Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

3 March 2021

Is There Mystery Meat in Your Inbox?

I picked up canned cat food at the store the other day. Looking at the shelf it always seems there is at least one can, if not a couple, that are in danger of losing their paper labels. I can just imagine getting one of those cans home, then having it sit on the shelf for ages because we don’t know what flavor is inside. Could be tuna, could be salmon, or maybe even chicken. Without a label, all we know is that it’s cat food.

Email subject lines are the same way. We’ve all seen those emails that hit our inbox and say ‘Zoom’ or ‘Deadline’ or even ‘Don’t forget’. At a glance how are we supposed to know what’s actually inside those emails until we take a moment and open them up to look? And every time we go to our email we have to open that message up again because there are no clues as to what is inside. Just like that mystery meat cat food.

That’s why I’m a big proponent of descriptive subject lines in your email.  They allow you to quickly prioritize and categorize an email, letting you get back to your day that much faster. I’m talking about subject lines like ‘Zoom meeting at 7?’ or ‘Miller project deadline extended to Feb’ or even ‘Don’t forget to feed the fish’. See the difference?

I know you can’t control what other people put in their subject lines, that’s true. But who was it that said ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’? Don’t forget either, that you can sometimes change the subject line of an email before you return it. Help avoid the mystery meat emails!

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  • I am guilty of doing either no header, or abbreviated. But only to family that knows ahead what I plan to send ,(I think) But will definately work on being more transparent. Nancy Mahrer

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Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

20 July 2021

You are the solution!

Sometimes the failure isn’t in the system, but in us not using it. Creating new habits takes time and stick-to-it-ness.

I know you can do it!

But if you need help setting up your task management system – Let me know!

Check out dinosandcomics on Instagram, or on the web at dinosandcomics.com

6 July 2021

App Review – Microsoft To Do

Purpose: Microsoft To Do is a to do list and task management app. It’s valuable in that it gives you one place to track all your responsibilities.  An organized to do list keeps things manageable and you focused on what’s important. All that leads to greater peace of mind.

Benefits: If you are part of the Microsoft world and use Outlook, To Do integrates nicely with Outlook tasks. Microsoft To Do uses intelligent analysis to set up a ‘My Day’ list for you based on due dates or similar parameters. You can also create shared lists – such as a grocery list – with others who are using the To Do app. Like most apps these days, Microsoft To Do is cross-platform – working on both Android and iOS devices as well as on the web.

Cost: Free, also comes included as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription

Opinion: Microsoft To Do is a simple task management app. The interface is streamlined, and it is easy to move tasks between lists and add expiration dates. I do like that they have the My Day feature, which automatically adds tasks with today’s due date to the list. On the con side, Microsoft does not have a lot of the bells and whistles that you see with other, often paid, task management apps. However, it is a free app and is a good option for an uncomplicated to do list.

And don’t forget – the best to do app is the one that is handy and one that you actually use. Need help finding that special app or tweaking the to do app you’ve got? Let me know!

Prefer to receive these updates in your inbox? Sign up for the Ilios Digital mailing list!

15 June 2021

Don’t Forget the Milk

Let’s say you’re at the grocery store picking up fruit for tomorrow’s breakfast when you suddenly remember you’ve got to make a dentist appointment for your youngest.

What do you do next?

Do you write the reminder down on your grocery list, hoping you don’t throw it away when you get home? Do you pull up your to-do list app and enter it there? Or do you tuck the thought away in the ‘don’t forget’ corner of your mind and expect to remember it when you’re at home planning out the rest of your week?

Best answer? The to-do list app. It allows you to get the reminder out of your brain and into a trusted system. And the great news is…the app is almost always with you if it is on your phone! This means that no matter when you have a thought, your to-do list app can capture it. Less to worry about when you’re trying to get things done.

Need guidance in setting up your to-do list? Schedule a Discovery Call and we’ll get started!

8 June 2021

Email is a Trap

 https://xkcd.com/2181/
28 May 2021

Fixing Email – Step 5

Need to catch up on How to Fix Email? Check out previous entries in the Ilios Digital Organizing Blog!

The final step to fixing too much email? Just say nothing!

Not every email needs a response. When we’re talking and someone says thank you, of course we say ‘you’re welcome’. But do we really need to say that in follow up on a ‘thank you’ email?  How about  ‘got it’ in response to a reference email?

As always, it depends. Did the sender ask for confirmation? Will it benefit them to know you received it?

Like I’ve said for each step, the most important thing to do is to stop and think before you send an email.  Remember, the solution to too much email might just be in how you handle the messages you send, not in how you handle the messages you receive.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on managing email. Comment below or send me a message!

12 May 2021

Fixing Email – Step 4

Are you just joining us for How to Fix Email? Check out the earlier steps here on my blog!

How many times have you been cc’d on an email and wondered ‘why is this coming to me?’ Or on the flip side, how many times have you sent an email where you cc’d someone, just in case?

Fixing email requires stopping and thinking before you send an email out. This is especially true when you are trying to decide who to include in a group email.  Before you send the message, ask yourself, who really needs to know this information? Are they directly involved in the situation? Directly impacted by it? Will they even care?

And let’s not get started on the close cousin of the cc – the dreaded “reply all” option. Have you been part of one of those email discussions? Clogging up your inbox with stuff you don’t need to know? Just don’t do it. Not unless you’re directly told to include the group in your response.

So what are your next steps? Think before you cc. And watch out for that reply all button!

How’s your email going this week? I’d love to know – drop me a comment below!

Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

20 July 2021

You are the solution!

Sometimes the failure isn’t in the system, but in us not using it. Creating new habits takes time and stick-to-it-ness.

I know you can do it!

But if you need help setting up your task management system – Let me know!

Check out dinosandcomics on Instagram, or on the web at dinosandcomics.com

6 July 2021

App Review – Microsoft To Do

Purpose: Microsoft To Do is a to do list and task management app. It’s valuable in that it gives you one place to track all your responsibilities.  An organized to do list keeps things manageable and you focused on what’s important. All that leads to greater peace of mind.

Benefits: If you are part of the Microsoft world and use Outlook, To Do integrates nicely with Outlook tasks. Microsoft To Do uses intelligent analysis to set up a ‘My Day’ list for you based on due dates or similar parameters. You can also create shared lists – such as a grocery list – with others who are using the To Do app. Like most apps these days, Microsoft To Do is cross-platform – working on both Android and iOS devices as well as on the web.

Cost: Free, also comes included as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription

Opinion: Microsoft To Do is a simple task management app. The interface is streamlined, and it is easy to move tasks between lists and add expiration dates. I do like that they have the My Day feature, which automatically adds tasks with today’s due date to the list. On the con side, Microsoft does not have a lot of the bells and whistles that you see with other, often paid, task management apps. However, it is a free app and is a good option for an uncomplicated to do list.

And don’t forget – the best to do app is the one that is handy and one that you actually use. Need help finding that special app or tweaking the to do app you’ve got? Let me know!

Prefer to receive these updates in your inbox? Sign up for the Ilios Digital mailing list!

15 June 2021

Don’t Forget the Milk

Let’s say you’re at the grocery store picking up fruit for tomorrow’s breakfast when you suddenly remember you’ve got to make a dentist appointment for your youngest.

What do you do next?

Do you write the reminder down on your grocery list, hoping you don’t throw it away when you get home? Do you pull up your to-do list app and enter it there? Or do you tuck the thought away in the ‘don’t forget’ corner of your mind and expect to remember it when you’re at home planning out the rest of your week?

Best answer? The to-do list app. It allows you to get the reminder out of your brain and into a trusted system. And the great news is…the app is almost always with you if it is on your phone! This means that no matter when you have a thought, your to-do list app can capture it. Less to worry about when you’re trying to get things done.

Need guidance in setting up your to-do list? Schedule a Discovery Call and we’ll get started!

8 June 2021

Email is a Trap

 https://xkcd.com/2181/

28 May 2021

Fixing Email – Step 5

Need to catch up on How to Fix Email? Check out previous entries in the Ilios Digital Organizing Blog!

The final step to fixing too much email? Just say nothing!

Not every email needs a response. When we’re talking and someone says thank you, of course we say ‘you’re welcome’. But do we really need to say that in follow up on a ‘thank you’ email?  How about  ‘got it’ in response to a reference email?

As always, it depends. Did the sender ask for confirmation? Will it benefit them to know you received it?

Like I’ve said for each step, the most important thing to do is to stop and think before you send an email.  Remember, the solution to too much email might just be in how you handle the messages you send, not in how you handle the messages you receive.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on managing email. Comment below or send me a message!

12 May 2021

Fixing Email – Step 4

Are you just joining us for How to Fix Email? Check out the earlier steps here on my blog!

How many times have you been cc’d on an email and wondered ‘why is this coming to me?’ Or on the flip side, how many times have you sent an email where you cc’d someone, just in case?

Fixing email requires stopping and thinking before you send an email out. This is especially true when you are trying to decide who to include in a group email.  Before you send the message, ask yourself, who really needs to know this information? Are they directly involved in the situation? Directly impacted by it? Will they even care?

And let’s not get started on the close cousin of the cc – the dreaded “reply all” option. Have you been part of one of those email discussions? Clogging up your inbox with stuff you don’t need to know? Just don’t do it. Not unless you’re directly told to include the group in your response.

So what are your next steps? Think before you cc. And watch out for that reply all button!

How’s your email going this week? I’d love to know – drop me a comment below!