Do I Really Need (to Manage My) Email? Follow-up

Thanks to those who were able to make it in to the Google Hangout version of my talk today.  Lots of good questions and comments about what works and what concerns you about using email as a tool for communicating with students (and others).

Here is the Prezi I used in the first half of the talk.  It’s fairly basic, but if you missed the talk entirely, it can give you some of the main points.

If you’re interested in learning more about GTD, Inbox Zero, or the Trusted Trio methods of email management, hit those links where you’ll find some short explanatory videos that lay out each method and their similarities. As always, there’s also plenty more out there that a little googling can help you unearth.

I also mentioned Boomerang, Better Gmail, and Gmail Meter, so if you’re interested in any of those, by all means, check them out.  Again, they’re aimed squarely at Gmail, but I do recommend working it into your routine if you can.

Speaking of that, I said I’d share with you my own routine, but time and my laptop battery life colluded against it, so it makes sense to share it here.  I operate day-to-day on a modified version of Inbox Zero, at least in principle: I shoot to clean out my inbox every time I open it, I do right now everything I can, I tend to write much shorter responses as I showed you, and I’m fairly ruthless about archiving old things.

A couple of things I also do that aren’t related Inbox Zero but are helpful to me:

  • I use the star function in Gmail (like flagging in Outlook) as a kind of “hold” folder, sloughing off emails that will take a while to deal with OR that I know I’ll need for reference in getting other work done that I can’t do right now.
  • I have my AC email forwarded to my gmail, so the two accounts are blended together seamlessly on my end.  This means I never have to use an app other than Gmail for my email.
  • I manage a few other Gmail accounts as well – one for the Johnson Center ( and one for the Media Studies program ( This allows me to move files around, post things, and send out messages to folks using those different “voices.” I do not have these forwarded to my main account, as I use them relatively infrequently, but I could very easily do that as well.

There are probably other elements of my procedure that I’m not thinking of at the moment or that I intended to share in the talk today but did not.  Feel free to drop a note, question, or idea in the comments. 🙂