Wisdom in My Inbox

I don’t know how you manage yours, but the state of my inbox often mirrors the state of my fridge.  It all revolves around your definition of fresh.  I don’t always often send fresh responses the way I’d like to.  Periodically I take time and write dozens of apologetic notes:  supplying addresses needed a month ago, the name of the book I think the writer wanted, thanking someone for a great quote, asking a question, responding to a line that I really liked…you know!

The good part of this pathetic non-system is that I get to ponder all the good stuff more than once.  Here are a few things I copied into my journal, all from normal, everyday, unpublished friends.

Staying connected to people has a price.
That price is walking beside them and helping shoulder the burdens they carry.  Loving them, laughing with them, encouraging them, carying with them, praying for them, caring about them…whatever it takes.   ~ MAS

I have to say that I am enjoying growing old.  It’s wonderful to grow old with a man you are in love with – to watch children mature, not just physically but spiritually, desiring to give Christ preeminence in their lives. I’m thankful for everyone’s health and safety and for all the numerous blessings I enjoy.    ~ MDC

The Lord kindly made up for being so far from my British blood family by giving me “friends of my right hand” as Madeleine L’Engle would say.    ~ FP

Aren’t those wise words?

Do you use folders to separate your emails by sender?  Years ago, my son took one look at my inbox and said, “Mom, you NEED folders” and proceeded to set them up for me.  I don’t put an email into a separate folder until no further action is needed. 

Occasionally, when I get just plain weird, I sort through my Sent folder, deleting trivial emails and putting other ones in folders too.  That way emails sent and received to the same person are all together.  I’ve never had zero emails in my Inbox and Sent folder, which would be the apex of organization.  For one moment.  It’s a happy thought.

What’s your email system? 


12 thoughts on “Wisdom in My Inbox

  1. Hi Carol, long time, no visit — sorry! I enjoyed this post (use folders — I’m a bit OCD), and I love your new profile photo — it captures your effervescence and passion for living  Blessings my friend, Laurie

  2. Very interesting analogy…… since I’m very particular about my refrigerator and the way leftovers are packaged.  I do not have folders for my emails.  But I know someone who does.  She is an organizational wizard, which means that not only can she find what she’s looking for in her filing system, but that someone else could, too.  Furthermore, she can tell you what you said on a certain occasion, so I have to remember to be careful :)On the contrary, only *I* know where to locate a certain item in my system and am thankful for the ABC sort function.

  3. My administrative filing system is spelled with the letter p (i.e piling system)  … fridge: sort of cleaned & tidied, mostly empty (except for canning experiments that flopped), and a bottle of celery stalks & leaves  in water (my flower arrangement in the fridge …. tempus fugit

  4. Email system?  Surely you jest!Normally, I’m organized in every other area of my life, but I cannot stay on top of my email.  I receive at least 100 a day from a homeschooling list I’m on, from my students (I teach on-line), and from friends and family, including my own immediate family.  I have folders, but I rarely use them effectively.  Alas.

  5. Back to mention my snail mail filing system:On the short walk back to the house from the mailbox, I sort through the stack.  As I enter the garage, I throw bulk mail flyers, unsolicitied catalogs, and junk in the garbage can; then as I approach the back door, I destroy sensitive unsolicited mail (credit card stuff) in the shredder; finally as I enter the house through the back door, I deliver first class *real* mail to six little inboxes on the kitchen counter.All done! No mess đŸ™‚

  6. @sonskyn – Sonya, this made me laugh.  We have talked about “pile people” for ages in our family.  My father was a pile person.  Huge staggering piles of papers, books, magazines…and yet he knew where everything was and could locate it in a minute.  I’m working on my fridge today…@hiddenart – Wow.  Very deliberate and tidy.  That’s a good system. 

  7. Just to make you feel better, today I had a new stove/oven installed. I got home just as they were putting it in, and the owner was there. He chided me for having too much paperwork on my kitchen table. “It’s a fire hazard, ya know,” he said. I said, “I don’t think it’s a fire hazard. What makes you think that?” “Well,” he replied, “my son’s a lieutenant in the ….. ….. fire department.” (This, as all men know, makes him an expert, by osmosis, I suppose). “Well, you might ask him if he thinks that’s a fire hazard, because I don’t,” I replied in my best icy and sure-of-myself voice. Yes, there are certain people with whom I have to get in the last word, just because they’re pulling the “me-man-you-dumb-woman” routine on me.

  8. My sister coined the “Jersey System”: Drop a (metaphorical) atomic bomb.  Whoever’s left after the dust settles is your true friend. Less friends, less email, no need for folders.  Srsly, you are truly blessed!  Probably comes with being willing and able to pay the price mentioned in your post (Philippians 4:13 payment plan)!

  9. We’re supposed to have a system?  This was not mentioned in the owner’s manual that came with the computer, or the ISP info.  (Wait…maybe it was, but I’ve never read the owner’s manual or all that techno info.)I answer emails promptly, and even delete as I answer, saving important emails to some folder that I’ll never remember later and have to sort through if I need that email again (which, as it happens, is like NEVER) so I suppose that’s my system.  Semi-organized by default.  I used to work an office job and had this report that came out daily.  It was all the things that I’d listed as probably being done by that date, and if they made the Tickler Report (“The Tick”, and in more ways than one!) it meant they needed yet more attention.  I came to loathe The Tick, so I think my In/Out and all other email folders tend to be in rebellion against that traumatic time of my life. 

  10. So glad you asked.I have different email accounts for my different hats.  They all feed (are automatically fowarded) into one gMail account.  As they arrive, they are automatically tagged (thanks to gMail’s filtering abilities) based on where they came from.Emails arriving on my work account are tagged “School”Emails arriving on my friends & family account are tagged “Personal”Emails arriving on my political account are tagged “GOP”Within each I have a few more filters, i.e. Adoption Listserves are tagged “Adoption” and so forth.So, I have a really full gmail inbox which I rarely open, because I have everything in it forwarded to yet another account which I read on my iTouch.  I read emails as they arrive, and either delete them immediately if nothing is needed of me or leave in the Inbox if I need to take action.In the evening, I sit down with my ‘puter and my iTouch and look at what is left in the inbox.  I find the corresponding email in my mongo gmail account and tag it “TASK”, then I delete it from the iTouch inbox.  That’s all I do.  Just Tag it in one place and delete it in the other.  This keeps my portable email lean and quick to load and I don’t get sucked into responding to the first one I see when there are other, more pressing ones, awaiting.Then, when I have time, I open my mongo file and click on TASK.  All the tasks awaiting me are assembled for me.  I can easily scan them and see which is most urgent or most tardy or whatever.  As I complete the task, I remove the TASK tag and that email reverts to is original folder in case I need it later.And if ever I need to find an email, I just click on the corresponding tag and can usually find it right away.So basically, I let automatic filters do my filing for me. I read email on my iTouch and I type email once-a-day on my big computer.:: Adventures In Daily Living ::

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