disorder2order blog

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The A-Z's of dealing with Email

This was an article I posted on CWAHM.com [shout out to Jill] a few years back...I thought it prudent to share again! Email is one of those things that need to be managed... enjoy!



Email management can be overwhelming for everyone. Some people get as many as one hundred emails each day, while others may only get ten or twenty.  Either way, keeping it all organized and in working order may not be on the top of the “organization” list. It’s easier just to close the program and deal with it tomorrow.

I was reading some statistics online and Tim Burress, author of the Hamster Revolution, states that “On average, a professional today spends about two and a half to three hours a day, every single day on e-mail. We spend about forty percent of our day processing, handling, filing, storing, creating, reading, and writing e-mail. That's almost fifty percent of the day.”

Here is an A-Z guide on how you can be more organized and efficient with your email. It might be one simple step that can give you more time for work or family.

Address book or contact files can take time to set up, but will be a time saver in the long run.  You can track more than just an email address when you use the address book or contacts feature.
Be sure to take a moment to customize your toolbars. Almost all programs will allow you to add and delete quick function buttons from the toolbars. This can really speed up your processing of email.
Create folders for saved messages. Your inbox is just that, an inbox. If you have emails that you want to save, create a subfolder for your saved items.
Delete when completed! Emails that come into your inbox either require an action or response. Once you have completed the request be sure to hit delete!
Empty your in box each day. When you close your email for the day, your inbox should be empty.
Follow up within 24 business hours. It’s a good business practice to reply, even if you don’t have the answers, just acknowledging that you received the message shows good organization.
Goal setting can become a little simpler by using your completed task list items. It’s easy to set goals when you see what you have accomplished.
Help button does actually help! If you are stuck, always check HELP to see if the answer is there.
Interruptions can be managed by turning off or changing your notification settings when emails arrive.
Junk mail can be filtered on almost any email service.
Keep and Toss applies to emails as well as our stuff. Be sure to get rid of unwanted or unused emails, it’s still clutter.
Learn the program. If you are using email, take the time to learn how it works and what features might help you.
Maintenance on your email files is just as important as managing your stuff. Setting up regular reminders to manage tasks
Never substitute email for a conversation. It’s easy to hide behind the screen and not address business situations in person. Remember that people always like the personal touch.
Open emails from people you trust! Always be aware of who is sending you messages.
Putting off simple tasks takes more time to manage in the long run. Things like setting reminders, quick responses only take a few seconds. Do the simple tasks now!
Quick review of emails can be done through a reading pane without having to open each message when it arrives.
 Reply all can be a dangerous feature. Always be aware of who your message is going to before you hit send.
Sizes of emails do matter. Remember that the more emails you have in your inbox or deleted folders slow your pc down.
Task lists can be created in just about any email program. Tasks can be reminders or action items. Use your signature line as a means to advertise Very helpful tools are distribution lists. If you have a group of people that you email on a regular basis, create a distribution list. Write emails as if you are writing a letter, using both upper and lower case means something in email. For example, if you use only caps it can be interpreted as yelling. eXamine the processes you are taking when using email. If you feel like there is an easier way, there probably is, use the tools. You’re in charge. Setting limits to the amount of time you spend on email allows you to enjoy other things. Zero in your publication list to the things you actually will read. We often subscribe to so many things that we “think” we will read, but if you aren’t reading it… unsubscribe!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why reminders and gratitude are like peas and carrots...

If you follow me on Facebook, you will notice that I'm 'trying' to post each day something that I am grateful for. 

For me, it's a opportunity to reflect on the many blessings in my life, a time to reflect on the many things that I have had the opportunity to enjoy...

Taking time, even just a minute, each day to think about my blessings serves as a reminder to so many things. We use reminders everyday... that tiny voice in our head reminding us to make a phone call, a sticky note on the fridge to remember the milk. Reminders, are a great way to getting things done and be a little more organized.

As I get older, I'm 'reminded' that I struggle more with remembering things. My memory isn't as good as it used to be; and if I don't offer myself help or use a support system - then I just won't remember.  Although I'm an organizer I still have to work just as hard as you do to keep it all together...

Here are 5 things you can try to help you with reminders:
  1. Pen and paper (personally I like a post-it's) is what I enjoy for remembering a task
  2. Calendar alarms/reminders in you mobile device or tablet
  3. Apps are a current trend: Remember the milk, Springpad and for all the Google fans Google + task lists are just a few I have used
  4. Family calendars (Cozi online or check out etsy ideas) can be a central system within your home to organize your thoughts and/or tasks
  5. Voice mail or text messages are a wonderful way to be reminded of specific things
If we don't remember, we don't know what we forgot. 

I find that when I remember to do something (and it actually gets done), I have a sense of accomplishment and gratitude. Today, I am grateful for remembering to do my blog post... they go together like peas and carrots.

 

"Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting." - Author Unknown

*Photo found on The Modern Nomad