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Thread: May Paper Challenge: Manage Your Mail

  1. #1
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    Default May Paper Challenge: Manage Your Mail

    How do you manage your mail?

    By "mail" I mean any source or stream of information, paper or electronic, that comes into your home.

    I have many sources:

    --Mail from the mailbox
    --Email in my inbox
    --information I print from the internet
    --flyers or information left on my porch or car or handed to me somewhere
    --school, in the backpacks of both of my kids
    --meetings, various

    The challenge for May is to come up with a management plan for the paper that is entering the house. We can do it!
    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  2. #2
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    Mail from the Mailbox--Part One: The Sort

    Takes place over my recycle bin, and goes like this:
    --open all mail
    --reading I want to do (magazines, newsletters) to the basket by the sofa
    --Action Items--to the Inbox (this is EVERYTHING that requires action on my part, other than just reading.)
    --recycle everything that doesn't require reading or action on my part
    --labels off and through the shredder

    Here's the rule about the catalogs:
    --I keep very few catalogs. Most of my shopping is online, so I only keep a catalog if it is sent out rarely or has some great advantage over the website. Most these days don't.

    Mail from the Mailbox--Deal
    I almost never deal with mail right out of the mailbox. Action items go into the inbox, and I try to deal with them at least 2-3 times a week. I started this recently, and it seems to work quite well for me.
    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  3. #3

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    How do I manage my mail/info? Not well, judging by the piles of paper that keep cropping up around here.

    I do check and deal with email several times a day, but tend not to delete enough and so my inbox has far too much living in it.

    I check the mail for important things, but not well, as they are slipping through. Must implement a system that I can follow. I tend to pile up the mail til I want to deal with it, and that sometimes is far too long.

  4. #4
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    Email is a disorganized mess.

    First issue I need to deal with: mailing lists/electronic flyers and advertisements that clutter my inbox every day.

    Action: make decisions on the status of these mailings. Either unsubscribe, or create rules that make incoming flyers self-file in other folders. I don't want a million folders, but neither do I want one big "dump" folder where I can't find anything.


    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  5. #5

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    I do have some of my regular commercial emails coming in to their own folders, but need to set up folders for a couple more things, and unsubscribe to a few others. So I'm doing something partially right, at least.

  6. #6
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    I got some work on the email system done yesterday. More today. I've unsubscribed to several things that I don't ever make use of, or that are holdovers from another time. I'm also creating rules for incoming mail that routes certain things to their own boxes.
    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  7. #7
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    Continuing to work on the email system in bits and pieces. I'm trying to make progress through proper inbox sorting right now, just a few messages at a time. I've unsubscribed from a number of things as well.

    Next up: taking a look at the papers that come home from meetings.



    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  8. #8
    In, Out, Relax yogamom's Avatar
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    This is a great challenge!

    So far, my email inbox is managable. The folders I set up last year are still working for me. My biggest dilemma is out of side, out of mind so I have to check my action folders daily and actually do something about the mail inside.

    I handle the mail about once a week (except for junk which goes straight to recycling each day). I have a system that works when I use it. I have trouble with filing, shredding and involved paperwork that has no deadline. I'm trying to motivate myself to work on it after lunch each day.

    School papers are usually my biggest problem. I need a home for DD's papers while her room is getting done. She likes to keep everything but I tend to get rid of most of it. I learned from the first child. DS's desktop is always cluttered. I need to keep on him about getting rid of old homework. He has a filing drawer but doesn't use it.

    And then there is the paper that is generated by artwork or drawings or from the computer. We try to conserve but it still gets out of hand. I got an accordian file for DD's papers but I can never seem to use it.

    DH needs a better home for his magazines and catalogs. Actually, he needs to keep less and declutter more often. It's funny. When I declutter my paper, there is barely anything left. When he declutters, I have to ask "Did you even get rid of anything?" The pile looks almost the same. He has gotten a little better after having kids and seeing the mess they generate.

  9. #9
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    I'm continuing to work on email processes, and it's improving. Today's goal is 15 more minutes working on that. I've unsubscribed from a lot, which helps.

    Next is to tackle the paper that comes home from meetings.

    The primary meeting source is PTSA, and I'm working on convincing them that it's necessary to streamline and cut down the paper. Until then, the paper that comes home from the meeting with me falls into a few categories:

    --it has important dates on it that need to go on the calendar
    --it has important action information on it, that must go on my to-do list
    --it is related to my work as treasurer and must be processed/filed
    --it is not anything I really need to keep or refer to, and should probably go straight to recycling
    --it is something I should keep on file

    The key piece here is to take action after a meeting and actually do the sorting of the paper that came home--dates on the calendar, action items on the list, recycling in the bin, files put away and treasurer stuff completed.

    I also need to back up my treasurer files...
    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  10. #10
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    Email continues to improve, a little at a time. It's still not where I want it to be, but every day I have been creating a couple new rules or new folders to keep my inbox managed.

    Regular mail--the system for getting it taken care of is pretty good, once it makes it into the house. Getting it in the house is not very efficient. I should probably make it a kid chore, since I tend to procrastinate it.

    Backpack paper:
    --fast turnaround. Make a decision on it and take whatever action is needed.
    --if it needs to be filed, file it in the "to file" folder.
    --if it has a longer decision time or needs to be entered on the calendar, put it in the inbox.

    Meeting Paper:
    --need to schedule time to process meeting information: file, add to action list, put notes in the proper places, etc. The main issue with this paper is that I come home from meetings, pile the papers, and let them sit.
    --clip papers together with binder clip and put them in the inbox. When I deal with the inbox, then deal with papers appropriately--file, calendar, action.

    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


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