Cleaning out my inbox…

Been putting off getting my inbox in order. It’s a mess since I started blogging.buried under mail

Normally I don’t move around much on the web. I have my little corners that I like to frequent, incognito. Typically a “lurker”, unless it’s something I’m highly passionate about. But, against my nature…I jumped in the deep end with all the affiliates, groups, and marketing programs, when I started this blog. I put my inbox on a gluttonous, junk food diet that I regret! It’s gone from being a useful tool, to an out of control receptacle for waste. Waste I have to wade through, not just once a day…but all day long. It’s crazy, and despite my best efforts to delete the bulk of it…it’s slowly gaining girth. I’m afraid of it sometimes!

This morning I unsubscribed from Haro and MyPoints. I never read them anyway. It amazed me how easy it was. And, I thank them for that! That I didn’t have to cancel my accounts with them, but simply cancel subscriptions to the emails. Of course…the upside to get receiving constant email from a group, is that it reminds me that I’m a member…but something had to give. I had to start somewhere. I don’t cringe at going through all the subscriptions I have to other mom blogs. I enjoy reading what’s going on, the giveaways, and deals. All that is still in the useful information category. I also get a lot of mail relating to mom & baby stuff from when I first got pregnant. Information that’s no longer pertinent. So, still more I can do to get it down to a manageable size.

STEPS FOR STAYING IN CONTROL OF YOUR EMAIL

BREAK IT DOWN

Set up at least one separate email account just for your blog! If your blog is getting popular….set up several to handle different functions. Examples would be yourname@yourdomain.com, advertising@yourdomain.com, PR@yourdomain.com. These emails are available if you own your own domain (w/ email account options). You can still use free mail services like gmail to set up several email accounts…they’ll just be longer addresses, like yoursite-ads@gmail.com, or yoursite-PR@gmail.com, etc.

NOTE: Stay away from using email accounts related to your internet provider…like comcast, bellsouth, etc. Only bcuz (eventually) you’ll change providers, and lose that email service, and have to start from scratch! Go with gmail…it’s free, unlimited, and it’s not going anywhere.

CONSOLIDATE

Utilize your computers email software! Can’t stress this step enough! I use windows mail. Set up accounts for each email address you own, so all your mail from all over the place is directed into one mailbox! I have roughly 10 email accounts that all stream into my windows mail. I know a lot people that waste time going to the website of their mail handler….aol, comcast, gmail, hotmail, cubemail, etc. to read their mail. Why go to your mail, when your mail can come to you?

EXPLORE YOUR EMAIL SOFTWARE

Setting up different email accounts to handle various areas of your life (personal, business, pr, mom related, webmaster, etc)…breaking it down and then re-consolidating it into one incoming stream, makes it easier to wade through. Use the “view” sorting options to help. View all the mail related to public relations, then all your personal mail, etc. It’s not a super-solution, but it helps. Some email software gives you the option of marking mail as favorite, important, read or unread, or setting low to high priority to each email that comes in. They also offer search or find options, import/export, identities, mail rules for what to do with specific incoming mail, and the ability to add different signatures to different accounts. Don’t forget about customizing the look of your outbound email with html effects like special fonts, size of type, and backgrounds (stationary) that match your blog, etc. Most email software comes with a selection of standard stationary, with the added ability to add your own custom designs!

FOLDERS ARE YOUR FRIEND!

I suppose there’s such a things as too many folders, but just like bookmarks, they’re easy to create, delete, and re-organize! I have main folders that I name in ALL CAPS with subfolders to break them down. Some examples as follows……

PERSONAL > online friends > family friends > forum (broken down into smaller folders for each)

FAMILY > from mom > from dad&m > from sis >and so on

CRAFTYMOM > bloglifts > reviews/giveaways > affiliates > and so on

WORK > clients > opportunities > payments >

MY STUFF > banking > utilities > accounts (amazon, ebay, paypal, etc)

Some of these subfolders are broken down into more subfolders. I even have subfolders in each category that are “READ LATER”…this gives me a place to (temporarily) store emails that are too important/interesting to delete, but I don’t want sitting in the main inbox area.

If you have any tips or tricks you use to help keep a handle on your mailbox…..I’d love to hear them!!! 🙂

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