Monday, July 4, 2022

Empty Your Mind & Fill Up Your Trello Board

By Maureen Bonatch

Clutter causes me stress. This often includes the clutter that I can’t see, which is the rapidly-filling email box and the endless to-do list on various sticky notes. Some hastily written and illegible when I refer to them later…or the to-do list  in my mind that tends to start scrolling when I’m trying to go to sleep at night

Empty that Email Box

I, like most people, have a never-ending number of emails and feel compelled to continuously check, and reduce that bulging inbox. But like that weed overtaking my front lawn, it's often hard to wrangle those emails into submission. 

Spending a little time organizing my email means more time for what I want to do (like read books!), and less mental stress.

Get Rid of the Clutter

I love many of the newsletters that I get. But some no longer interest me, or I can’t remember why  I subscribed. 

  • Unsubscribe, or use Unroll me, to eliminate newsletters that no longer interest you

Organize the Clutter

Often I have emails that I want to read but don’t have time now, or they are time-limited like coupons I want to save, or upcoming events.

  • Organize your emails with folders to get your inbox to zero

  • If your email box is really full, try alternating sorting emails by starred, sender, subject etc. to quickly reduce and prioritize emails

I did this for years and have many, many folders. Which means this might not be the only plan for people like me who like to save a lot of things to look at later, or need quick reference for some pages ongoing. That’s why I started using Trello.

Taking it Outside the Email Box

Trello is one of many organizational tools, which are often referred to as task managers. A few  others include Asana, Airtable, Calendly and more. Many of them have free plans, which is what I currently use with Trello.

Here’s how I organized my emails for easy reference later and empty out my email box.

  1. Determine if the email needs to go into one of my email folders for reference.

  2. If it’s a link to an article, a tool, podcast blog or site that I may use frequently or read later then go to my Trello board.

My Boards

  • My Kanban (or To Do) List

    • What I need to Do (in a defined timeframe or this list would be endless)

    • What I’m Doing this Week

    • What’s Done

    •  Upcoming or future tasks

  • Courses and Education where I link:

    • Online Courses I’ve bought and have done, or am doing 

    • Educational or reference Books I’ve read, or am reading (because my Kindle is also overwhelmed with info)

    • Podcasts: I want to listen to or have listened to

  • Writing Resources where I link:

    • Resources

    • Author Tools 

    • Website information

    • And more on creating my newsletter, book prep etc.

I have a few other Boards for my books, and author brand, but those don’t necessarily relate to my email box.

I’d Rather Be Reading 

Because who wants to spend their free time going through emails, or obsessing over their To-Do list? Not me! Organizing your emails and to-do lists can give you more time for things you really want to do, like reading.

Here are some books to fill your TBR.

Free Cozy Mysteries

Right here:

Get Cozy This Summer

Check them out right here:

How Do You Stay Organized?

Just a small-town girl, Maureen Bonatch leads a double life. She lives in a magical world as a novelist, and as a nurse leader in reality. Maureen’s first novella was a paranormal romance published when blogs were a new-fangled thing. She’s since changed her focus to writing paranormal cozy mysteries as M.L. Bonatch and urban fantasy as Maureen Bonatch. 

While she’s not busy writing or doing nurse-things, she’s a mom to her twin daughters, bicycling in the beautiful woods of PA with her hubby, doing the bidding of a feisty Shih Tzu, and dancing as much as possible. She believes music can be paired with every mood, laughter is contagious, and that caffeine and wine are essential for survival.

 Follow M.L. Bonatch all through cyberspace! 

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Diane Burton said...

Great post, Maureen. I try to keep my email organized. I have folders within folders for posts I want/need to save. I'm going to check out Trello. Thanks for sharing. Happy 4th to you!

Jessica E. Subject said...

Great tips! I have my inbox fairly organized. But there are some unnecessary folders that I need to go through and delete. Love my to do lists though!

Tena Stetler said...

Wow Maureen, great article! I’ll have to try Trello, my email is out of control, especially after coming back from camping! Thanks for sharing!

Marilyn Barr said...

I love Trello! I just started using the program to write a non-fiction textbook and it makes organizing the data so much easier. I've watched a few YouTube videos on writing fiction series using Trello and I want to try it. Great post.

Keri Kruspe said...

I never knew there were apps to organize my emails. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for the tip Maureen!

Maureen said...

Thanks for stopping by, and hope that Trello is as helpful for you as it is for me.