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.


madmommy said...

If you have a mac, try using MailBadger (I believe it's a free app). This changes the badge on your mail icon. You can add custom badges to alert you to different incoming email. I have one set to let me know of new Army messages, one for general mail, and one from my DH.

Karin said...

You're off to a good start! Email can be a real time hog. I have all my email accounts download to the same inbox on the Mail app on my Mac. That way I only have one place to check. Then I've set up filters to auto send some messages straight to folders that I can ignore until I have time to read them (tech newsletters mostly). My new rule will be to deal with every message in my inbox on the day it arrives. The delete key is going to be my new best friend! Good luck with your email!

Laurie Karolek said...

What a great idea! To give up (or cut back) the e-newsletters is something I will do as well. Who has time to read them all, or even most? I have many e-mailboxes as well, but that's how I sort my e-mails to a certain extent. Roadrunner is for family and RL friends. School is for school business (duh). Yahoo is for personal colleague stuff and union business, and Google is for my plurk friends and virtual pals ... plus some of those newsletters. Hotmail is my "junk" collector for stores that want my e-mail.

Another simply wonderful idea: For Lent this year my SIL/BIL and family each gave up (literally) 3 things each day. They found clothes, etc. that they no longer wore or used and donated them.