HowTo – Managing Your Contacts To Save Time And Reduce Stress

Filed under: Site Management

Between Work and Fun the number of contacts that you maintain can leave you with no time for yourself.

Here are a few tips you can use to manage how you communicate and receive information.

It is difficult to say how many email accounts you should have but there are ways to use them that will reduce your clutter.

First and most important is to have a couple garbage email accounts. Use these accounts to signup for special offers or accounts that are not important.  Other then activation emails or initial links everything that is sent to these accounts is useless garbage.

Next you want to setup folders in your Email software to sort incoming mail by account. Each account should have its own folder and hopefully when you do a send receive your software should highlight folders that have new mail. Outlook express does this and most people should have it.

Keeping mail on a server is a bad idea if you have the option of Pop3 access retrieve your mail to your local computer and delete whatever is on the server. If you use webmail when you are away from a computer you trust then clean up after yourself. Company email is different you usually can not delete your mail on the server and that will allow you to access it from home.

Apply spam filters to catch garbage mail. Most email systems will have software on the server but you should apply your own rules in your mail reading software.

Now that you have your mail and it is sorted into folders you can address it by priority. Work and purchases come first then other things down the line.

Use Forwarding
Almost all email services will allow you to forward and delete mail on an account.  This is a great idea if you need to manage a number of contact email accounts.  This will drop all the email of a certain type into a single final email account that you can sort and read as you want.

For instance a friend of mine runs about 70 websites and they all have contact forms that post to info@domain since 90% of the email that gets sent to those addresses is not something that has to do with managing his work or making a profit he forwards them all to one account that he can read after his important work is done.

Social Networks
Pretty much the same thing as with your email. Although you may have a number of accounts you want to sort them by priority.  Turn off settings for when people friend you or reply to your comments you don’t need emails about these things and you will see them in your account if and when you ever login.

Unsubscribe or Canceling Accounts
Although clicking unsubscribe to a spam email is just telling the idiot at the other end that this is a live email account please send me more spam you should not shy away from deleting old accounts.

Some services won’t let you shutdown your account and if thats the problem just go in and turn off all the alerts and remove your content. Maybe post a link to your other location to forward people.

For Business Owners
If you have a website and you constantly get the same question such as: I see you use US Mail can you send my item by some other service…

Place those answers on your website and put them in areas where people will see them.

This is basically consumer product feedback that wastes your and your visitors time.  If they don’t receive an answer in a short period of time then they will just hit the next link on their google search and you have lost a customer and if you spend all day answering these questions even if you copy paste the info then you are losing money and time.

Final Note
Use the tools you have creatively and always take a step back once in a while to examine where your least profitable most time consuming problems are.

Once you find the problem then you can address it through automation or even just a simple notice on your site…. but trying to hammer your way through problems never works out in the end.

The moment you start to get frustrated with the amount of crap that is continuously piling up is the time to wake up, take a moment and find a way to address it.

Don’t wait address it right then.

This way you can complete your current work the old way while your solution works in the background eliminating new problems or emails or spam or whatever from comming in at you.

Think of it like Pluging the leak in the boat first and then continuing the bailing out later. Because you get no where, but crazy, if all you do is sit there with a cup knowing more is coming your way and it will never end.