This week, I got a nasty surprise.
My calendar – my lifeline to the world that holds all things virtual book tour – vanished.
On Friday, it sat, cozy and snug on my home office desk. By Monday morning, it was gone. I was frantic. November is a busy month at Pop Syndicate with author virtual book tour slots through Thanksgiving – all for our special recipe month promotion. I got behind and only had the first week of November completely posted. I’d planned on using Monday to finish up the month.
A frantic search of my work area, under my bed, in closets and suitcases and work bags I haven’t used in months proved unfruitful. I was between crying and killing the likely person who moved it.
After a few deep breaths that did nothing to calm me, I logged into Gmail to search for what I could find. Perhaps with a little luck I could piece together the tour by searching emails, I thought. If only I could remember the names of each author who was booked!
With more than 800 new messages in my Inbox and thousands more already read, I nearly hyperventilated – until I saw a long-forgotten label titled, "Recipe Week." I clicked it and discovered I’d been smart enough to label eight of the 13 bookings.
After a little more digging, I remembered one author booked via Twitter and another’s publicist was sending entries, so that left just three entries to find.
It took nearly the entire morning – and most of my energy for the day – to search for this blasted calendar and the entries. My hide was saved just because I used a free organizing feature in my email platform – something I’d always done when I worked in a cubicle, but had become lax on while working from home.
This brought home my desperate need to organize my Inbox – a problem that strikes just about everyone who uses the Internet to communicate.
If you deal with a large bulk of email, consider labeling them as they come in. Better yet, create groups that will automatically send emails to certain folders when they arrive.
If I’d stuck with the immediate organizing principles I had in Cubicleland, I would have either labeled the emails as they came in, put them in a folder, posted event-centered e-mails to Google calendar, or posted the information to check them off the To Do list. (Ironically, I don’t use an electronic device for the scheduling function because I don’t trust them not to lose the information.)
Trust me: Organizing your electronic mailbox will save you time – and panic – in the future. How do you organize your Inbox?
Here are a few articles about how to organize the Inbox:
10 Tips for Organizing Your E-mail (Web Worker Daily)
7 Ways to Organize Your E-mail (Microsoft)0