As SLPs we have so much “information” to manage. I’m on a continuous quest to streamline those repetitive daily tasks, so email is on my radar. Lately, it just seems like another thing to do.
Can you relate? Plus most of us have more than one email address. I figured there had to be a better way. So I did what a good SLP always does…started gathering data.
I reached out to my Speech Spotlight friends to see if they were having the same problem and to get some insight into how they manage their email inboxes. Here’s what they had to say:
“I check my inbox multiple times a day because I cannot stand that little red circle on my iPhone! I have folders for emails I need to keep for future reference and will spend an hour or so each week cleaning the inbox by deleting or adding to a folder. I have three accounts: one for personal, one for my practice and one for blogging and newsletters.”~ Ashley Gibson Bonkofsky
” Once I had two emails going, I totally lost it with my private one and got a notice that I had no more storage left. I had to learn to mass delete, figuring if I hadn’t read any of it in ages, it was too late already. I try to keep better track of my business one. I find the message # on my phone annoying, so I used to keep up with it every few days, but it’s been hectic this summer and that is sliding, too. When it hits over 30 messages, I try to clean it up. I put messages in folders, open up links I want to read and bookmark them, and I also unsubscribe a lot.”~ Linda Look
“One thing I have learned is never check your school email late in the evening. When I do, I start thinking about this situation or that task that needs finishing. It invades my brain, and keeps me from letting down and getting some rest! I check school e-mails first thing in the morning, at lunch (which is always eaten hunched over my computer), and before I leave for the day. If there is anything more urgent, someone will call! I usually check personal emails once a day after school.”~Lisette Edgar
“I check my emails a few times a day during work hours. I don’t check my emails once I leave for home. I’m trying for more work-life balance (failing horribly at the moment). I have lots of folders, for example I’ll have a folder for each child on my caseload and when I receive or send an email to that family, it goes into a folder. I also am working in a few different programs this year and so each program also has it’s own folder. If it is an urgent email but I can’t respond right away I mark it as unread so that it is still highlighted. That way I know I still have to deal with it. I delete any emails that I feel aren’t important to keep (e.g. birthday plans).” ~ Collette Tovee
“I’m trying to create folders to organize my emails. My best tip is to think about broad categories and create labels or folders for them. For example, I have a folder called “Events” where I put different invitations (5Ks, CEU opportunities, etc). I also have a “Speech” folder and a “Family” folder. I star everything that requires me to pay something so I got back to it. I try to process email once a day, usually at night (checking it briefly throughout the day).”~ Sarah Wu
“I have 3 different email accounts that I have to check often. I use a color coded flagging system to stay organized with important emails. Ones to reply to, ones with business expenses, things to schedule, etc. It helps!” ~ Ashley Douglas Rossi
“I use 2 different emails (one personal and one business). I make sure that all of my unread messages are listed at the top. Also, I make use of the filters and pretty much filter every email into a designated folder.”~Jennifer Bradley
Do you see a common theme? I’d say folders are pretty huge!
Honestly, I haven’t been very good with folders in the past. I think I make too many of them and I forget what I put where. But with so many people using them, there must be something to it.
In the next few days, I’m going to dive even deeper into this subject on my blog Beautiful Speech Life. Check there soon for more details.
Until then, I’d love to hear from you! What are your email secrets?