Be an Inbox Hero with Inbox Zero!
Check out any article on email management and you’ll see the phrase ‘Inbox Zero’. Although it’s a been a concept for many years, the current definition explains that having zero emails in your inbox is a sign of success. But did you know that wasn’t the original intent? Merlin Mann, the guy behind Inbox Zero, didn’t see the zero as a reference to the number of messages in an inbox, but “the amount of time an employee’s brain is in his inbox”.
So how do you go about spending less time in your inbox? Especially when your unread messages are climbing past triple digits.
Although we often think of digital disasters as being a software failure, aka the blue screen of death, there are several other ways we put our digital devices (where our data lives) at risk. These include physical damage from fire/flood/accidental destruction, theft, and malware or a virus. What can you do to keep your valuable information safe?
Those words stop us in our tracks. We frown and cross our arms. Windows 8.1 looks weird. There isn’t a Start button. Why can’t we close a program? We just don’t like it and it’s too much work to figure out something so radically different.
How often have you saved a file – a document, a photo, a music clip – then promptly lost track of where exactly it went? Or maybe you are trying to find that Excel report you created for last year’s medical expenses. Depending on your organizing system, just looking in folders and on your desktop might not do the trick.
Have you considered using tags as another way to organize your digital files? This is a method of using keywords or descriptive words to label a document. While it might be easy to put all documents and files relating to your upcoming vacation in the same folder. But what if some of those documents also relate to a business trip? It is usually not advisable for a document to ‘live’ in more than one place.
This is where tags can come in handy. Another word for tags is keywords.
A real life example would involve my music collection. I have mp3’s of music featured in the show Supernatural. Originally, all this music lived in the folder called ‘Supernatural Music’. However, I ran into trouble when I merged folders with my husband who organizes his music by performer. It made sense to change my set up, however, I knew that if I lost my ‘Supernatural Music’ folder, I would never remember all the songs that belonged there. So first, I tagged each mp3 with the keyword ‘Supernatural Music’, then I moved those songs into their appropriate performer folders. Now when I want to listen to music from Supernatural, I can just search by ‘Supernatural’ and all those tagged files should show up.
Ready to try it out yourself?
|There are two ways you can attach tags to a document:
|1. While you are creating the file. In most programs (Word, Excel etc.) once you have a document open you go to the ‘File’ menu choice, then select ‘Properties’ from the options. This displays a pop up window which allows you to add author name, title, comments, and keywords. You would enter the keywords of choice, then ‘Ok’ which takes you back to your document. On a Mac, you would enter your tag choices under ‘Comments’.
|2. You can also attach tags to a document after you have created it – say the next day, next week, etc. To add tags in this manner, you find the file you are interested in tagging. Right click the file, which will bring up a short options list. Again, go to ‘Properties’, then ‘Details’, then add your keywords. On a Mac, you would again right click the file, select ‘Get Info’, then add your keywords under ‘Spotlight Comments’.
Tags are a great way of organizing when you have items that fit in ‘more than one bucket’. By tagging a file, you can store it in one place, but access it in a variety of ways.
Questions? As always, just give us a call!
Are you looking for easy to understand explanations about tech topics like The Dangers of Unsecured Wi-Fi or What is RSS?? Check out the Tech Talker podcast from the folks at Quick and Dirty Tips.
You can subscribe to the audio version via iTunes or another Podcast app, listen to it on the website, or read the transcript on the website. I’ve found several episodes that helped me understand something tech a little bit better. The best part is, most episodes are less than 10 minutes long! This makes them perfect to listen to while you start dinner or wait for the kids to get out of school.
If you’ve got a few minutes to spare…or need something new to keep you company on the treadmill…check them out! You never know what you will learn!
Interested in more hands on work? Check out our Get Started page!