Should advisory firms move beyond email? Jo Day, a cofounder of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Trumpet, Inc., a document management company, says yes—in many instances.

“Emails are a great way to share news but not a great way to have a conversation,” Day told advisors during a talk she gave at Bob Veres' Insider's Forum in Dallas, Texas this week.

Day proposes advisors reduce the bulk of the email in their inboxes by 30% and gain other workday efficiencies.

How? Her firm offers software that has helped advisory firms create internal posting forums. The forums work like commenting pages on websites, except they are only available internally to the firm's staff members.

Unlike long, confusing email chains, the forums show on one page a series of entries by multiple participants about a particular topic.

Such internal forums can also make staff meetings -- which can go on endlessly when participants delve into questions about minutiae best handled elsewhere -- more efficient. Facing the prospect of “being meeting’d to death,” users of Trumpet’s services and software have a ready-made solution, Day says.

When a meeting participant strays into a subject that will likely lead down a rabbit trail, others may suggest: “Take it to the forum.” Then, when staff members have time, they can go to the forum and hash out the topic in a detailed way, she says.

 Miriam Rozen, a Financial Planning contributing writer, is a staff reporter at Texas Lawyer in Dallas.

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