One Writer’s Journey

June 1, 2018

5 Minutes a Day: Industry News and Cleaning Out Your Inbox

Keeping up on what is going on can seem really tricky.  Between  blogs, newsletters and tweets, which should you turn to?

Two of my favorites are:

  • PW Children’s Bookshelf which comes out twice a week.  I always read through rights reports and look for book reviews.
  • Shelf Awareness which has two newsletters – one for readers in general and one for those in the publishing industry.

At the retreat, Karen Boss of Charlesbridge recommended a variety of awards lists including the many ALA lists, the Amelia Bloomer book list that focuses on women and science, and the Bank Street College Education Best Books of the Year. Five minutes a day would let you skim a newsletter, read an article you had saved or request a book you’re interested in from the library.

But part of having time to read what you want, is getting rid of what you don’t.  I don’t know about you, but it is just to easy to sign up for this that and other thing all delivered to your inbox.  The next thing that you know you have 250+ e-mails coming into your email every day.  I decided to do something about it.

For the last week, I’ve spent five minutes or less each day unsubscribing.

  • First to go where the places I used to like to shop but haven’t bought from in years.  Or the places that I like but seldom need kitchen ware, furniture or whatever.  I can go to their sites when I need something.
  • Then I got rid of the things that between Facebook, Twitter, blogs and e-mail are duplicates.
  • Next to go were the writing sites I now ignore.  Some used to be good but have declined.  Others lured me in with a “get this for free if you sign up” but I haven’t read them in months.

The number of e-mails I receive a day has dropped by 100 and I’m still deleting.  The more I can get rid of, the more time I have to read what matters.


January 23, 2017

Say Bye Bye to Clutter

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:45 am
Tags: , , ,

electronic-clutterOne of my favorite home and how-to bloggers is Karen.  She will tackle just about anything in her blog, The Art of Doing Stuff.  She’s laid a patio, put in a pond, built a chicken coop and installed shelving with hidden storage.  One of the things that she does every year, and challenges her readers to tackle too is to throw away 50 things.

As Karen puts it, you can “donate, ditch or destroy.”  Just make it be gone.

When I saw her challenge last week, I was in the midst of a shingles outbreak.  It was delightful said no one ever.  I wanted to use this challenge to get my office in shape but, to put it mildly, I was not in the appropriate condition to clean out the closet, get rid of another pile or three on my desk or clean off a book-case.  In fact, I wasn’t doing too much more than sitting on my fanny and napping.

What could I do while sitting around?  As I considered this, I clicked on my e-mail and inadvertently moused over my inbox.  I had 80 unread pieces of e-mail but something like 276 message in the box.  100 seemed like a lot and I had nearly three times that much.  No wonder I was having troubles getting some things done.

So that night, I finished going through my new messages and then re-sorted the old ones by sender. Nine messages from a single yarn vendor.  I quickly disposed of all but 1.  Another 10 back issues of a newsletter that I had saved to remind me to resubscribe.  Once I done it, the messages languished. Click and gone.  Soon I had deleted 25 old messages.

Each day, I read and the new messages.  Then I deleted at least 25 of the old.  My goal is to have fewer than 25 remaining by the end of this week.

The funny thing is that as old messages go, my productivity picks up.  I’m not having to sort through a huge list of messages to find the one piece of information I need for that newsletter article.  And I’m willingly dealing with things instead of sitting on them.

Is electronic clutter slowing you down?  Clean out your in-box.  Unsubscribe from vendors and lists if you regularly delete their messages unread.  Electronic clutter can be just as bad as paper clutter.  And once you get that under control you can tackle some of the things you’ve printed out.  Get rid of 50 pieces of clutter a month and you’ll be surprised by the progress that you’ve made.



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