I like organization. a. lot. And it is just not working out for me, these days, the way I would like it to. This is life with 4 little la la’s so I’m trying desperately to accept.
So, in an effort to take a bit of control I thought I’d turn to my digital disaster and clean up my online life. It’s one small part of my life that I have full control over. My inbox was a mess, my bookmarks where more trouble than help and my favorite online social sites a chore. I have to be honest, I never really imagined my inbox ever being at ZERO, but after reading Bre’s post, I thought, why not give it a try. So, I did + I’m never going back.
Don’t let mail sit in your inbox. For me, the worst habit I had was that I would read an e-mail, walk away and then think about answering it later. And sometimes, I’d even re-read and come back again. E-mails ended up sitting in my inbox for a couple of weeks (or ahem, longer). Now….when I check my e-mail, if I can answer an e-mail quickly, I do it. If I can within a day, I’ll still leave it there and if I can’t answer right away or it needs further action than it goes into an appropriate folder (more on folders in a bit). There are some e-mails that don’t necessarily require an immediate response or your precious time. Throw them in a “to respond folder” and answer those once a week.
I am big on bookmarking. I see a lot of things I like and I don’t always have the time to fully investigate. I personally use Safari and set up folders for certain categories and each link goes in it’s proper place. I also like to use the Reading List option in Safari to keep articles, blogs, etc. that I want to read at a later time. The deal in keeping this in tact is this – Name your links. I had a ton that were just the url’s and then I’d spend double time clicking and re-clicking trying to remember what it was that I saved and what it was for. And next, when you are done with a link, erase it. Clean out your bookmarks and/or folders as often as possible.
Folders is the magic word. And it is kind of like, duh! Yes, I know. I always used folders. But I got crazy and made folders for EVERYTHING. I don’t just have a la la lovely folder, I have ones for every category that pertain to blogging and than a handful of subcategory folders. Here is one example in my inbox:
la la Lovely
*BLOG – To Do
> Post (this week)
Folders for your bookmarks are a little trickier in that you can’t really do sub-categories/folders (unless I’m missing something)? But I got very detailed. That way if I see something that I like and it might be great for my la la loving feature, I save the link to that folder and when I’m ready to do a post I have plenty of pretty to pull from. And again, when I’ve used that link. I erase it. If you use Safari, like me, the one problem is that it does not alphabetize your folders. To me that is major in finding what you need quickly. I manually dragged my folders around to get them in good working order, way worth it. I also recommend this kind of set up on your desktop.
PINTEREST + THE LIKE /
All of these new way cool sites that seemingly organize things for us, do themselves need organizing. Be sure to properly name all of your boards and categorize them. I think it is even a good idea to go in and delete pins from time to time if you find you no longer love the image or it doesn’t flow with the board.
Everybody does Twitter differently, so I’m finding out. I’d love to learn more about this, myself. One thing I know is that your feed can become one busy place. Did you know that you can create lists and categorize everyone you follow (Design Blogs, Personal Friends, Friends from ALT and so on)? You can make these lists private, if you just want to quickly see what is new with your friends or browse what your favorite bloggers have to say or you can make it public if you want to let others see who you follow and what category they fall under. The list option can be found under the “me” tab and really easy to set up.
Overall, the key to staying on top of everything is management. Regularly going through these new helpful folders and deleting what no longer needs to be there, responding to what calls for a response and reviewing what needs to be reviewed. A new system in place is great but the system has to be worked. So work it, girl!
I hope this helps someone, somewhere! I’m happy to answer and questions or expound on anything.
What about you, how do you stay digitally organized. Do you have any great tips or systems that work for you?