Tag Archives: e-mail

INBOX AT ZERO ?


*(JAP Just a Paragraph: when I’m short of time and/or inspiration, I keep my blog ticking over with ‘just a paragraph; random thoughts, reflections, comments, ideas … little snippets)

 

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Inspired by a recent blog post on Medium D, I have been wading through the undergrowth in my Inbox, wielding my machete ruthlessly. I’ve had to Empty Deleted Items twice, and still the contents remain at over 100. Sigh. I wonder if you feel as overwhelmed by the flood of incoming mail as I do? I suppose the answer is to attend to each mail instantly or at least within 8 hours. But because my mail is not routed via my cellphone, this means I must be at home, seated at my desktop PC and prepared to spend time dealing with the InBox. According to the Medium D writer (didn’t note his name – sorry chap!)he had actually reduced his InBox to pristine white zero status. Hmm. Did he have his fingers crossed when he typed this statement? Is it even possible? He probably spends every waking hour glued to his screen. I wonder how long it stayed that way? Any suggestions?

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Filed under COMPUTERS, HUMOUR

CHAPTER 2 :  MORE ADVENTURESWITH OUR INBOXES


My faithful readers have asked for more  tips to help them stem the inexorable tide of e-mails.

The following hints won’t stem the tide, but suggest what you  can do to the deposited flood.

*Strap on your heavy duty protective gear, select your biggest, sharpest scythe, and plunge to the bottom, the very bottom, the first item (i.e. the oldest) of your InBox. Start wielding your scythe.  If item #1 has been lurking at the bottom this long, does it really need any attention now? I thought not: weeessssh, snick! Off with its head! Continue in this mode, until you can begin to see daylight in the mid-section of your Box. Wipe off your scythe blade, and have a cup of coffee. Now back to the task.

 

  • Simply delete mail without even opening it. I have friends who love to share their political opinions, or hoary old jokes : I press that magic button marked DELETE.  Best button on the keyboard, wisely used.

 

  • Under no circumstances take part in those irritating On-line Scrabble e-mails : they are total time wasters. You know what to do: press the magic button!

 

  • The heart-rending appeals for lost kids, dying patients, starving animals: harden your heart, most are phishing scams: Magic Button – yes, again!

 

  • Petitions: I delete them instantly. I read an article, written by a reliable source, that conclusively proved the info goes nowhere and changes nothing.

 

 

  • I enjoy gorgeous photography, clever puns, or informative articles sent to me by friends scattered around the globe, but I only send a very short one or two line acknowledgement if the content is superlative or warrants a comment. Not every mail needs a response. I enjoy and delete. Occasionally I forward items, but I’m trying to forward only the crème de la crème this year.

 

  • Buy a cheap kitchen timer. I bought a boring white mechanical timer, and it was a well spent R27.00 . Set it for half an hour, and attack your InBox. When that buzzer sounds, get up and walk away – go and do something else, either virtuous (dishes?) or pleasurable ( go for a walk , read a book). Whatever you choose to do, it’s taken you away from the keyboard. Knowing that you only have half-an-hour or whatever time you opt for, sharpens your focus. You need to get cracking! No time for dawdling or fiddling.

 

  • Beware of traps labelled Wikipaedia, and the like. Clicking on links to websites leads you to the quick-sands of distraction …you may get lost for hours. That distant buzzing sound is your timer: hellooo? hello? Yoohoo! Climb out, and resume your task.

 

  • Open a HOLD or PEND Folder in your Folders column. I stick mail in there that is un-resolved, or likely to be on-going and may take weeks or even months to finalise. Diarise one hour, once a month, to go through your HOLD Folder, and ask the question: why am I keeping this?  Delete anything that has grown mouldy green whiskers … or action it smartly. Feels good, huh?

 

  • For that matter, open loads of Folders, according to your needs, and heave mail into them –including out of your SENT Box. The point is, by filing mail into your Folders, you get it out of the dreaded, catch-all InBox.  I prune my Sent Box daily, keeping only immediate, un-resolved items in there. This way, it’s a kind of built-in Diary system. Works for me.

 

And now, having absorbed all this wisdom, you have  earned happy free hours to nip back on line and play Mahjong, or Poker, or Scrabble, whatever blows your hair back.  I won’t tell anyone if you don’t!

 

 

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Filed under COMPUTERS, HUMOUR, WRITING

TAMING THAT INBOX


 

I sort of, kind of, made a mini-New Year’s Rez:  Keep that InBox under control!

Whilst I didn’t put a Post-It note on my desktop monitor with the words: TAME THE BEAST!  PRUNE, &HACK!  that’s what I’ve been doing, ever since early January. It started when I had a few blessed, un-busy weeks in early January, and I strapped on my scythe and waded into my InBox.  It took me a couple of days, to read, action, or delete the undergrowth.  I un-subscribed from redundant sites, or organisations which no longer interested me, and this helped to stem the waves of drek flooding into my InBox. How many news letters/bulletins and blog posts do we really need to read?

I’ve also adopted the stratagem of using one of my alternate e-mail addresses on another server for my subscriptions to news services, and newspapers and magazines. Once or twice a week I settle down with my ASUS notebook and have a cosy browse through the Huffington Post, or The Millions, selectively reading articles, and deleting – you’ve gotta be ruthless! – as I go.

One happy morning, I had only 14 items popping up on the InBox screen.  Wow! This was a First Ever Moment.  And I liked it.  Such an empty, easy to read InBox. Neither my eyeballs nor my soggy brain were being assaulted on all sides. It was liberating. Since then I’ve made valiant attempts to keep the number under 20, but now that the year has gathered momentum, and Committees and Groups are rolling onwards, it’s proving difficult. I’ve hit 30 recently, even after my slashing and deleting.

One of the contributory  problems is that we’re suffering from the aftermath of a prolonged Postal Strike, during which period  – in desperation, and very unwillingly – I agreed to have my monthly utility bills sent electronically, because the bills were simply never reaching me, due to the Postal Strike.  Just to exacerbate matters, we now have routine rolling blackouts on a daily basis – our national power grid is reeling, but that’s another story – so we still don’t always get our mail, because the power is off. Let me tell you, South Africa is not an easy place in which to live. The current buzzword is ‘challenging’, but I can think of more descriptive ones that will be either blasphemous or obscene, possibly both.

Anyway, I was bragging about my InBox purge to my friend Dawn, who told me that it’s her practice to ensure that her InBox is EMPTY, every day before she leaves the office. Fortunately she’s a good friend, and I can forgive her for being perfect.

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Filed under HUMOUR, SOCIAL COMMENT