Managing my digital buckets

Sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious in our day to day routines. When you scan the headlines of most productivity sites you will see a common mantra:

Do more with less.

There's a lot to be said about that simple phrase and it's something I've finally taken to heart. One of the down sides of being an early adopter is I can get sucked into a really cool new service and end up with a new bucket of information to manage. I now have buckets from all over the place - my primary email address, my back up email address, my .Mac/.Me/.iCloud email addresses 1, an original Hotmail email address and the list goes on.

So in an attempt to regain my digitial sanity I finally made some changes on how I manage these buckets. On my everyday devices I moved to one email account and one calendar and made sure any notifications or account updates (e.g. web hosting alerts, online billing notices, etc) are all directed to this email account. Other notices that I receive (e.g. iTunes purchase notices, non critical mailing lists2, etc.) are shunted to a secondary email account. The secondary email account and all these other buckets are then reviewed only once a week during my weekly review.

Part of my sanity check also included moving away from Apple's default apps in OS X to dedicated apps for specific buckets. My current choices have been Outlook for email and Fantastical for my calendar. I know a few OS X users may have a disdain for Outlook, but it's what I need to use at work. So now any scripts or automation methods I develop/use with Outlook at work can be applied at home, or vice versa. Fantastical was an easy choice because entering new events is the easiest in Fantastical over any of the other tools I currently own.

Now day to day I have one email address, one calender, and one phone number. I can honestly say I feel a lot less flustered about my digitial buckets and have been much more engaged when something new does drop in my lap.

  1. A mess I hope Apple fixes soon. 

  2. Pushing non-critical mailing lists to another email address should be a good indicator to unsubscribe from that list.