the best you can. That way the client can fill in/edit the rest as needed, and will both become aware of what information you still need.
We’ve found clients do best with proactive scheduling — when we book right into their calendar instead of waiting for them to provide times/confirm. That way it takes the burden off of them to respond (they only have to reply if they can’t make it) and removes some of the back and forth so all they have to do is accept the event or propose a new time within the event.
Very seldom does the client really want to know all the ins and outs of why something is happening, they just want to know that there won't be a lapse in their service, so that's all the information we need to provide. Keep the detail as short as possible and of course, give an answer if the client does show interest if your reason is not too personal.
We would never ask our IM’s to do anything that they feel uncomfortable with, and this is a perfect example of something that can be handled with a polite, but firm decline.
IMs have even used pseudonyms in the past when they don’t feel comfortable signing with their name, so this is a very understandable boundary to implement.
Here is a suggested response to your client
“Hi <clientName>- although we’re happy to act as your representatives in the Inbox and support channels, adding our photos to signatures falls just outside of our comfort levels. Hope you can understand!”
Please feel free to run this by your Support Manager at any time.
After your replacement manager has confirmed they'd like to work on the account and has received a summary of what the account entails, let your client know in a recap or on your next call that a new manager will be stepping in for you and what date you'll be leaving by.
The important thing is to emphasize that you're already in the process of training a replacement so the client will experience no lapse in service, and that this transition will all happen in the background without them needing to do much more than share login details with the new manager.
However, before you invest too much time in training, make sure the client has signed off on this change, since we don't want to spend time training if the client is not onboard.
We want to do everything possible to put the client's mind at ease to avoid a cancellation, so if they're at all concerned about the transition, let them know you, your co-manager and the ID team are all personally training their hand-selected replacement with the highest attention to detail.
If they'd like to meet their new IM before sharing login details (which are best shared during a the client's recurring weekly call), that's always a possibility too.
After a manager receives the Onboarding Call and agrees to join the client’s account, an Action Plan will be created and an Intro Call will be scheduled. During the time leading up to the Intro Call with the client, the manager will review the client’s Knowledge Base, Action Plan, training videos, and the client’s website, sales pages, and social media.
The time between the Onboarding Call and the Intro Call can take anywhere from one to four weeks, but our goal is always to get the client started as soon as possible.
The most critical difference between each plan is the number of hours it provides. Although we list different services under different packages, we don't necessarily have strict rules in terms of what we can and can't offer under any given package.
That being said, the general expectation is that an average client who is getting basic email management would likely require an upgrade to the larger and more inclusive packages in order to receive some of these more specializes services. This is mostly due to the practical limitation of time that comes with our Standard (45 hour) or Personal (30 hour) plans.
For example, someone who is on the Standard Plan may want us to start doing podcast outreach. That can be time consuming, so they would very likely need to move onto one of our larger packages like the Growth Plan, which lists podcast outreach.
Everything comes down to the hours available, not specific tasks. If the client would like IMs to focus on podcast outreach more than answering more standard emails, there's no set order in which we need to do things, always prioritize according to the client's preferences and the hours you have available. When you don't have enough hours, use one of the communication templates from the training course (i.e. "I'd love to take this on for you, but only have X amount of hours available. Would you like to add more hours, or would you like me to prioritize this above one of my current tasks?")
When in doubt, please consult our internal support team via the appropriate Slack channels
Each plan is determined by the amount of time spent within the account, not necessarily the number of accounts or tasks required.
Each plan, and its corresponding pricing option, allows for unlimited email accounts. If a client decides they would like their Inbox Managers to work inside a second inbox, this does not affect the price of their agreed upon plan.
If additional accounts begin to add enough extra time to your check-ins that you feel you will get too close to, or go over, your monthly cap, then an upgrade may be offered, which would increase the price of the client’s plan.
When the client needs more hours, please refer to Module 4 in your online course, "How To: Talk To Your Client About An Upgrade", or reach out to our team for help!
Check-ins are directly related to InboxDone's 24-hour guaranteed turnaround time for all emails. Unless the client requests a specific time, you are free to select one AM time and one PM time that works with your schedule (as long as you check in 1-2x/day).
Some clients are okay if your check-in happens at some point during a designated time frame, whereas others may ask that the check-ins happen during the same consistent time each day (so that they can build their schedule around you).
For clients who don't feel that the 24-hour turnaround time is fast enough, we may assign two (or three) Inbox Managers to their account. For example, if a client asks for 8am, 11am, 2pm and 5pm check-ins, one Manager could take the AM check-ins, while the other Manager could take the PM check-ins.
Other clients may want several hours covered at a time, so these can be distributed among managers according to preference.
For clients who have no time preferences at all, feel free to batch your hours into one daily time slot that works for you, or distribute them throughout the week as needed.
The most important part of check-ins is showing up when we say we will. If we've told a client to expect us in their inbox at 10am and 4pm, then that is when we need to show up. We never want the client waiting on us, or wondering if/when an email will be taken care of.
During the first few weeks with a new client, check-ins consist of any filing that is needed, setting up filters/folders and drafting responses to incoming emails.
Once the client feels comfortable and trust is built, you should begin to send emails yourself (instead of leaving them as drafts), and also take on any additional tasks the client has requested (listed here).
On the standard plan (40hrs/month), check-ins can last anywhere between 10-90 minutes each (2x/day), depending on the amount of work the client has for us.
Focus less on how long a check-in should last and more on adhering to the hourly caps — 60hrs/month for the first month (3hrs/day), then 40hrs/month for the following month (2hrs/day), unless the client upgrades.
Since each day can fluctuate so much, focus more on the monthly caps (rather than daily) and distribute the hours as needed.
Remember, the hours are there for you to use when needed, but always track your time honestly.
One of your first moves as a manager will be to try to pare your client's inbox down to zero as much as possible by removing their backlog and beginning to organize their emails into categories. That's all we focus on in the first week. Once we have a clean slate, we move on to drafting responses.
Each email management plan has a monthly hourly cap, and we of course don't expect you to accomplish more than what you can in the time you have, so simply save anything left over for your next check-in.
Make it clear to your client when you'll be logging in and let InboxDone done know if/when you're nearing your hourly cap. A client can always choose to upgrade their plan at any time if the benefit/ROI for why you need more hours is clear.
If you find yourself not accomplishing goals consistently within your allotted check-in times, your client may need to add more hours to their inbox management monthly plan (which could mean you picking up those hours, or us bringing on a second manager). Either way, the problem can be easily solved!
There are no set times, you'll just include InboxDone in the a daily recap you send to your client (usually sent after your 2nd check-in), either by CCing us into the email, including us in Slack, or inviting us to the WhatsApp group. Any specific questions can be sent to our Training Manager in Slack at any time.
If you have time left over, you can certainly action anything the client responds to after the daily recap, but you don't have to.
Starting off with a client, it's always nice to respond and action things as quickly as possible so they can see progress being made in their inbox and to help establish trust, but if you're pushing your time cap or you have something else personally/professionally to do, don't feel like you have to action everything instantly.
Many clients will come to an agreement with their Inbox Manager regarding a daily recap; a summary of the tasks completed during a check-in. You and your client will agree on a preferred platform for these conversations, ie, WhatsApp, Google Chat, Microsoft Teams, etc.
When an action item has been completed, the recap is the perfect place to report that it has been actioned. You can let your client know that a meeting has been scheduled, or any other action has been taken, and your client can be kept up to date on what is happening in their inbox all in one place.
As you progress and get to know your client better, you can most likely phase out these kind of FYI follow-up messages — just regularly ask your client on each call (or in recaps) what they'd like you to include and what isn't necessary for them to see anymore. Some clients like to see only the bare minimum, while some like us to include every little detail!
Typically, the hours for a plan would be split evenly between co-managers. To use the example above, if your client has the 45/hour a month plan, you and your co-manager would have 22.5 hours a month as your monthly cap. This split usually results in each Inbox Manager being in the client’s account for about one hour per day.
There are instances where these hours may be split differently depending on an Inbox Manager’s availability and these will be discussed and agreed upon in a case-by-case manner.
Your availability is taken into account when matching you with a client. If you travel between two or more time zones, we can attempt to pair you with a client who doesn't require strict check-in times. However, these clients are less common, so there is the possibility that it will take longer to find a good match.
Alternatively, depending on the timezones an Inbox Manager often moves between, we can attempt to organize a check-in time that works in both locations. For example, if you alternate between the USA and Europe, you might have a 9am check-in when located in The USA and a 4pm check-in in Europe, which would still be the same time for the client.
If you are traveling for shorter trips, there is also the possibility of trading check-in times with your co-manager, depending on their time zone and availability.
Yes! We have a very active Slack channel where we discuss client work in groups or individually. You'll meet weekly with our Training Manager during your first month, switch to monthly calls after that, and the whole team meets quarterly via Zoom.
As your responsibilities grow, you’ll also naturally create smaller Slack "micro-team" channels to make sure everyone is kept in the loop.
Although most of your work will happen directly between you and the client (or independently), we know how isolating virtual work can sometimes feel. Because of this, our team is always available (via Slack or Zoom) to brainstorm with you about a client solution, or answer any questions you're stuck on. If you just need to vent, that's okay too!
There are three ways we handle time off:
Option 1) Ask your co-manager to cover for you in your absence. Many clients require several check-ins per day, or have an extra heavy task load, so we will often assign two managers to one client. If you are already co-managing, simply ask the other manager (at least 2 weeks in advance) to cover your check-ins while you're away. This option is always ideal.
Option 2) Train another Inbox Manager on how to take handle your clients' tasks in your absence. If you are handling a client's account independently, this is the second-best option. This training process usually only involves a few calls and is especially easy if you've been tracking everything you learn and writing down instructions in the client's Knowledge Base, so make sure you do this from the start! If you only have one client, it usually doesn't take longer than 2 weeks to temporarily train a replacement, but make sure you first confirm your dates with InboxDone before confirming with the client so we can select a stand-in manager while you're away. If you have been assigned to more than one client, we recommend asking for time off 3-4 weeks in advance.
Option 3) Credit back the client for the time you're away. This option is not ideal, since we never want there to be any lapse in the client's email management — but if there's no one to cover your time off, we can offer the client a "credit" back to their account that equals the amount of days you'll be gone.
We ask that you wait to schedule any time off until after your first 60 days with a new client is complete, out of courtesy and respect for this process. During the first few months, we are building trust with the client and showing them how reliable we are. The fastest way to build trust is to show up in the inbox every day during the time frames we say we will so the client feels free to gradually step away.
The very nature of our business allows us to work through COVID with almost no change in how we operate, and as prospective clients realize their businesses are even more dependent on email now, we're becoming very popular!
Since our clients are now dealing with a different world in many ways, we've become even more essential as Inbox Managers during this unprecedented situation — not only managing email, but becoming an essential part of each client's team.
After we get to know both you and the Client, InboxDone will make a match that aligns with the your skill sets and the client's needs. For your first client, our Training Manager will join you on your Intro Call so that you feel additional support.
Then in your first month with the client, you'll have 4-8 scheduled calls with our Training Manager, as needed. These calls can be used for your first few check-ins inside the client's inbox (so you know exactly what to do when you log in), as well as give you the chance to ask questions about the processes and systems you're building in the client's inbox.
You'll also CC InboxDone in the daily recaps you send the client via email, Slack or WhatsApp (if the client chooses a different platform for communication, simply copy/paste the recap for us into a Slack Post).
At the end of the first month, you'll schedule a call with our Team Manager (or co-founder) to discuss your first month's progress, how many hours were logged, if you think the client needs to upgrade their plan, and any other questions you may have. This call will also signify the end of your trial period and your graduation to the standard rate, at which time we will officially invite you to our Managers channel!
InboxDone will also schedule monthly calls with the client to see how they're feeling about the progress being made — we will always keep you in the loop before/after these calls and relay any feedback/concerns/praise that the client shares with us.
The ultimate goal is for you to be working independently with the client by the end of the first month with minimal supervision from us. This doesn't mean you can't still ask questions (you always can!), but after 30 days you'll have a clearer picture of the client's inbox and should be able to make independent decisions in the best interest of the client.
Your monthly calls with the Team Manager (or co-founder) will continue at the same day/time each month, but the Client-Manager relationship should function as autonomously as possible without InboxDone's involvement.
Our Nurturing team reviews the available managers and pending clients. The nurturing team is made up of:
- Matching Manager (assigns managers to clients)
- Training Manager (handles all training questions)
- Project Manager (keeps track of all the moving pieces, makes sure everything is being completed on time)
- Communications Manager(s) (first point of contact for all client-facing and team-facing communication)
- Hiring Manager (guides each applicant through the application process, up until the point of hiring)
The Nurturing Team uses a few criteria for the matching process:
- Availability for check-ins: if the client has requested specific time frames during which they want their inbox managed, we make sure these time frames line up with the manager's availability
- Time zone: ideally we like the client and manager to be on the same time zone (or at least within a few hours), unless the client has asked for someone to triage their inbox before they wake up
- Personality: Although we know the managers we hire can handle just about any personality, we like to make sure there is a personality alignment whenever possible, as this can be crucial for long-term success
- Writing Tone: Although our managers can adapt to a range of writing styles, it's helpful to match communication tones when possible.
- Skill sets: If the client has requested expertise in a specific area (or with a specific platform), we'll look at your Growth List to see what areas you've had experience in (or are open to learning)
- Industry: This is the least important part of the matching process, but is always a plus when it lines up — if you happen to have background experience in the client's industry, this will also be considered in the matching process
Remember, most clients are matched with two managers to start.
When you're feeling sick (or experiencing an emergency) and unable to login, notify your co-manager immediately and ask them if they could temporarily cover your check-in times in your absence. The co-manager covering should then let the client know that they’ll be filling in until you're feeling better and return (always provide an expected date of return for expectation management).
If you are covering a specific check-in time frame that the client requested, ask your co-manager if they’re able to cover that specific time. If not, they will get as close to the client’s requested time frame as possible. If you're out for longer than a week, we may look at finding a replacement to cover the specific time frame the client requested. However, when you have a clear return date, we will "hold" your spot until the date you specify.
We understand life happens, so your accounts can be covered by your co-manager for up to two weeks for unexpected events. Beyond two weeks, we will need to reassign the account to another manager due to our mandatory two IMs per account rule.
There are 10 extra training hours available for an account reassignment, but those hours need to be split between you (the IM leaving) and the IM joining (5hrs each). This is because as soon as a new IM joins an account, they're operating under the client's monthly cap, alongside both other IMs.
For example, if the client's cap is 40hrs/month, InboxDone is temporarily covering 70hrs/month (20hrs for the IM not leaving, 20hrs for the IM leaving, 20hrs for the new incoming IM, and 10hrs of extra training time).
Therefore the goal is for you to delegate more of your hours to the IM joining as quickly as possible so the hourly cap is balanced back out within a few weeks.
The easiest, most time-efficient way to train a replacement is for the new IM to "shadow" you during your already scheduled check-ins. Loom videos should be used as a backup when the new IM isn't able to join your scheduled check-ins in real time, simply narrate what you do (and why) during your daily check-in, then send to the manager.
The contract you'll sign before beginning with InboxDone outlines the agreement made by InboxDone Managers to assure the confidential status of information found within a client’s account. Should any client information find its way outside of the account at the hands of the Inbox Manager, the Inbox Manager would be legally responsible for breaking the confidentiality agreement, which is why we recommend General Liability Insurance as a precaution.
After 12 months with InboxDone, the company may be able to provide an additional stipend which can be added to your monthly invoices to cover the cost of a pre-approved insurance plan.
One challenge that new Inbox Managers often face is overwhelm. Stepping into someone’s inbox for the first time can be daunting and the amount of work that might be needed to begin organizing a client’s inbox can feel like a lot.
To support Inbox Managers who are working in a client’s inbox for the first time, InboxDone will pair them with an experienced co-manager who will help create an action plan, as well as help answer questions and problem-solve. You and your co-manager will each be given an extra 7.5 “training hours” during your first 30 days in a client’s account, to allow more time to become accustomed to a new account and to provide a little extra wiggle room.
You will also be assigned a member of the InboxDone support team, who will meet with a new team weekly for six weeks to assist with problem solving, managing expectations, and provide any support a new team may need.
Another challenge that new Inbox Managers often face is setting boundaries with new clients. We want to show up for our clients in the best way we can, but a lack of boundaries with time and attention can quickly lead to overwhelm and fatigue.
Your Support Manager and co-manager can also help you navigate and set necessary boundaries in place. We have also provided a “Setting Boundaries” section in the New Manager FAQ to address some common concerns and questions.
Client accounts can often change and evolve over time, as you and your co-manager become more comfortable in a client’s account, and the client feels comfortable having their Inbox Managers take on more responsibility, there may be the need to upgrade to more hours and bring on another Inbox Manager.
While our client’s usually start with the standard plan, there is always the possibility they may choose to upgrade to a team plan, which includes three or more Inbox Managers.
There may also be an account that would benefit from a third Inbox Manager because of time zone differences and the need for an earlier or later check-in.
Inbox Done is incorporated in Canada, which is why we don’t issue 1099s, but its initial team of managers was based in the US, which is why we observe US holidays.
Since then, we've grown significantly, and currently have managers on every continent but Antarctica!
For Slack questions that require specific information, always respond as quickly as you're able to, but for FYI messages, it's okay to just leave a checkmark acknowledging that you've seen the message. This closes the loop so the team isn't left wondering if you received the message.
Even better, send ID (and your clients) status updates. For example: "Sounds great, I'll have this ready for you by [date]."
New internal positions within InboxDone consistently arise!
Opportunities become increasingly available when a Manager proves to be proficient in:
- retaining clients
- working within/under monthly caps
- fulfilling tasks efficiently and expediently
If a client decides to upgrade, the Manager also receives a one-time bonus for every upgrade.
As InboxDone is a relatively new organization, growth is only limited by the clients’ needs and a Manager’s imagination. Have an idea you think would make the business better? We want to hear it!
Our VIP Managers excel at the following:
- A nuanced attention to detail
- An ability to juggle multiple moving pieces without compromising on quality
- Taking action with minimal direction
- Constantly looking for new ways to grow with each client
- Openness to all feedback (rather than defensiveness)
- Creating a sense of empathy in all interactions (with clients, other managers, and themselves)
It can be easy to grow complacent after systems are in place, which is why we're looking for new ways to grow with the client (i.e. take more off their plate) with every client call.
In essence, our product is communication. We're selling to our clients new methods to establish, curate, and completely take over how they communicate with their customers and team. Excellent communication drives our team, as well, which is why we're always keeping each other up-to-date with new strategies, making sure we're following standards and growing with clients, and overcoming obstacles that may affect more than one team member.
That demands a level of honesty in the face of feedback that may sometimes be lacking in other work spaces. That's why we're so supportive of each other and always transparent. Mistakes will happen, but as a team we strive to lift each other up in a positive manner so that we can all learn from the experience as a whole.
Each Inbox Manager will usually have no more than two clients at a time.
There are a few reasons for this:
- We never want to dilute your focus with too many inboxes and too many tasks. Even though you've been hired for your exceptional time-management and organizational skills, shifting focus too many times throughout the day (especially if each client requires 2+ check-ins) isn't great for your focus and it isn't best for the client. It's how mistakes can happen.
- We are always keeping an eye on each incoming Manager to see who has the potential to join us internally on our Nurturing Team. This is a smaller team (within our larger team) that manages all the ins and outs of InboxDone, keeping everything within our company running smoothly.
- Many clients are so excited about our service that they want to grow with us and add on more tasks early on, which would automatically increase your hours. Increasing your hours with an existing client is always the goal, since we would rather you build a long-term working relationship with 1-2 clients by executing deep work, rather than performing surface-level tasks with several clients. Surface-level tasks include filing/starring emails, whereas deep tasks include responding to/following-up with every email (or anything from our Services list).
- If you aren't able to take on additional hours/tasks for an existing client, let us know right away and we will add another Inbox Manager to the client's account to work alongside you. Please never avoid growing with a client because you aren't open to more hours, simply talk to us so we can set you up with a co-manager.
- If you are splitting a client's workload with another Inbox Manager, you are only responsible for half the amount of hours. Therefore, we may assign you more than two clients (if you want more hours).
- If you are assigned a client on the Basic plan (which includes only 5hrs/week of work), we may assign you more than 2 clients (if you want more hours).
- If your two current clients are not ready to upgrade their plan(s), just let us know. We're always happy to match you with an additional client (or assign you something internally) if you want the hours and are positive you won't feel too overloaded.
At InboxDone, we now assign two managers to every account. This allows each Manager to take a break/vacation whenever they need one, or have coverage in case of emergencies. It also creates an instant team and gives you someone to problem-solve with, as well as cover broader times of day in the client's inbox.
Out of the two Managers, one Lead is assigned for every new account, usually the manager who has the most prior experience, industry knowledge, a skillset the client has specifically requested, or is located in a timezone that corresponds more closely with the client (for ease of communication, availability for calls, etc.)
The Lead will fill out the client's Action Plan, and will also host any team calls on their Zoom account. Other than that, hours and recaps can still be split 50/50 and there are no major differences in workload.
At InboxDone, we operate on a pay-it-forward model, so if you've received support from a Lead manager in the past, we'll most likely ask if you'd like to be Lead on an account one day! The choice is always yours.
A CRM or a Customer Relationship Management program helps to track data for leads, sales, or team-members. The use-cases can be different between clients, but they're typically used for sales, marketing, and storing customer or team data. Common CRMs include HubSpot, Ontraport, Monday.com, Zendesk, Oracle, etc.
Task Management is any kind of system that tracks tasks, goals, events, etc. Task management can be done through something as simple as spreadsheets, or a client may use a dedicated Task Management software, like Trello, ClickUp, Asana, Basecamp, etc. There can often be crossover between CRMs and Task Management programs.
You're not expected to know how to use these programs, but you should be willing to learn through a combination of self-training via online resources, and consulting the internal team for training and support. We're always happy to provide resources for learning new platforms!
We can assist our clients with social media in a few different ways.
- Comment management (replying, deleting inappropriate comments, etc)
- Scheduling posts and content that the client has already prepared for each platform
- Repurposing social media content for the client
It's important to note that while we can help with social media, we consider creative services (writing, images, video) to fall outside of our scope, so the client will be expected to provide content which we can either directly post, or repurpose. We don't create new social media posts from scratch.
Repurposing means taking content that's already been created and then adjusting it for another platform. This might be turning a blog post into several smaller facebook posts, or editing a video so that it fits the formatting for a particular social media platform.
It might also involve basic image or video editing. The essential difference between repurposing content and creating new content is that repurposing typically requires minimal creativity. We're not creating new copywriting or images.
Several of our clients are podcast hosts and find it helpful to have someone assist them with booking these interview appointments and collecting the necessary materials to prepare for them.
An Inbox Manager can assist in approving podcast guests recommended by PR firms, sending requests for materials, scheduling interviews, collecting materials and following up with PR agents if materials are needed, and any other day-to-day tasks needed when preparing for a podcast interview.
Inbox Managers can also assist in promoting the published podcast episode on the client’s social media platforms, if needed.
Booking podcast interviews can require several steps of conversation, organization, and follow-up: all of which can be facilitated by an Inbox Manager.
- We don’t do inbound/outbound phone sales. With your assistants’ prior approval, we may do basic call coordination (for example scheduling things over the phone), but you may need to upgrade your plan so we can provide adequate time coverage.
- We don’t do intricate technical work (website design and programming), though you may be surprised by how technically skilled your assistants are.
- We are not a creative writing or content creation service. We can compile content for you, but you need to provide the source material.
Tools and Platforms
Most of our managers use Chrome for work, as it comes with several advantages, such as extensions for email management and easier troubleshooting and the ability to create separate Chrome profiles for each client account.
However, Chrome is not a requirement and each manager is free to use whichever browser they prefer.
- A safe and secure desktop or laptop, regularly updated to protect against malware
- A reliable connection to the internet (this role will not work if your wifi is often cutting out)
- A working camera and microphone attached to your desktop/laptop
- A phone number and bank account to set up your direct deposit
A list of any additional necessary platforms (all free to install) will be provided!
If a client uses Outlook, the Inbox Managers do not need to use Microsoft Edge.
Since Outlook is an application, any work-designated browser will be an appropriate option when working within Outlook.
A Wifi stipend is given on a case-by-case basis after an Inbox Manager has been with us for 12 months, and is usually dependent on how many accounts/hours they have with InboxDone.
After training has been completed, Inbox Managers are encouraged to sign up for a VPN which is then reimbursed. To be reimbursed for your VPN, simply add the total cost to your next invoice.
However, the reimbursement is only applicable if the Inbox Manager purchases their VPN from NordVPN using this specific link.
We require VPNs for all our Managers so that your clients' sensitive information (and your personal data) is always protected. Since many of our managers use this job to travel frequently, VPNs are a must whenever you're using public wifi or unknown networks.
Although Managers may communicate with clients and check/confirm one-off items on a mobile device, full check-ins (which include archiving, drafting, sending, scheduling, etc.) should always be completed on a laptop or desktop to decrease the potential for mistakes/typos.
If you're unable to access your computer for an extended period of time, simply ask your co-manager to cover for you during your absence.
- For 1;1 calls with your co-manager:
- For team calls with clients:
- Ask the client if they have a Pro Zoom account. If so, ask if you can schedule the calls using their link.
- If they don't have a Pro Zoom account, ask the client if they have any other video/audio calling platforms that they prefer. We suggest avoiding WhatsApp unless necessary because it doesn't have an easy screen share function that I'm aware of.
- If the client doesn't have any particular preference, suggest that they use Google Meet, which is built into Google calendar invites by default.
Matching isn’t just about being matched with a client you’re interested to work with, although that is an important factor we take into consideration!
To make a good match we must, at a minimum, find a manager who:
- Has enough availability to take on the client’s account with some wiggle room if they upgrade to a higher plan.
- Can check-in at a different and complimentary time to their co-manager to provide the client with the coverage they need.
- Is in a timezone that enables them to communicate with their client at some point during their work day.
- Is running an operating system that is compatible with the software used by the client. If a client is on Mac and uses a software that doesn’t run on Windows, we can only match them with a Mac-user, and vice versa.
- Is located in a geographical location that is authorised by the client’s security protocols (some larger companies require managers based in the same country or continent as them).
Then once we’ve ticked all the “must have” boxes, we look at the “nice to haves”. Like:
- Is this client working in an area that the manager has some interest in? Experience in the client’s field is ideal, but a genuine interest in the client’s industry is a huge bonus.
- Is the client’s personality and communication style a good match for the manager? Do we think they’ll work well together or is there a chance their values might clash?
- Does the manager have any special skills the client has requested, like being able to converse in Spanish or use a particular email marketing software. A lot of things can be learnt on the job, but we’ll do our best to match managers who have complimentary existing skills.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors we take into consideration and the more information we have about you, the better we can make a match. This is why it’s important you always keep your Inbox Manager Info Doc up to date and provide as much detail as you feel comfortable with.
Most Inbox Managers are working with InboxDone alongside other projects and commitments so we have to work around the needs and wishes of both the client and our managers. Matching is a complicated puzzle, but we do our best to make it work well for everyone.
If this is a new client, you will receive their Onboarding Call information. This includes a recorded video call of the client taking us through their inbox, which we call the Onboarding Call (OC). There will also be a form that provides a summary of the OC. This is essentially your first training session and gives you a good idea of the client’s personality, what they’re looking for, and what their account will be like.
If this is an existing account that you are joining, you will receive a form called “Reassignments and Upgrades” that your co-manager will have filled out with information you need to know about the client and their account.
If, after reviewing the Onboarding Call or the Reassignments and Upgrades form, you’re interested in learning more about the account, we will move forward with the matching process.
Once again, things move quickly in the matching realm! When reviewing an Onboarding Call for a new client, we will try to give you about two days to decide. However, for an existing client, we’ll generally ask you to review the Reassignment and Upgrading form and decide that day if you’re happy to speak with the current Inbox Manager to get more information.
You’re not committing to anything yet so that process moves quickly. After speaking with the current IM, you can take a day to decide and if you don’t move ahead, the Matching Manager will immediately start the process again with another manager.
Yes. Things move fast in the matching realm and once you say no, the Matching Manager will immediately present the client to another inbox manager. We try to get our clients matched as quickly as possible so there won’t be an opportunity to come back to it later.
It’s also worth noting that if you don’t accept the client, that’s absolutely fine — we would rather you don’t accept a client you know you don’t want to work with! However, we can’t make any guarantees about when we’ll be able to present you with another client again.
Client sign-up, and subsequent need for managers, can ebb and flow throughout the year and there are a lot of factors that need to be considered to make a good match.