I was talking with one of my friends about ways to not let social media take over your life and we came up with…zilch. My solution lately has been to go pretty much offline, which I think we can all agree is a brilliant move for a blogger, but which isn’t working because, well, I’m a blogger. When I’m with Alice, though, I want to give her my full attention – I’m already grocery listing and distracted by pretty things – so I’ve been trying to find a middle ground where I get my job done without turning, for example, into the mom whose kid tries on an aisle of lipstick while she’s on her phone tweeting about her swollen ankles. I offer this merely as an example, which has nothing to do with the fact I know Alice can rock Maybelline’s Ravishing Rouge like nobody’s business.
The one place where I have made strides is with my inbox. One day I realized having 3,127 emails in your inbox is a teensy bit overwhelming and, perhaps, not the most effective way of managing communications. I kept reading about this service called SaneBox, which invokes such passion people claim “to want to marry it.” I was skeptical (I already have a pretty hot husband) but it’s free to try so why not? A month into it and, let’s just say, I’ve started thinking about how many carats I’d like.
It is AWESOME. Basically, it’s like a really smart assistant for your inbox. It goes through your emails (magically, obviously) and filters them into different folders based on how important it thinks they are. If they’re from an actual person, they’ll stay in your inbox, otherwise, they filter into a SaneLater folder for you to read later or a SaneNews folder so you can glance at your newsletters at once. Then once a day (or however often you set it up) they send you a compilation of all your emails so you can quickly look them over and move anything important to your inbox or bulk delete.
At first I was terrified I’d miss an important email, but, you guys, I didn’t miss anything. Because turns out that out of the bazillion emails I get a day, I actually only care about a fraction of them; the rest were draining what little mental energy I have left and taking time away from the present. I’ll admit, it’s totally disconcerting at first to check your email and only see a couple new ones rather than the hundreds or so I would have had before (no ones loves me!), but it’s also been a reality check for how I spend my time. It’s way easier to go through all my newsletters, Facebook and Twitter notifications, and – fine – sale emails and bulk delete or act on them at once rather than one by one as they come in. I feel a lot less important, but am getting over it, because knowing about the latest Fab.com sale probably isn’t the best way to get a hit of self-esteem, am I right?
Once a week they also send an email that outlines how much time you save by using their service; last week they calculated I saved over 4.5 hours, which I obviously put to good use scrubbing the kitchen and bonding with my daughter (ie. online shopping and napping). One of these weeks I’m going to use it for something really important like working out world peace or learning how to tweet while sleeping…
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