On being "connected."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Do you feel as overwhelmed by your email inbox as I do? Between Etsy convos and other business emails + "catch up" emails from friends and family + blog comments + Formspring questions + Facebook messages, the emails pile up faster than I can stay on top of them and I allow myself to feel buried and defeated. So often, I don't respond. At least not in a timely matter. And then I feel guilty on top of all of it. It doesn't help that I can get email alerts on my phone, so I could literally check them multiple times an hour and become even more overwhelmed and distracted.

This calls for some action.

If you're feeling at all like I do, I highly recommend these two articles:
Email: Fail (A Confession and Manifesto) by Simple Mom
Managing your Email by Gussy Sews

My favorite takeaway points:
1. Check your email twice a day. Yep, that's it. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon. I'm implementing this today.
2. Set up canned responses (and add personalizations to them) that can answer the same frequently asked questions. Side note: As a blogger, I get the same questions. Over. And. Over. Please, for the sake of all bloggers everywhere, use the "search bar" in the top left corner of the page to look for an answer to your question before you send a one line email that requires a three paragraph response. (Or search through previous Formspring questions... I get about the same 3 or 4 questions over and over again that I've already answered in length). It will keep us all a little more sane! :) I actually love getting emails from readers; it's just this aspect that's a little hard for me sometimes.
3. Use a five-sentence limit. I love this approach that encourages a timely, shorter response instead of a  more prolific response that may not ever get written.

Overall, I really believe managing this aspect of my daily life is pleasing to the Lord because I can set up healthy boundaries that help me to focus on more important tasks. When I think about nursing my baby boy and spending quality time with him in the coming weeks, I don't want to regret that I always have my phone in hand, becoming overwhelmed by the emails pouring in, and missing those precious, fleeting moments with my baby.

In short, I love what Simple Mom says at the end of her article, and I hope I can adopt this mentality in my own life:
"Email won't ever depart my life, and I'm awfully glad I have access to this useful, free tool. But it's time to give it the rightful place it deserves: just one of several things I do in a productive day. It's not my master."

Amen and amen.

Any tips you have on managing email? I'd love to hear!


  1. Love this thought. And that graphic perfectly describes it. Need to pray about implementing in my life too.

    80% of emails I get daily are from money saving blogs I follow. One thing I've heard can help manage those if you are really into that is creating a separate email address just for subscribing to those blogs, and checking that once/twice a day.

  2. I absolutely love what I have seen (so far) of your blog here!
    The moment I saw this topic on your page a short article came to my mind which I read only a few days ago.


    Hope it helps!
    God bless!

    1. Thanks! And that's so helpful... some great thoughts on keeping it under control. :)

  3. I wish I had your problem of getting to many emails. You should be thankful for the family and friends that care about you enough to send you the emails. You could be like me and have neither. There are worse things in life to complain about.

    1. Definitely not what I was trying to convey with this post... Sorry if it came across that way!

    2. Whitney- don't let that last post get to you. I know I'd have the tendency to let something so short from a complete stranger get to me. It's not worth it though! Your post was completely acceptable and something a lot of people can identify with. I know you have a very positive outlook on life and that your intentions were not of complaining! :)

      Hope you have a great day! Can't wait to meet your sweet boy through pictures!


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