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3 updates to make remote work a breeze: Zoom, the new Calendar, and comment replies

Staying connected and collaborating is crucial for being productive while working remotely. That means teams are messaging, hopping on video calls, and scheduling meetings more than ever before.

That’s why we built three new ways to keep your team happy and connected, no matter where they are. You can reply to specific comments, instantly start a Zoom call, and completely manage your calendar to get the flexibility you need while working remotely — all in Front.

Reply to a specific comment for clarity ✏️

So much of the collaboration in Front happens in comments. Now you can avoid clutter in group conversations by responding to a specific comment. 

Want to iterate on an idea, or clarify what was said? Just reply to it directly. It’s an easy way to catch up when jumping into an ongoing conversation, or make sure a critical comment isn’t missed.

image for working remote blog comment replies

Hop on Zoom in a single click 🎥

Often your most genius work happens in spontaneous brainstorms or in face-to-face chats at your desk — so we recreated that experience in your inbox.

With our new Zoom integration you can start a call from the comments bar in Front in a single click. The seamless integration lets you have quick chats or group meetings, no matter where you are. 

zoom gif for blog post

Access your calendar right from your inbox 📆

Need to schedule a follow-up or loop in more people for a proper meeting? We have your back — introducing Front Calendar, designed to bring all your calendar and scheduling needs right to your inbox. 

After an easy sync with your Google or Office 365 calendars, your team can manage their time more effectively, schedule meetings faster, and work more collaboratively with their teammates — all without leaving their inboxes. Now you can:

  • Instantly view calendar availability on meeting invitations to check for conflicts at a glance

  • Expand to quickly view your full week and month calendar without leaving Front

  • Eliminate back-and-forth emails by inserting meeting time slots in a few clicks

  • Coordinate with your team right on the calendar invite to share an agenda or make a change with a simple @mention to other attendees 

With Front Calendar, your team stays connected from right within their inbox.

calendar for blog post

Ready to help your team thrive while working remotely?

Remote work doesn’t have to be a drag. With these new updates, it’s easy for remote teams to stay connected and efficient with Front. Your team will be ready to get more done together, no matter how near or far they are.

Helpful resources

Be sure to bookmark the Front Changelog to get our latest app updates and our roadmap to see what's coming next!

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One Pager - 6 Min ReadUsing Front like a pro: 5 tips for taking your inbox to the next level
You’re assigning and snoozing messages like there’s no tomorrow, leaving comments left and right, maybe even tagging messages to stay organized…sounds like you’re on your way to being a Front pro! Now that you’ve had some time to get your bearings, take your productivity to the next level with these more advanced tips for using Front. We recommend you check these out after you’ve had a chance to work in Front for a few weeks — or if you’re feeling super comfortable with it. If you’ve just started using Front, check out these seven tips for getting started for an overview of the basics before reading on. 1. Automate your work with rules In Front, you can make “rules” to boost your productivity. Rules let you automate workflows you often repeat by using “if, then” statements — guidelines that tell your inbox what to do with certain messages. For instance, “if an inbound message contains "urgent support", then add the tag "Urgent". Individual Rules vs. Team Rules Everyone can make rules for their individual inbox. Depending on the level of permission you have in Front, you might also be able to create Team Rules, as well. Individual rules only work for messages to your individual work email, while team rules can apply to your shared inboxes. Make your own rules Here’s a popular rule you can try setting up for your individual inbox: For any message you receive that’s unreplied for a certain time period, say 2 days, then tag that message as Needs Reply❗️ so you can easily see what you need to prioritize. Want to see some other interesting rules teams have set up in Front? Check out our Rules Directory for a few of our favorites, and read more tips on building rules. 2. Get all the context you need When you’re responding to customers, you usually need to open other apps to get the information you need to reply. Good news! Whether you need to view a project timeline in Asana or grab some customer data from Salesforce, you can access all that information without ever leaving Front. Integrations & Plugins Click the circular button in the top right corner of Front to access your integrations and plugins, right next to your messages. Most often, your Team Admin will choose which integrations to set up for your whole team. Check out the whole list of Front integrations, and if you see one that might be useful for your team, ask your Team Admin about getting it set up. Contact Details Along with integrations and plugins, you’ll also see a section called “Contact Details”. Here you can access every conversation you’ve had with a contact — emails, tweets, live chats, or any other communication channel you have set up in Front. You can also leave notes in your Contact Details, so you don’t forget important information about certain customers. 3. Take control of your work schedule Front has a few different features that allow you to break free from constant email notifications, so you can get time for deep focus, or a little relaxation. You can set up vacation responders like you would with traditional email, but you can also change your status in Front, and specify “Do not Disturb” times for peace and quiet from notifications. Create a vacation responder Under “Settings”, “My responses”, and “Vacation responders”, you can create and save as many vacation responders as you need. Front allows you to get more granular with your responder than you can with Gmail or Outlook: Choose specific channels you want to send to, set a schedule, and attach files. Keep in mind, your vacation responder only works for messages that come to your individual inbox. If you’re looking to create an auto-reply for team inboxes, you can do that using rules. Set your status in Front Find your status in Front by clicking your icon and “Available.” From there, you can choose from three options: Out of Office: When you’re OOO, any shared inbox messages that are assigned to you will be automatically unassigned, so the rest of your team knows to work on them instead. Mute: This will prevent you from receiving any of the notifications you usually get from Front. Mute can be useful for times when you really need to buckle down and focus on your work. Do Not Disturb: Specify a daily time when you won’t receive notifications. When this is switched on, it applies every day. Do Not Disturb is great for building some quiet time into your schedule, whether it’s to get work done notification-free, or just to relax and recharge outside work hours. 4. Work through your messages faster You’re likely already collaborating with your team using comments and @mentions in Front — and maybe you’re snoozing messages and setting reminders too! Here are a few more ways you can breeze through your inbox and never miss a conversation: Share drafts: Work on a reply with a teammate by typing a reply in your composer, then clicking the “Share draft” icon next to the “Send” button. This will allow your team to see a message you’ve typed up, and if they have something to add, they can edit in real time and send. Send options: Click the drop down arrow next to your “Send” button to choose from three different ways to send a message: “Send”, “Send + Archive”, and “Send Later”. To help you work through your messages faster, set a default send preference for all your messages under “Settings” and “My preferences”. Send: When you send a reply, the thread will stay in your “Open” folder, until you archive it. Send + Archive: When your send a reply, the thread will automatically move to your “All” folder, so you know it’s been worked on, and you don’t need to reply. Send later: You can specify an exact date and time you want the message to send. Once you specify a time to send, the message will remain as a draft until that time (so you can go back and edit it if you need.) Search: Front has an Advanced Search bar to help you find messages faster. You can easily access messages using the Quick Filters: Unread, Attachments, or Snoozed. Click the gray arrow at the bottom to view all the properties you can search by, like typing "from:" to search by sender. 5. Keyboard shortcuts Front has keyboard shortcuts so you can work through your inbox faster. To make it easy for you to remember, we always stick to Gmail conventions where possible. Find them directly in Front, all the way at the bottom of your integrations and plugins. Below are a few commonly used shortcuts to get you started moving around Front mouse-free. Basic Front keyboard shortcuts J / Up Arrow - Move to a previous conversation K / Down Arrow - Move to the next conversation / - Navigate to the search bar G + A - Go to all unassigned conversations Shift + X - Force the conversation list to refresh R - Reply to the most recent message Command + Enter - Send & Archive W - Assign conversation to a team member E- Archive the conversation L - Tag a conversation + Delete - Trash the conversation S - Set a snooze/reminder on a conversation Shift + I - See information about current conversation M - Navigate to the comment bar @ - Pulls a list of available team members to mention You can also access the full list of keyboard shortcuts on our Community Page.
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One Pager - 3 Min ReadPut response time goals on autopilot with SLA rules
From overflowing inboxes to missing analytics, it’s no wonder many teams turn to help desks to wrangle the chaos of customer communication. But what about when your team doesn’t want to give up the personal experience of email (or get dragged down by a clunky help desk 😱)? Without a way to manage and track response time targets, you’re stuck setting goals and hoping for the best — and unable to measure results. Front’s changing that with new SLA rules and reporting that help your team respond to every customer on time. They bring the features of a help desk right to your inbox, so your team can deliver an outstanding customer experience without giving up email. Here’s how to get started! What are SLAs, anyway? An SLA, or Service Level Agreement, is an agreed upon time amount of time for businesses to respond to client messages. Even if you don’t have contractual obligations with your clients, you can think of SLAs as the response time goals you set internally. Front’s email SLAs enable your team to respond to every message on time and easily measure response time metrics — without giving up the personalized experience of email. Set up SLAs in a snap SLA rules are similar to regular rules in Front — they allow you to trigger actions based on conditions like message sender or time. With guided setup specifically for SLAs, they’re ready to go in a few clicks and can be easily updated as your processes change. Just set a time limit and what types of conversations it should apply to, and Front handles the rest. Keep it simple with one SLA for all your customers, or create multiple SLAs for different inboxes or client groups. Customize your escalation path Front is more than just a ticket system — it’s a platform that allows you to build customized workflows. You get complete control over escalation processes for conversations that are at risk of a breach, including warnings to help prevent breaches before they happen: 🏷 Tag to alert your team 🔔 Set up custom notifications 🙋‍♂️ Reassign to another teammate ➡️ Move to an urgent inbox Smart workflows like these ensure client messages get in front of the right eyes are the right time, so your team can deliver the experience your clients deserve. Measure your success with ready-to-go reports Your team can accomplish great things when you have the insights you need. Front’s pre-built analytics reports for each SLA give you a comprehensive look at breaches, response time, and other performance metrics not possible with traditional email. Automatic reporting makes it easy to track performance over time and constantly find new ways to improve. They’re easy to export and share, so you can motivate your team, show clients your dedication, and give prospects a clear expectation of the great service you can deliver. Getting started with SLAs Front’s new SLA rules and reporting are available now to customers on our Prime and Enterprise plans. For customers on our legacy Pro plan, they’re free to use through October 15th. Just hop over to the rules engine in Settings to set them up — here are step-by-step instructions if you need some help. Not using Front yet? Sign up for a free trial or request a demo today!
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