Navigating the daily onslaught of emails—both receiving and giving—is a constant struggle for many who work in community organizing, communications, management, and other professions.
When you think of logging into your email, what is the first emotion that comes to you? For me, opening my inbox prompts a fight-or-flight response. Email is the hunter, and I am prey. However, I am rocking a whopping five days of Inbox Zero, which is four days more than my previous all-time record. It might have something to do with the fact that I currently only have one inbox, but it’s been helped by a few tricks that I learned from my time as Content Manager at NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network.
I recently bundled some (Gmail-centric) inbox and email/social management tips I’ve learned from smarty pantses I’m lucky to know, and I presented to a few of my Emerge Oregon sisters in the form of a slideshow:
Here are links to the cast of characters noted in the slideshow:
- Unroll Me
- Canned responses: it’s already in your Gmail! Check “Labs” under Settings
I mentioned that I have been rocking inbox zero for five days. That streak could end in an hour or a week. That’s fine. My priority is shifting my email MO. I’m actively working on creating new behaviors around emails as they come in, that reduce the fear of the unknown and assumed-but-not-confirmed-because-I-haven’t-actually-opened-that-email-I’m-just-looking-sideways-at-it issues (you know what I’m talking about).
Inbox zero is a construct that can be useful in breaking the stress of a cluttered inbox, but it can also lead to “mailshaming,” as Joe Newlin put it in this anti-zero article.
Good luck out there, team. Be good to each other, and don’t let your inbox get you down.
What I learned at life today: While I can’t (completely) control the inflow of emails I receive, I can control how I greet them. Procrastination, like boredom, is a choice.
Featured image photo credit: Paul Downey