3 Simple Steps to Manage and Cut Down on Email

You probably remember the days when you loved email. I do. When I was in college, I had 4 really good guy friends and we’d send out this long, massive, email updates about what was going on with our lives, sharing about our ups and downs, and about the girls we were dating (or wanted to date). I loved getting email.

But we all know those days are long-gone.

While I still use email for some personal correspondence, that has largely been replaced by texting, Twitter and Facebook. Now, my email Inbox has simply become a list of things requiring my attention to do. I forget who it was, but I heard someone describe your email Inbox as your TODO list that other people get to make for you.

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How to Get Work Done and Stay Connected

3It’s 4.30pm on Saturday and I just finally finished my sermon. There are probably a variety of reasons for this – one of which simply had to do with writer’s block this week. But sometimes I wonder if there is a direct correlation between my lack of productivity and my amount of engagement with social networking and social media.

I love Twitter and Facebook. I get them, see their benefits and importance in my own life. I love the connections and networking that happens through these sites, the way we can stay in touch with so many people and keep updated with people we care about or are interested in. I think there are tremendous benefits for ministry and the ability to create another avenue for people to connect and get to know one another.

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Creating a Moleskine PDA

Click the image to enlarge

I love organizing things – creating more organization in my life. When I was in Idaho, I used an old Palm Pilot for awhile, and then used a Sony CLIÉ for awhile. So I love to be organized and I also love the newest tech gadgets. However, there is a movement of folks who are striving to get back to a paper-based system, one that helps enable creativity for some. It’s based on a book called Getting Things Done and the movement is called GTD. Many people have “hacked” Moleskines to be their GTD-devices, their PDAs. My friend Wess wrote about how he organized his Student GTD version here and I was intrigued. I love Moleskines – I have a few, and I use a couple of the super-thin ones for notes sometimes, but it would be nice to have it all in one place.

To be honest, after reading this and this, I became more confused. It seems there is definitely a learning curve within this community – some lingo that is required. But Wess encouraged me to just keep on keepin’ on and I put together a little GTD Moleskine of my own (pictured above). You can see what supplies I used here – but it did include my favorite pen, the Zebra F-402.

Sarah thinks I’ll last maybe 3 weeks using this system – I’m giving myself till the end of the semester. I think I can do it – and hopefully it will help me stay a bit more organized.