I struggle every day (and have for a long time) with how to file emails. I am afraid to delete messages that I might need in the future. When I get really ambitious, or fed up with my lack of organizational skills, I create seemingly meaningful folders in my inbox. Sure, that works fine the first day, but the next day, the categories I've created either make no sense or I can't remember where I put an email.
Now let's carry this over to organizing contacts in my email, Google reader, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Sheez, this gets tricky. I've been to workshops on "how to organize your life". Usually they say, "find a system that works for you". Well, if I could figure out a system, maybe it would work. What I do know is that by organizing and categorizing my eLife, I would spend less time searching and more time doing. I would be able to send stuff to the "right" people in less time and be able to locate information when I need it.
It makes sense to me in Job Search that these would be the email folders (and other categories) one might want to use.
- Networking group (use its name if it has one)
- Volunteer (again, use the organization's name)
- Industry contact
- Occupation contact
- Job alerts
- Company Name of Job submitted (so there will be many of these folders)
- Company Insider
LinkedIn allows you to categorize contacts as well. Would it make sense to use many of the same? Facebook allows you to create LISTS. This can be important if you only want some of your network to see some of what you are up to. You can set security settings according to Lists.
Twitter, as it appears from their site is too cumbersome for my liking. I've been using Tweetdeck since I started using Twitter and have become familiar with it. There are others that do pretty much the same thing (Seesmic, DestroyTwitter, or for the really serious Hootsuite) . These tools allow you to separate the Twitter stream by category (hmmm, maybe use the same ones from above).
My google reader is set up a bit differently. I categorize the sites I read by topic more than category, though there is some overlap!
Does anyone have a system they use that they would like to share? I think there are many others out there who struggle like me! We need help!