Thursday, February 7, 2013

Productivity & email

One of my tips for grad school is to come up with a systematic way to stay organized and consistant. I'm not at ALL tidy or organized in real life, but at work I NEED a good system to keep my research and sanity in line.

Something I quickly learned to get under control as a grad student was my email. Between coworkers, campus-related announcements, department-related announcements, lab-related announcements, as well as personal emails, bacn, spam, etc., it can get overwhelming pretty quick.

Colleen Wainwright of Communicatrix changed my life when I saw this video on how to use the filters function of Gmail to automatically sort incoming mail. This is a few years old, but still super useful.

Show me yer rig! (Gmail filters edition) from communicatrix on Vimeo.

I now have all my email accounts get routed directly to my Gmail account which then auto-filters them into folders. The best part of this system is they are accessibly from anywhere, and if I go off-line for several hours or days, I don't have so many new messages in my inbox demanding attention when I return. Instead, I can easily find where the most important messages are, and then skim over the rest when I have time.

I also love Gmail's advanced search functions to quickly look up an old messages. For example, if I'm trying to find an old email I sent that had an attachment, I search "from:me has:attachement" and it will narrow down to find it easily.

I know Gmail isn't the only service that has these functions (and is likely not the best). Still, when I hear people use Gmail and don't auto-filter their incoming email, I'm just like: "WHAT?? HOW DO YOU LIVE??" And then I punch them in the face. 

The end.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.