Inbox: How many is too many?

As I am in my third week of my final semester at Roberts, I look and see all the young kids around, I’m thinking gee what I could accomplish if I was them.  All the time that I could have to complete my work, to check and keep on top of my tasks and organize the important things in my life.  Instead, I’m usually the one sitting in the classroom nodding my head agreeing with the professor telling these “kids” that they have no idea what is ahead of them.  I’m the 38 year old Religion and Philosophy major, single Mom of two teenage kids, youth pastor and Christian education director at a local church, Kiwanis club secretary, oh and about a year ago I decided to homeschool my youngest child.So needless to say there really is not a whole lot of time to do much of anything.

We have been given the task in our Senior Seminar class to write a blog about inboxes.  As I said before there are so many different aspects in my life so there are many different emails.  With each facet of life, there is an inbox to go along with it, five in total right now.  First, I have my two different school emails.  Roberts for communications with Professors, Students, and Administrators for the past three years; MCC for the same reasons as Roberts but only because I had to take my foreign language requirements there (this one should go away after this semester).  I have a work email, where I receive communication from others within the church, outside the church, companies I work with to get ideas to grow my groups and find more effective ways of teaching the Gospel.  Then I have two personal emails, why two?  Well, I have an AOL account…yep from way back when we knew AOL to be America On Line, the “Google” of their time, a time when almost everyone using dial-up had an AOL account.  While my AOL account is mostly junk mail from over the years there are still a couple people who use this account because it was the email they have always used.  As the internet improved and things moved into the Google world and smartphones, I set up a Gmail account so I was able to log into my Android phone and purchase apps, this is where I receive mostly personal and Kiwanis emails currently.


The question I find myself asking now while in this class and looking at the David Allen book Getting Things Done: the art of stress-free productivity (GTD). I realize I really need to consolidate my emails.  I need to find a stress-free way to get things done, I need to organize but other than combining my AOL and Gmail accounts and closing the other, probably the AOL.  But will that really help me organize my life though my inboxes?  Probably not, since I still have to have the work and school emails along with my personal emails.


What I have found is that my smartphone has the ability to bring all of my inboxes into one application that being my Gmail email app.  I have the option to view all of my multiple email accounts at once. This is nice, because as we all know junk mail comes in all day long, so when I have a moment I am able to look at them all and run through and delete all the junk.  I can also see the important emails that have come in, maybe a change in schedule for class, or an urgent to-do from work or Kiwanis.  Whatever needs to be done I can see it all in one place.  From there, although I have not yet done so, I am able to place emails into folders and separate the important from the unimportant and the to-dos from the references.  Thank you Google, for making my life a little less chaotic and consolidating my life into one simple Inbox!


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