Time to Get [Digitally] Organized

I came to the conclusion that I’ve had a lot of interests online the last few years – too many interests.  I wanted to get into social media, search engine optimization, marketing, and pretty much everything else.  I found myself following over 3,000 people on Twitter, subscribed to all kinds of mailing lists, and listening to a wide variety of podcasts.

While I’m still interested in all those topics, I realized I just don’t have time to learn everything.  I’ve set my priorities, started over with my website, unfollowed a lot of people on Twitter that are no longer in line with my goals, and started cleaning up my podcasts.  My focus is on customer service/support and happiness, adding in WordPress documentation as I can; development is the next big thing I want to tackle.

Here’s what I’m doing to make things easier and more streamlined:

Productivity

  • Trello, Simplenote, Evernote.  I’ve used Evernote for the longest time and just kept adding more and more to it.  I’ve recently started a new process where I’m splitting things up.  Instead of using Evernote for everything, I’ve been using Trello for general notes/ideas and Simplenote for writing post drafts.

Email

  • My goal is to achieve “Inbox Zero,” except for support forum mail.  I’ve come a long way, but I have a long way to go.  This is also going to include coming up with some new guidelines for how I manage things.

Twitter

  • Lists.  I had way too many lists for my current interests.  I’ve set all my lists to private and am starting them over from scratch.  Once things are set, I’ll make the new lists public.
  • Following.  For a while, I got on the SEO/marketing kick and started following a lot of people in those areas that followed me.  I am now only going to follow people I know or want to read on a regular basis.  For others that may be of interest, they will go in a list.

Support

  • Email.  I’ve been working on organizing all the email I get from the WordPress support forums – both .org and .com – in Gmail.  I’ve set up different filters and created a script to delete them after so many days.  There are a few little things I’m still working on, including deciding if Gmail is the way I want to go.  Gmail makes it really easy to organize things, but it can take a little while to fetch new email.  The only reason this comes into play is because I have about a dozen notifications set up on the WordPress.org support forums that are trigged by common spam terms and phrases; the faster I see these, the better.  Our forums are being migrated to bbPress 2.0 tomorrow, so this may no longer be as much of an issue.
  • IFTTT.  I use IFTTT to be notified anytime someone adds the “modlook” tag or posts in the alpha/beta forums.  This lets me check if something should be addressed as soon as possible or why the tag was used.  I’m not a developer, but I can at least monitor the alpha/beta forums for posts that shouldn’t be there; this forum is only for issues with alpha/beta (test) versions of WordPress.
  • Text Expander.  Besides using the WordPress pre-defined replies, my workflow has been to keep standard replies for other common things in Evernote and adjust them as needed per forum reply.  Text Expanders were brought up on the #forums channel on Slack this last week.  I’ve been meaning to look into something like this for a while but just haven’t gotten around to it.  I decided to take a little time and see what I can find.

Podcasts

This list will always be a little high because I’m always on the lookout for new (or new-to-me) quality podcasts.  While I listen to a few things that stray from the main subjects, I mostly listen to podcasts about WordPress, customer support/service, and happiness.  I listened to 29 podcasts last week, and a few of my regulars didn’t even have a new podcast.

  • I’ve added a lot of new podcasts recently to see if they are any good.  I’m going to continue to evaluate these and remove those I don’t find beneficial.
  • I’ve started taking notes on the podcasts I listen to and will start reviewing them, both on my site and on iTunes.

Let’s Get Cleaning

This is going to take a lot of work, but it’ll be worth it in the end.  Once the initial work is done, it should a lot easier to maintain.  What about you?  How do you stay organized online and what tools do you use?

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