Since I’ve pried my daughter off my head and sent her to school, the adjustment has been rough for her, it’s time to add my second column to Ordering Disorder. I thought today I’d share what I’ve done with my inbox and my bookmarks to make my job easier. I write for several blogs so my work space is generally my computer, but I think what I’ve done can easily be utilized for anyone who uses email and the internet for their work. Which you do, unless you’re my mother and still boggled by your vcr.
This is a very helpful article over at Freelance Switch outlining great tips for bloggers trying to track their work and stay organized. I’ve utilized their bookmark organization with great success, as I see something of interest I add it to a folder or create a folder for these ideas. Currently my research folder for my column at AlphaMom.com is the most organized and full of potential ideas.
Additionally I try to keep everything in a folder, keeping my work folders at the very top of the list. Once I have 5-10 un-filed bookmarks I start to feel anxious because I have a touch of the OCD. Currently I have just two un-filed bookmarks and I’m not telling you what’s in my ‘private’ folder even though you’re now dying to know.
I’ve also organized my feeds in Bloglines to maximize my ability to research for my columns each day. It’s not all work feeds there of course, but I find keeping everything in different folders allows me to read what I need at any given time. If I’m reading for pleasure I go to the personal blog folders. If I’m reading for work, I go to those folders and read up during my ‘work hours’.
Finally over the summer I made a limit for my email inbox, after years of being entirely overwhelmed by its contents. I like to keep no more than 20 unfiled emails in my actual inbox. To do this I’ve set up several filters using my mail program’s ‘rules’ function so a lot mail goes to specific folders immediately as it comes in.
I also try to answer email quickly so I can delete it, if I can’t immediately think of something to say in response to a note, I leave it for a week. After a week, if I haven’t responded, I’ve given myself permission to decide I have nothing witty or clever to say and I can let it go. If I truly want to respond to something but need more than a week, I file it in a folder titled “Respond to these”. This morning I had 42 emails in my inbox, now I have 8 and the joy and calm this gives me is sort of embarrassing.
Now if only I could apply these rules to my husband’s clothes, I might actually have room for my clothes in our room.
This weekend my neighborhood is hosting a garage sale, accordingly my next organizing piece will cover garage sales. Once the garage sale is complete the real fun can start, you’ll watch over the next few weeks as my husband and I have fist fights over the condition of our new shared office in the basement.
You will pity me when you witness the power of my husband’s ability to cling to the most ludicrous of his belongings and I’m not even referring to his underwear drawer.
But I will if you want.