Category Archives: Organization

All in the name of organizing

I post a lot of snippets on Facebook instead of breakin’ it down on here, and I am working on changing that.

I’ve been kicking butt and taking names all morning, for the sake of personal efficiency. I am a stickler about my gmail inbox, but have been a lazy girl recently in keeping it streamlined. I have subscribed to a bunch of new stuff recently and noticed the wee email chime on my phone going off a LOT more than I like. I also noticed that Gmail was being handled on my phone in a different manner than on my computer due to the newish tabs that Google inserted without asking me if I wanted them. My inbox on my phone was turning chaotic and Something Had To Be Done.

I spent a bit of time this morning using Gmail’s native functions to create new labels and filters, so the vast majority of my email will automatically be marked read, archived, and labelled so I can review it at my leisure. A bit more effort as emails continue to land and the only emails I will see are ones that need to be seen immediately. The rest will be tucked away for later. Huzzah!

Whilst reviewing my Gmail I noted my Google calendar needed freshening up so I worked on that as well, adding calendars and reminders for our Bible study, menu planning, editing for blogging, budget, and tasks along with color coding the calendars for easier reading. For easier viewing I set it to agenda style instead of the larger calendar so I could look at individual items. The Gmail reorganizing took about 45 minutes by just going to each email in my inbox that needed filtering or recent trash and using the “set up filtering” button. While doing the filtering I could create labels and nest them on the fly, which sped the process up. Adding the calendars and color coding them took about 10 minutes. It took longer to decide what I wanted to do than to actually do it.

I am also revamping my Evernote and added some custom templates I found online for some categories I’d like to keep in a more orderly fashion: Bible study, budgeting, menu planning, and blogging. (See some overlap there?)
I created new stacks, a nice set of new GTD *Getting Things Done* style tags, and a place to archive all of it set up and humming. I am still using a Bullet Journal as my day planner on paper, but I have been adding fun doodles, colors, and gluing cute pics into it with a glue stick to make it more like a personal planner than just a wee cheapie spiral notebook. I use an Evernote app to photograph the pages to archive those as well.

It might seem like a lot of effort to set up but once it’s done everything becomes automated. I like to work on these sorts of tasks quarterly, when the creeping chaos of information overload starts rearing it’s ugly head. Automation turns that overload into a steady stream of organized information that I can dip into at my leisure, and savor instead of feeling like I am drinking from a firehose.