Why email and spreadsheets are not agency management tools

Share on LinkedIn
Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook

In the realm of agency management, the tools and technologies used can significantly impact efficiency, productivity, and overall success. While tools like email and spreadsheets are fundamental in a business setting, their role should be carefully evaluated when it comes to specific management tasks. Relying on these tools for agency management is less than ideal, agencies are businesses that need specialized software solutions if they want to manage their business efficiently.

The Misuse of Spreadsheets as Agency Management Tools

Spreadsheets, despite being a cornerstone in the business toolkit, are often stretched beyond their intended purpose. They are excellent for what they were originally designed for – numerical analysis, data organization, and simple accounting. However, when repurposed for complex tasks such as agency management, their shortcomings become evident. Specific tasks in agency management require more than what spreadsheets can offer. 

Tracking Time

Spreadsheets lack dynamic features necessary for accurate time tracking, leading to inefficiencies and inaccuracies in billing and project management.

Generating Expense Reports

Manually inputting expenses into spreadsheets is time-consuming and prone to errors, which can result in financial discrepancies.

Managing Projects

Spreadsheets do not support real-time updates or collaboration, essential for the fluid nature of project management in agencies.

Managing Resources and Availability

They fall short in providing an integrated view of resource allocation, leading to overbooking and underutilization issues.

Data Security and Integrity

The risk of data breaches and loss is higher with spreadsheets, as they lack sophisticated security features.

The Proper Role of Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets excel in handling static data sets for analysis, budgeting, and financial forecasting. They are ideal for one-time analyses, such as extracting summarized data from business systems for specific insights.

Their role should be complementary to more robust management tools, rather than as a primary resource for dynamic and collaborative tasks.

The Shortcomings of Email for Agency Management

The limitations of email as a management tool become glaringly obvious in the context of agency work. It is primarily designed for communication and falls short in several aspects when repurposed for management:

Searchability and Organization

Finding specific information in a sea of emails is cumbersome and time-consuming.

Version Control

Tracking the most recent version of documents or creative pieces can be a nightmare in an email-based system.

Collaboration Efficiency

Email does not support effective real-time collaboration, which is a cornerstone of successful agency projects.

Information Overload

The sheer volume of emails can lead to important information being missed or overlooked.

Email’s Intended Role

Email should be confined to its strengths – communication. It’s ideal for initial contact, setting up meetings, and other straightforward communication needs. Its use in agency management should be strategic and limited.

Embrace Specialized Agency Management Tools

Given the limitations of spreadsheets and email, specialized tools like WorkBook and Magnetic emerge as superior alternatives. These tools are designed specifically for the nuanced needs of agency management and provide many benefits for agencies including: 

  1. Comprehensive Integration: They offer a holistic approach, integrating various aspects of agency management into a single, streamlined platform.
  2. Real-Time Collaboration: These tools support real-time updates and collaborative work environments, critical for the dynamic nature of agency projects.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness and ROI: The return on investment with these tools is significant. They offer robust solutions at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods when considering time saved and efficiency gained.
  4. Customization and Scalability: These tools can be tailored to the specific needs of an agency, ensuring scalability and flexibility as the agency grows.


The digital era demands that agencies evolve and adapt in their tool choices. While email and spreadsheets have their place, their role in agency management should be limited and strategic. Specialized tools like WorkBook and Magnetic offer integrated, real-time, and collaborative solutions that cater specifically to the needs of agency management. Embracing these tools is not just a matter of staying current; it’s about optimizing efficiency, accuracy, and ultimately, the success of the agency.

Get tips to manage your agency in your inbox

Subscribe to our blog

Would your agency survive a recession?

Find out if your agency is ready to meet the challenges of the future- and overcome them

You seem to want to improve your agency

Let us help by sending tips straight to your inbox

tips to manage agencies