Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Week to Simplify My Life

According to the folks at OnlineOrganizing, today is the first day of Simplify Your Life Week. I need this. I really need this! So I've set myself this challenge: find one thing each of the next seven days that will help me become better organized or, at the very least, make things simpler for me.

Today I am working on email. I don't know about you, but my email is out of control. Actually, I think I aspire to have just "out of control" email. I'm not sure there's an expression that properly describes the state of my email inboxes (yes...plural! "inboxES")

I've read a few articles about dealing with email:
And now I think I'm ready to get to work.

Where Did These Come From?

I don't even remember signing up for all these e-newsletters. I find it fascinating that teachers receive so many different emails from vendors trying to get us to buy their product. Um, hello?! I'm a teacher. My money is spent on exciting things like food, rent, and books. So, bye-bye vendor emails! My first chore is to unsubscribe from any and all e-newsletters. This may take some time...but it will definitely be worth it, especially once the school year begins.

Now, I should say that it's not that I don't like these vendors or any of the newsletters I receive in my emailbox. I actually enjoy several of them. However, this is information I can go get from their websites, most of which I have bookmarked.

Where Did I Put That?

The next step is to create folders for my incoming emails. I haven't actually decided how I'm going to set this up, but I have the rest of today to figure it out (remember, one organizational tool per day...that's my goal). I would love to hear what others have done in regards to email folders or, even better, see some examples. Anyone care to share?

Timing Is Everything!

The first thing I did in regards to my email was to change the retrieval setting. Do I really need to know every five minutes if someone has sent me something I probably don't have time to read anyway? No..I don't. Right now it's set for 30 minutes, but I'm working up to not even having my email open at all. I need to set a time each day which I can devote just to dealing with email; then and only then will I open up my email account.

I may have to work up to that.

Those are my goals for today. How about you? Care to join me in simplifying our lives? You don't have to start with email, I'm sure you are much more efficient when it comes to email than I am. So, check out the ideas on the Simplify Your Life Week page, or go to Organizer's Toolbox for a list of tips to help you be more productive and live and breathe easier.