E is for electronic organising & emails

Image 062I recently put a shout out on my Facebook page for an organising topic starting with E. From this I received the words Emails, Electronics and Energy.

So because I believe energy is required for both emails and organising electronics, I thought doing a quickie on the first two ideas would relieve some brain drain from the third.

First though, that up there is a picture of my computer desktop. One afternoon I decided that my own ‘desktop’ needing organising. A pretty backdrop just wasn’t cutting  it for me anymore, so I created, (with the help of some of my own photos and my iWork Pages program) some headings to organise all of my folders that sit on my desktop.  As you can see however, I’ve managed to ‘compartmentalise’ my computerised life into 8 sectors, and within those I’ve compartmentalised even further. I have noticed it has sped up finding folders instead of scrolling through a list every time. If you want to learn how to make one for yourself, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll do a little tutorial. Oh, and I’d better make a note here, that picture representing ‘random’ isn’t anyone’s bottom. It’s a close up of a rather ‘sexy’ mushroom I discovered amongst my groceries. Let’s just say it’s all in the lighting. But back to organising . . .

As a newcomer to Pinterest (be warned highly addictive) I’ve come across some wonderful quirky ideas for organising your gadgetry. From the many ideas shared out there, I’ve chosen 5 quick, easy cheapies:

  1. Power cables on power boards. If you want a great little recycling idea for keeping your cables tagged try this idea via Apartment Therapy using bread tags. I used to just use masking tape, but found it would tear after awhile. I also love that these are hard wearing and recycling such a fiddly ‘one use’ item. With a bit of paint or nail polish they could be colour coded as well.
  2. For tidying up those power boards and cables under your desk, here is a great idea using a wire basket which is attached under a desk from Martha Stewart. Check out the project here “Office Wire Organizer”.
  3. Another great idea for organising your USB cables onto your desktop using bulldog (or binder clips via TechCrunch.
  4. Lifehacker brings us a great idea for recycling cardboard tubes to help store cables neatly without tangling.
  5. Lastly if you are really keen and a DIY you may want to go for the PegBoard idea for harnessing all types of gadgetry and cables safely either under desk (or on the wall under a desk) from decluttered.com. Comes with instructions and several reader adapted versions of the same idea. Clever!

Now onto the more complex issue of emails, I thought I’d share five ideologies on the subject, rather than a cement boot ‘how to’ approach, because it’s hard to pinpoint one correct style considering the melting pot of email users out there, as well as the ‘types’ of mail accounts your using based on either platform (PC or Mac) or internet (gmail, hotmail, yahoo.mail etc.).

  1. When it comes to reducing time ‘answering’ email I like this approach (but yet to master) from two.sentenc.es be sure to also check out three.sentenc.es, four.sentenc.es and five.sentenc.es. They even give you a copy and paste option should anyone challenge your decision to answer with however many sentences you choose.
  2. Hassan the Couch Manager helps shave 15 minutes per week from emails with two simple steps.
  3. Ten Tips for Organizing Your Email via Gigaom.com looks at sorting styles etc.
  4. Personally I do tend to do a similar method to Sara Rosso’s GTD Inbox. I do have many folders which have sub-folders, but I am getting better at routinely weeding out the chaff, once projects are completed. I also have some automated sorting stuff going on in my system, because I wear a few different hats on my head depending on time and day.
  5. Lastly, here is a very interesting article via TheEmailAdmin which reviews a recent study  that says Sorting of Emails is a Waste of Time. Oh and if you have more time to waste, you can check out the full study here.

Other than that, there is the Mission Impossible method where messages self-destruct in 5 minutes! In which case you better have read and retained the details already!

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