Obviously, this just happened to me. I was zeroing out my inbox, which is a task in itself, when I came across A Very Special Email. This email was so special that I had saved it in my inbox so I couldn’t miss the fact that there was a writing contest, and it looked awesome, and I very much wanted to enter it.
So guess what happened? Yeah. Totally missed it.
Thing is, I know better. I know that leaving things to build up in my inbox is not productive. I mean, sheesh, I have about five email accounts, and they’re all busy, and do I have the time to search each one of ’em? No. So after shaking my finger chastisingly at myself, I decided to change how I go about it.
You know what works for me? Writing deadlines down on my calendar. In a bold color. For example, writing deadlines are always done in yellow. When I sit/work/laze about at the computer and glance at the calendar, I can see that a deadline is approaching. This is much more effective than “one day getting to it” in my inbox. As much as I promise myself that I’ll change my life and suddenly be better, I never do. My email is The Point Of No Return. Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here. And stuff.
How do you keep on top of your deadlines? Especially the ones that aren’t vital, but are things that you are merely interested in?
I add deadlines to my Google Calendar, and have it send me reminders, then I leave the reminders unread in my Inbox. But then again, I only have two email addresses, so it’s easier for me.
I’ve tried using online calendars. I always forget to go check. Stuff gets buried in my email, too (too many notifications, newsletters and Yahoo! groups:) I finally used Rainlendar. It takes up very little space, it’s easy to use, and it’s on my desktop. It tells me upcoming events and deadlines when I hover over the date. Since I go on my laptop every day, regardless of whether I go on the internet, it saves me a lot of grief because I have dates right there at-a-glance.
I started doing the same thing. After missing a contest / submisssion / application deadline for the 100th time I decided it’s best to have it on my calendar, with an alert one day before the deadline, so I can get it done!
I still use my inbox to keep up with important things but I only have one major inbox and I flag important emails so that keeps me on track. All of my writing stuff is in that inbox.
I probably should us a calendar but can’t reach the one on the wall and my desk is too crowded for a desk calendar. My favorite online calendar just disappeared one day with all of my information in it and I lost a lot of important dates. I hate it when companies go out of business without warning.
So there you have it. I am still an inbox gal.
This has happened to me a number of times. in fact, when I first read your title, I was like, “Crap! Did I miss it?”
Luckily, no. The contest (Cemetery Dance forum) opens tomorrow.
I have submission deadlines on a spreadsheet that goes with an entire document dedicated to tracking submissions. That’s about the only way for me to keep it reasonably organized.