Oct 29, 2014

Getting Organized: Schedule & Emails

I always find that if I can keep my schedule and my emails organized everything else is much easier to keep up. I don't go anywhere without my planner and love that I can see a month at the full view or broken down by week and day all in one place. Plus, I get to use glitter tape in it, so that right there is a major WIN over the iCal on my phone.

As for emails—it's taken me a long time to figure out what works and what doesn't, but I've finally found a system that works. Here's my guide to getting and maintaining your schedule and inbox.

1. Make Organizing Your Schedule Fun
When I first switched to an iPhone, I tried very hard to use the calendar on it to schedule my life. I hated it though and found myself not only avoiding the calendar app, but I wasn't keeping a record of anything I had to do anywhere. After a few short lived months as the most unorganized person ever, I finally purchased a planner again. I had always used one since elementary school and shouldn't have turned my back on what worked. Now, there are all kinds of cute and affordable planners that I love to use.

I don't stop there though, washi tape, fun pens and stickers keep my cute planner from falling into the traps of boredom. I use washi tape to mark dates I'm on vacation or out of town and I use stickers to mark birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates. Fine point pens like Le pen and Sharpie are the only pens I'll use in a planner, too. For some reason my handwriting just looks fancier.

2. Set a Schedule and Stick to It (as much as you can)
I thrive on a routine that has room for spontaneity. I know that makes no sense, so let me explain. I like knowing that I get up at the same time every morning for work and leave the house at the same time each morning. I like knowing that the first thing I do when I get to work is sign into my computer and go make a cup of coffee before tackling my inbox. I like knowing that I'm responsible for exercising 2 to 3 times a week, but not having it planned out beyond that. Some weeks a Monday, Wednesday, Friday workout schedule is just fine and other weeks it's not. So, the flexibility is key. I also love knowing that I can catch up on my favorite TV shows online or on demand at a later time. That way, I'm not strapped to the television at 10pm on Wednesdays because I can't miss Nashville.

To get my schedule organized, I first sat down and wrote a list of everything I want to be responsible for/want to do. This includes devotional time, TV shows I want to watch, how many days I want to run/walk a week, when I want to do lunges and free weights, my social life, family life, blogging time, writing time, free time; basically everything I want to accomplish went on a list. Then, I started plugging the necessities into my planner and now I can build in extras and last minute plans much easier, and without over scheduling my life.
3. De-clutter Email Inboxes
I might receive more emails than anyone in the world. I have two emails at work, a blog email, a  personal email and a catch-all email for subscriptions, online shopping and sale alerts. That last inbox has been clutch, but we'll get to that in a minute. My rule of thumb for all inboxes: any response that will take a sentence or two and up to a paragraph I knock out first. Then, anything that will take a more in-depth response (research, informed opinion) I will move into a "Respond Later" folder and save those for the end of the day or whatever time frame I have to respond to the email. Once I've responded to an email, I immediately archive it.

Unroll.me is a great way to get one email, when you choose, of all your subscriptions. Then, when you're ready you can click on that one email and select the particular subscription you want to view. When you're done, you only have to archive or delete one email.

About a year ago I made the decision to create email addresses for certain usages.
  • Personal email is for correspondence with friends and family, bill paying, banking, online statements and the other "adult" parts of life that are boring, but necessary to track.
  • Blog email is for anything and everything relating to this blog. Y'all can email me directly, ask questions, tell me my posts are too long or anything you like. It's also where I keep all communicating with other brands, websites, sponsored post information and subscriptions for blog related things like Rafflecopter.
  • Online Shopping/sale alert email is the one email I use for all online shopping and tracking emails, website log-ins or what have you. It's also the only email I give when checking out in stores because they send SO MANY EMAILS! I swear, I get an email every single day from Loft. I definitely don't want those emails clogging up my other inboxes, but there is an advantage to this inbox—I never leave home without my discount codes or in-store coupons (for the most part). Usually, anything I get as a paper coupon in the mail, I also get as an email, which goes directly to the email on my phone. I also make sure that the sale alert email is set for me to go out an actually retrieve the emails on my iPhone instead of having them pushed to me all the time.

2 comments :

  1. Good post! Good ideas about the different emails. Gotta try that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I definitely have to organize my email. It's a slow progress but I'm getting there!

    ReplyDelete

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