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.
Determine if the email needs to go into one of my email folders for reference.
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 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
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:
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
Get Cozy This Summer
Check them out right here: https://books.bookfunnel.com/getcozymysteries/5az8utgjp0
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.
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