The Quest for Email Ninjahood – I Admit That I Have a Problem

I’m beginning a short series here that, on one hand, I hope to use to educate and on the other hand I hope to expose myself and the flaws I have in how I deal with email.

Email quite simply is a problem. Some people are blessed to have little email traffic so they squander that luxury by creating email by sending chain letters or otherwise. I however, have a much bigger, and much more deadly problem.

At last count, across all my various email addresses, I receive about 900 emails every single day. Much of this is junk email (not necessarily spam, but still very Bacn). Another large chunk is mailing lists for WordPress, or Twitter or various different other mailing lists. I read all of it.

When I was at b5media, Jeremy lectured me (not just me) about email management. We instituted various techniques to get our Blackberry usage under control. It was best practice kind of stuff like turning off notification on all emails except ones with certain tags in the subject line. That worked, kind of. It worked for the more disciplined, but I always just figured that I was looking at my email anyway, no need to worry about stupid little additional things.

I left b5media and my email load did drop significantly. For awhile. Then it picked back up again as I was putting quotes together and talking to prospective clients. Much of my communication shifted from email to Twitter direct messages where potential clients often approached me asking if I could help them with a project or something.

My messaging got to be a real problem and my Blackberry had to be cleared regularly. There was just too much mail hitting it and I really didn’t want to see it all on my Blackberry.

Again, I read all my email. Suddenly though, I realized what people like Jared and Jeremy had been telling me for years: I didn’t need to be seeing every single email on my Blackberry. Not even close.

Over the next few articles, I’m going to tell you some of the things I’ve already done in the past two weeks and rules, literally and figuratively, I’ve put into motion in my email life. Everything that could be done has not been done, however the plan is ongoing and, as I’ve loved the results, I expect you probably will too.

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Job Search: Define Your Goals

A friend of mine just landed a job. Congratulations to her as the job market is shriveling up. I won’t mention her name for fear it could cause complications at her new job but many of you know her.

She hasn’t worked for a company in 17 years, give or take, and has lived quite successfully as a consultant. However, she became enamored by the possibility of helping companies directly in her line of expertise.

She gave some thought to what she wanted to do and wrote this document, republished with her permission.


Overall function
I want to provide strategic direction that integrates new and social media opportunities for a dynamic organization. I see this function as working collaboratively with many departments and functions such as marketing, communications, PR, recruiting and retention, customer service, community management, investor relations and product development.

About new media and social media
I’m defining these terms not just as technology and communication tools, such as blogging, YouTube, Flicker, Twitter, Facebook, podcasts, social bookmarking and social networking, but also as a new realm of communications with a distinctly different culture that includes activities such as ““

    User-generated content

  • Conversations and comments
  • Personal branding and online profiles
  • Personal and personable content
  • Community management
  • De-institutionalizing of information
  • Rating content
  • Tagging
  • Link, links, links “¦ and more links.

My ideal job looks like –

  • Working across a number of departments ““ marketing and communications, sales and business development, HR for recruiting and retention, IT, customer service and PR.
  • Providing strategic direction, internal consulting and project management.
  • Interacting with staff at many levels, including executives, managers, creative teams, technical staff and admin.
  • Designing, implementing and managing projects.
  • Keeping abreast of emerging new media technologies and trends.

I am less interested in work defined by digital media maintenance, e.g.

  • Keeping a website current.
  • Managing online advertising and email campaigns.
  • Handling technical functions of a company’s digital communications.

I am more interested in —

  • Being at the forefront of new media.
  • Identifying opportunities and developing strategies using new media.
  • Designing, implementing and managing projects.
  • Internal education, integrating new media and expanding an organization’s capacity.

Company / Environment
The environment in which I want to work is an organization that —

  • Already has a strong brand, marketing department and PR component.
  • Values creative business strategies supporting both short- and long-term goals.
  • Has leadership that is open and pushing to be an adaptive and dynamic company.
  • Has leaders who know they need to do something different ““ and fast, but may not have any strategy or plans yet.

The type of organization I want to work for is —

  • A large corporation, even a national brand.
  • Military organizations and federal government, or a government contractor tasked with bringing social media functions into the government.
  • A small municipality with robust funding for creative economic and community development.
  • I am less interested in nonprofit organizations.
  • The industry in which I work is of less importance to me than the job function.

Location

  • Company location is not important.
  • Willing to travel.
  • Looking to work in a creative and flexible environment, where technology and online
    communications are robustly supported; meeting space is beautiful, and productivity and
    results are valued over face time.

Notice how she defines exactly what she does and does not want. She knows specifics, down to the detail, on the principles of her employment. She knows that she may not be able to detail specifically which company or organization she wants to but she knows specifically the role she is looking for and what she wants to accomplish.

As unfortunate as this is, the economy is growing worse and more people are looking for work. You may be one of them. Instead of hitting the job boards with dervish-like ferocity, take a day or two alone and in a quiet place and write your own roadmap.

Knowing specifically what your goals are will greatly increase your chances of finding meaningful employment where you can do what you love and love what you do.

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Como Vencer la Sobrecarga Informativa

La sobrecarga informativa es algo a lo que muchos estamos expuestos en Internet. Vamos abriendo artículos para leerlos más tarde y cuando nos damos cuenta tenemos 50 pestañas abiertas en el navegador. Aparte de saber que no las vamos a leer ahorita, todas estas pestañas ocupan memoria y tiempo de procesador, interfiriendo con nuestro trabajo diario.

Luego, mientras esperamos que comience una reunión, que llegue el tren, salga el avión o nos atienda el doctor, quisieramos poder leer algo más que las revistas del siglo pasado disponibles en la sala de espera.

Las herramientas que veremos a continuación te permiten agregar contenido rápidamente a tu biblioteca de lectura y te dan fácil acceso para leerlos despúes, actualizando automáticamente lo que has leído o no.

LaterLoop:

Una nueva herramienta para guardar tus links de lectura que pareciera estar muy bien pensada. De entrada te permite importar tus listas de lectura creadas en otros servicios (por ejemplo, Del.icio.us o Instapaper) así que de una vez le ves la utilidad. Ofrece una extensión para Firefox que te permite guardar artículos con un sólo click o tecla, un bookmarklet e integración con la extensión ScrapBook para lectura fuera de línea. Además, ofrece versiones para iPhone y otros celulares, archivo, ratings, y feeds públicos y privados de tu lista de lectura.

Instapaper:

Usando un bookmarklet permite añadir páginas instantáneamente a tu lista de lectura. Despúes, navegas a la página de Instapaper desde tu navegador o celular y escoges lo que quieres leer. El artículo será automáticamente marcado como leído y retirado de la lista de lectura. Es posible también ver una versión ligera del artículo (haciendo click sobre el botón de “Text”) para evitar bajar el website completo a tu celular. También puedes suscribirte a un feed RSS con tu lista de lectura.

Del.icio.us o Ma.gnolia.com:

A través de un bookmarklet o una extensión para Firefox, puedes usar estos servicios para almacenar links, colocándoles una etiqueta que los identifíque como “LeerDespués” (o como prefieras llamarlos). Luego crea un link que te lleve directamente a tus bookmarks identificados con esa etiqueta y listo: una lista de lectura.

Read it Later:

Una extensión para Firefox que permite guardar copias de links a páginas para leerlas después. Ofrece una función experimental que guarda una copia local del contenido de la página, para poder leerla offline en Firefox. Usa los bookmarks de Firefox, lo que permite sincronizar la lista de lectura con otras computadoras a través de extensiones como Foxmarks o Google Browser Sync.

Y tu, ¿cómo controlas la sobrecarga informativa?

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