Saturday, February 17, 2018

Trying Again to get it Together

The funny thing is my email inbox looks a lot like it did a few years back. How many times do we start these projects and then things like life happens and we get sidetracked?
But I'm going to work on organizing and such again and see how far I get.

The best way to get started on the path to sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning it in front of others...
Austin Kleon (from Show Your Work)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Email Inbox Organization--Three Steps

This is a follow up to my previous post e-hoarding

I’m nervous today. I cleaned out my email over the past week. I worry because I might have deleted something I needed.  But it had to be done. My inbox looked worse than my dining room table.

What I started with:                        
1500 unread emails. Almost 5000 kept emails. 22 folders. Chaos.
I Googled organizing email and found I’m not alone in being overwhelmed by digital stuff. I found over a million sites about this. I picked a few—referenced at the bottom. Most of mine has come from friends’ ideas.

My Three Part System
Part One: Clean It Out
If you don’t do this first you’ll be trying to organize things you don’t even need or want. I don’t know how long you should keep something, but I’m sure it’s not ten years on the internet. Even the IRS isn’t that strict.
I’m down to about 150 kept emails. It still sounds like a lot. There were some emails I’ve reread and referenced so I kept those. Most are from ongoing projects that will be deleted once the project is finished. The time frame to allow to do this depends on how much time you have and how many emails. Like I said, mine took a week.
Part Two: Make a System
I thought about the subjects of things I do and made folders to correspond. Then the move from inbox to the folders began.  I ended up with 6 folders and one with 4 subfolders—9 folders total. It works because of the various emails I have to save.
Voila! Empty inbox and emails where I can find them.
Part Three: Maintenance and Modification
I hate checking email. I also read that if you check it too much you get more back. Most sites said twice, maybe three times a day. So, I’m starting with twice.

Of course this system may need tweaking, so I’ll modify as I go.  But now it’s doable.
Your system and checking will look different, of course. You may have to check more often due to work. Or less often if you're lucky.

What I Have Now
Empty inbox. About 150 saved mails. 6 folders and 4 subfolders. Organized Mail.
Of course I still have the concern over deleting things. But I like my organized email, so I’ll just have to get over the other.
My system is simple, but I don’t do a whole lot of work with email. It’s more for contact and connection. So, if you’d like more in-depth and information on all the other things available check out:
Organizing Your Email Inbox
13 Tips to Organizing Your Inbox 
Revive Your Inbox  --this one is the most in-depth, and has a program to help you. But, the irony is, they email it to you every day for 21 days.
You can always Google search it as well.

How about you? Do you get frustrated with too many emails? Any organizing tips or strategies that worked for you?

Sunday, September 20, 2015


apparently after 999 they
they stop counting
In the middle of all my research I've found a new type of hoarding.
Digital Hoarding, aka e-hoarding.
It's when your inbox, folders, pictures, or whatever digital media you can think of becomes as cluttered as the junk drawer in your kitchen, or worse.
I hate email because you get so much junk mail. Spam filters aren't perfect, no matter how good they are. And, all the social media? Good grief, it's giving me a headache thinking about it.

So, what's the deal with digital hoarding? Why should people worry about it?
From what I've read:
1. storage costs--personal and private. Someone has to pay for all these Clouds.
2. stress--having to look at and deal with all the stuff.
3. carbon footprint--who knew, right?

Hoarding is often a sign of other problems: anxiety and OCD especially.
For me it's an out of sight out of mind. My physical surroundings are in my face. I can stress over it. My email, digital files and pictures, they all live on tiny flash drives and clouds. So, I only have to stress for as long as it takes to read and reply to what I need.

But after reading the carbon footprint thing, I'm going to have to rethink this strategy. It makes sense, though, because technology has to be powered. It takes energy for this. And, storage plans for individuals and companies are not free. It takes effort to keep all this information safe and accessible.
I've gotten the wild idea to clean out inboxes and photos before, but I got frustrated sorting through so much. No sooner had I gotten rid  of one email when ten would pop up.
I gave up
And it all built up again. The most I've had is close to 5,000 emails. Sounded like a lot to me until I read of people having numbers like 25,000 in emails, ten of thousands of pictures. Wow!
Right now my big things are texts, pictures, and emails. I'm bad about not deleting any old things.
Maybe I'll have to consult an e-hoarder specialist.

So, my plan, should I be able to accomplish this is:
1. Daily look at email.
2. Figure out folders.
3. Delete any pictures I don't need.
4. Spend ten minutes at day doing this.
5. Don't get discouraged.

As adults, we worry about kids, but we should really take a lesson from the American Academy of Pediatrics  --adults need limited time as well, for our own health and well-being. We have to get over this idea that we have to be connected 24/7. Some think they're doing okay. Some look okay.
But, try turning off their devices, let the server go down, let rain knock out the DISH.
Then see what happens.

Are you a digital hoarder? What strategies do you have to organize your email, ebooks, and other digital media?

For more on e-hoarding:
Wikipedia--also has some good links to other sites.