Friday, November 21, 2008

The marching band refused to yield

I'm a librarian, right? So I love to organize things. LOVE it. I love putting everything in it's perfect, little place so that I can find it easily later.

Unfortunately, there are two things that sometimes hinder this love:

1 - The sheer number of things that need to be put away. My room, for example, needs a lot of help right now. I've been busy lately. I know where everything goes, but there's just so much to put away that I don't do it at all. However, when I do get around to it, it makes me happy to know that all my boots are on the boot shelf, and that my "to-read in the near future books" are in the white bookcase, etc. My system isn't perfect, but it works.

2 - Not knowing how to organize it. I haven't touched the stuff on my desk at home in ages, because I don't know what to do with it yet. (Problem #1 also applies here, and it's just getting worse.) This is why I like LC Classification so much. Someone else already created a perfectly detailed organizational system and all I have to figure out is where an item fits into it.

I had an organizational break-through of sorts today. My work email inbox, on Outlook, got a little messy the last month or so, but I reorganized it today. I added some new folders and put away or deleted a lot. Could do more, but it's good enough for now.

My Gmail account, however, was a different story. I had around 3500 messages in my inbox. YIKES! I discovered the Archive button last week sometime, and had done a little damage control that way. I've also been sporadically using labels for quite some time, but that only makes it easier to find things and doesn't clean up my inbox.

This morning, I probably had 15 labels. (Too much? I don't think so. I like specificity, remember?)

Then, Eilonwy taught me about filtering (which I knew about but never did) and retroactive filtering and automatic archiving! And I figured out how to put my labels on the right, so that I don't have to scroll past my gchat list to see what's new.

Now I have 23 labels, and it only took me an hour to go from 3476 messages in my inbox to 2382. This was just staying on my first page of messages and clicking them and applying my newly acquired skills. I had to stop myself (which took me at least ten minutes) just so that I could write this post before heading to rehearsal. I could easily sit here and archive for as long as it took and not even notice the time change. As it is, I now don't have time to eat.

Totally worth it.

Plus, my Gmail now has a ninja theme.

This week rocks.


Giggles said...

Woo Hoo!!

I know exactly what you mean about feeling better when you organize. If things are too cluttered I can't think straight.

Chris said...

Or you could circumvent the web based mail all together and have all your mail pushed directly to a program like Mail or Outlook. I have my gmail set up that way and it auto archives everything as I receive it, and then my mail is available to me whether I'm on the internet or not (assuming that I was at one point connected so it could download to my computer or iPod.

But I agree, having filters and labels automatically apply to messages is a wonderful thing.

AmandaStretch said...

Except that I don't like the Outlook interface. I think it's ugly, and it certainly doesn't feature ninjas.

chosha said...

I was reading that post thinking, uh huh, mm, yep, done that, and then I stopped. HOW DID YOUR GMAIL GET A NINJA THEME? I need the answer to that question immediately!!!

AmandaStretch said...

Gmail's rolling out new themes. They didn't get rolled to everyone at the same time though, so you might not have access to them yet. However, check settings and if you have them, you'll see a "Themes" link on the top.

It's awesome.