Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Email and Voice Mail Clutter Control

I am still basking in the glow of de-cluttering my office but I have found it to be impossible at home just yet. I have been working hard on completing a slew of things for a convention that I am attending this weekend and I am hoping that when I return from the convention, I will have the time and motivation to start in on my home office.

At work I have been successful at one thing that I intend to try at home. I have a spiral steno notebook at my desk that I have in front of me every time I take messages off my phone and it is at hand every time the phone rings so that I can record information from the caller if needed. When I return the call, or complete the requested task, I put a check mark next to the name in the book so that I know that I have completed that task. Many times I have had to contact someone that called me at some point and I have been able to find their contact information in my notebook. My dilemma is keeping track of my emails with the same ease. I monitor about 5 email accounts and invariably, the information came in on an email account on another computer. The problem, I know, is that I use Microsoft Outlook to retrieve my emails, which brings the emails onto my computer and erases them from the email server. If I left the emails on the server and used the server’s folders to sort and retain the messages, I could always access them from anywhere. The downside to this is that I monitor 5 emails, at least three that are current and active. If I used the email server, I would have to login to three separate servers to retrieve my email. I know that it is old school computer thinking to feel safer if I have my emails on my computer. I think this goes back to the days when email services used to tell you to clean off your email because they were running out of space and your account had a limited amount of storage space, but this system has been working for me for the most part.

Some of you are saying, consolidate your email addresses into one, but I have to have one for work on our intranet and I have two for home, the main one and a Gmail account that has been very handy for access to Goggle products such as the blogspot software and for entering into websites where I am afraid my email address will be sold for spamming. The other two accounts are the accounts that I had with the cable service I had before we moved to Monmouth County. The accounts are with Comcast, and although I can’t send through Comcast, I can still receive emails on those accounts. No matter how many times I tell people to change my email address in their address books, I still get about 5-10 personal emails at my old address and at my husband’s old address. Are you diligent about changing email accounts in your computer when you are notified of a change? I suspect that most people are not.

Is this familiar to any of you? How do you all monitor your emails? Have you ever successfully changed an email account and not lost touch with a percentage of your contacts? I would like to discuss this at our next meeting on May 6 at the library. I have some suggestions for giving some incentives to get our houses in order. Bring your successes to the meeting so that we can all feel good about someone’s progress and bring your questions and frustrations to see if others can offer solutions. I won’t be posting again until Tuesday May 4th, if I can find the time on that day. I hope to see a lot of you at the meeting on Thursday, May 6, at 7:00 in the Quiet Study and in the mean time,
happy clearing!

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