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02 Aug 2017
Comments: 2

#ScrapNotes: How to Begin Your Journey Down the Rabbit Hole

Part 1 of the #Scrapnotes process

Several people have asked me about my analog notes (or #scrapnotes) and so I imagined if there were a few that were intrigued… I might share the info with the edusphere. I am a huge fan of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle and the idea of Starting with the Why. I didn’t just magically start sketch noting in analog. There were a few fortuitous things that sort of led me there: 1) I saw a HS student bullet journaling in class 2) a fellow colleague started analog sketch noting and 3) I saw Austin Kleon speak at Book People about journaling on his tour for his “Steal Like an Artist” journal.

MY WHY

Brace yourself… if you are really ready to journey down this rabbit hole… you have to find your why. Yes, several paths converged here… but I was also finding that the notes I typed from professional developments I never really returned to and that I did very little with the highlights from books I read. To be fair, previous to having my boys, I did journal daily and loved to scrapbook. Both of those practices were one of the first things to fall by the wayside when adulting and child-rearing became front and center. Sadly, I didn’t realize how beneficial those practices were to my comprehension, metacognition, and mental retention until I took up the practice again.

It started with one LEGO Moleskine journal and some basic bulleted or transcribed notes. As any practice goes, the more I took notes and transcribed notes in this fashion, the better I got and the more beneficial I found them to be. I also noticed that when I was taking notes in analog, I was less distracted. Because I can’t write as fast as I can type, this process also forced me to slow down and really focus on which pieces of the content matter most.

Scrap Notes Process Part 1

So before you unleash the power of the bottle marked #ScrapMe… ask yourself a few of these questions:

  • Retention: Do I remember information better when I type it or handwrite it?
  • Accessibility: Do I have info from professional developments or books I read that I would like to retain, use, and keep handy? (Research)
  • Organization: Do I enjoy making lists and thrive on a planner? (Research)
  • Creative Crafter: Do I like visuals and craft supplies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this rabbit hole might just be for you. I started with a simple notebook and then evolved to 3 or 4. The idea of bullet journaling is essentially the convergence of a To-Do List, Planner, and Diary. For me #scrapnotes is the convergence of a Journal, To Do List, Notebook, and Scrapbook. I am fully aware that this idea and process takes time to develop and that one blog post will certainly not do it justice… so be expecting more topics in the series.

MY PREFERENCES

Normally, if I was following Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to the letter of the law, I would move to the How. But, honestly, it is difficult to understand the process without choosing the platform. In this case, I wanted to share 3 different types of notebooks and present you with their features. If this is something you really plan on investing time into, then I would also invest the money… nothing crazy… I just wouldn’t use a $2.00 mimsy (flimsy and miserable) spiral notebook… I would consider purchasing a $15-$20 notebook for longevity purposes. All 3 of the ones I mention below include these feature must-haves:

  • Durability: a hard cover
  • Size: are about 8 inches by 5 inches
  • Cinch: boast an elastic band to keep everything safe
  • Enhancements: a bookmark ribbon, and an envelope in the back of the back cover for storing odds and ends
  • Pages: I prefer blank or dotted pages… never lined. In my book (pun intended)… these are total essentials.

Now that I have perfected my process, I typically have 3 notebooks going at a time (e.g. one for ideas, one to summarize books I read, and one to take notes in professional developments). I wouldn’t have known that this is how I wanted to organize them until I just started with one. So know that your first one may look like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum had a hey day with it… and well that is okay. ūüėČ

Now on to brand preferences… I have created an interactive version here.

  1. Moleskine: These are great because they come in so many fun themes from Retro Cassette Tape and Toy Story to Batman and Game of Thrones.
  2. Behance Action Journal: I have one of these in every color. They are fantastic for professional development as they include an Action Steps list on the right side which makes it easy to jot down action items or to do’s based on what you have learned. Did I also mention they come in like 5 different colors? The pages are thick enough that you can write on both sides which is also a perk! (Note: this item is one of the few that is more expensive on Amazon than on its site – I buy direct from Behance and just buy 3 at a time and pay the shipping. They sell for $17.50 each on Behance and shipping is typically $10. Amazon retails them for $27 each.)
  3. Luechtturm1917: I recently tried my hand with this one AND it is quickly becoming my favorite for book summaries. The pages are blank BUT they are all numbered and it includes a table of contents at the beginning. Yes, I realize that I could very well number my own pages… but honestly… if it is done for me… that is a great perk (and time-saver)! Did I also mention that it comes in 16 different colors?
  4. **Passion Planner**:¬†As I am doing a blend of sketch noting, scrapbooking, and note-taking, I use blank notebooks. I should mention that I also use a Passion Planner¬†for day to day scheduling and planning. This is in addition to the notebooks listed above. I divulge this… mainly because some people that bullet journal use their notebook as both a planner and a note-taking device and¬†that¬†just never worked for me (not to mention I don’t have time to draw out weekly calendar spreads… though I appreciate all of the amazing people that do this and share these on Instagram – they are truly a thing of beauty).

I should also mention that both the Moleskine and the Leuchtturn1917 have slightly thinner pages than the Behance Action Journal. I suppose you could write on both sides… but I prefer not to so I end up doing some sort of #scrapnotes (stay tuned on more ideas how to purposefully embellish your own pages) on one side of the page.

If you are like me, I lost you on the notebooks and you have already started adding these items to your Amazon cart. Oh my! I found a Leuchtturm in Lemon, Lime, and Emerald… and… I digress. Before you get any curiouser and curiouser… I hope you are able to get two things from this post… 1) decide if #bulletjournaling or #scrapnotes is for you and 2) select the best notebook to meet your needs.

MY PROCESS and PORTFOLIO

The next few blog posts will touch on ideas, organization, resources, process, planners, supplies, and more. If you are hungry to dive right in… I did leave you a wee snack… my new Instagram, account… Notechef4u (which houses my sample #scrapnotes and #bulletjournals).

NoteChef4u Instagram houses 70+ examples of #scrapnotes and the process.

I am nothing if not thorough… so I also curated a board of 180+ examples, resources, and bite-size morsels of research. Hoping these tide you over till the next installment. ūüėČ

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.


26 Jul 2017
Comments: 0

TechChef Breaks the Silence…

 

 

The Silence

Twenty years ago I graduated high school. We didn‚Äôt have texts, tweets, or chats‚Ķ we had a spiral bound notebook that we passed back to each other in the hallway between classes. One day a friend of mine and I had a spat. Rather than blocking me or unfriending me, he wrote ‚ÄúEnjoy the Silence‚ÄĚ in the notebook and nothing else. This was clearly a reference to a popular Depeche Mode song at the time. Honestly, I have no recollection of the lemon that turned our friendship milk sour that day. But that moment stuck in my brain when I was thinking about you‚Ķ and I feel like I owe you an apology.

 

The Story

You did nothing wrong and I totally abandoned you… without a word. You didn’t know how much stress I was under or how the book writing gave me a bit of tunnel vision. You couldn’t have known that I was also diagnosed with adenomyosis two years ago and that it has literally reeked havoc on my body, my productivity, and my personal and professional life.

 

All you saw was my last blog, ‚ÄúCoJournaling as a Way to Nurture Positive Tendencies‚ÄĚ, posted ¬†a year and a half ago. At that time, I felt drained both emotionally and physically. Sadly, the tool and platform that allowed me to unleash my creativity and bear my soul was the very tool that went by the wayside. It became one more thing‚Ķ like some friendships do.

 

The problem was I didn’t realize at the time… how much I needed that friendship… I kept up appearances on social media and periodically shared ideas and curated topics… but I remained silent. The longer I kept my silence… the harder it was to break it. Some people schedule a sabbatical to grow and reflect. I, the non confrontational type, decided I could just let blogging go without a word. I was wrong. Blogging is so much more than a task and a checklist to me… it is my passion and oftentimes… I feel like my duty or purpose. The book, now a wrap, and surgery on the horizon… I feel like I can finally come up for air.

 

There is so much I want to tell you‚Ķ¬†so much I want to share. I hope you will forgive me‚Ķ¬†let bygones be bygones and let us reconnect again. I hope you¬†didn‚Äôt¬†‚ÄúEnjoy the Silence‚Ä̂Ķ¬†I know I didn‚Äôt.

 

So there it is… my last 18 months in a nutshell… a difficult time… and only a handful of friends really knew the physical, emotional, and mental toll it took on me. But you know… we were friends too. And I hope we can be friends again. I hope you can forgive my lapse in communication. I hope we can once again learn and share together.
 

The Sharing

Over the past 18 months and change‚Ķ I have been busy adjusting and creating a new normal and really experimenting with different styles of learning and creating that work for me. As you know, I love to share these ideas with others because I know that the more we share… the more we inspire and support others on their journey as well. So here goes:

 

I know we have lots to catch up on so I can‚Äôt monopolize all of your time in one sitting. You will hear from me again shortly… I promise. ūüėČ

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30 Nov 2015
Comments: 2

5 Surprising Ways to Make Amazon Literacy Work 4 U

Amazon Literacy Header

Relevant Side Note: I have to admit I have been negligent with blogging these few months. My website went down in mid September and it has taken me much of the semester to transition and mold it to be what it is right now (more on that in an upcoming post)… But for NOW! ūüėČ

Sometimes it just takes a good kick in the pants¬†to jump¬†start blogging and that is exactly what Ross Cooper (@RossCoops31) did for me with his post, “Are You Amazon Literate?“.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Should This Matter?

So you might be asking yourself why does Amazon Literacy matter… Is this even a thing? Or is this a fictitious dish the TechChef is trying to serve up after the Thanksgiving break? Well, let me paint a picture for you. My go to for pretty much any initial purchase is Amazon.

How to Be Amazon Literate

While Amazon is super easy to find products… it can be ever so cumbersome to locate quality professional development resources unless you are… Amazon Literate:

  • Cookie Crumb Trails: Think about it… to locate quality books on creative writing, I essentially have to find one really good one and then follow the cookie crumb trail of recommendations.
  • Visit Another Restaurant: Recently, I started falling deep down the rabbit hold of visual communication and slide design. I found one amazing book, “Talk Like Ted”, which is really a book designed for the industry… not necessarily the classroom. That moves me to my next point… oftentimes, we get comfortable with what we know – we stick to books and resources that are designed for educators when in reality many of the books designed for the industry are just as impactful and provide a more transparent window into college readiness skills and purposeful practice than any educational industry book alone could. Honestly, I learned far more about the creative process and authentic publishing from Austin Kleon than any classroom-focused text.
  • Don’t Let Reviews Exclusively Color Your Opinions:¬†I¬†do look at the customer reviews BUT I am also realistic. Sometimes one customer had a bad experience (that may or may not be directly linked to the product) and they have decided to lash out in the reviews. I try to scan the middle of the road reviews (3’s and 4’s) because they seem to be more truthful and authentic than the rants or superficial praise.
  • Take a Visual Bite Before You Order: I have to admit that if I can’t get nab a “Look Inside” for a book… I tend not to order it no matter how great the reviews.¬†Sometimes older books don’t have a sneak peek but they can be found on google. My hack for the “Look Inside” is to google the book and see if I can get nab a preview of a page or two that way. If I am successful and the book piques my interest and meets my expectations, then I go back to Amazon and order it.

Though these ideas can guide your searches, there is still a bit of practice needed to master this literacy.

Creative Writing Books

Before I share some ways to hone your Amazon Literacy acumen… I want to share yet another example to sell the skill¬†further. Below is a picture of 9¬†books that I ordered off Amazon to support creative writing and creative writing prompts AND only one of the 9 books can be found in the first 10¬†pages of an Amazon search for “creative writing” or “creative writing prompts”. Essentially, without a prowess for¬†Amazon Literacy, I would have never known about the other 9¬†books.

Blogger’s Note:¬†If you are interested in these 9 creative writing books …I have pinned all of them to this board “Books that Ignite Literacy”.

 

How Can I Practice these Skills?

With Amazon Two Day Prime and my constant need for books and learning… I have had multiple opportunities to hone these skills. In Ross’s Amazon Literacy post, he delineated a few challenges that might be useful in polishing your acumen for Amazon Literacy.

As I don’t want to regurgitate what Ross Cooper said in his post¬†and the superb list that he offered, I thought I would ¬†generate my own list of “5 Surprising Ways to Make Amazon Literacy Work 4 U”¬†(and yes, I totally realize that these are loaded tasks that are in line with my current reality and visual communication rabbit hole):

  • Beyond Education: Find a book that is not necessarily designed for education but could be purposefully used within the classroom. (Explain your rationale.)
  • Attention Grabbers: Share a book that grabbed your attention by book cover alone. (Explain what part of the book grabbed your attention… e.g. color, title, font, image and WHY).
  • Best Collection for a Purpose: You are a secondary teacher and you need to teach your students about slide design and presentation skills. Find the book with the best collection of practical resources, tips, and examples.
  • Accurate Search Terms: Discover search terms that work for you. As mentioned above,¬†a quick search for “creative writing” oftentimes doesn’t locate the books that I really want. Austin Kleon is an amazing author that supports creative writing and his books don’t even rank on the first page.¬†That being said… “The Emotion Thesaurus” does! This book is fantastic but I actually ended up using it with slide design and speaking skills because it talks so much about body language. If you search “body language” in Amazon, The Emotion Thesaurus doesn’t even rank within the first 10 pages. Determining¬†search terms that work for you is truly an art form in it of itself.
  • Surprisingly Educational: Locate a “Surprisingly Educational” book or resource… something that is more rooted in the¬†edutainment field but definitely could be incorporated in to a curricular setting.¬†My three examples for “Surprisingly Educational” are “Artists, Writers, Thinkers. Dreamers”,¬†“Medieval Lego”, and “Fictitious Dishes”. The Artists book is fantastic for blending biographies and sketch noting and the Medieval Lego book is stellar for inspiring students to summarize historical events and create visual scenes. The Fictitious Dishes one is a clever spin on dishes that could be drawn from literary works and offers up quotes and anecdotes to support the dishes.

Too often we live in an echo chamber when we search on Amazon… this is why Amazon Literacy is so integral to bettering ourselves as educators and honing our craft with appropriate resources.

 

Why Will Trusted Curation be Our Future?

At some point it is not going to be enough to just google something or search within in Amazon. With the vast amount of content being published each and every day, we have to search for trusted curators. In an effort to provide you with a springboard in to Amazon Literacy AND your holiday shopping cart…, here are 3 boards I have carefully curated to support you:

And… I have one more idea for you… Why not create a collaborative board to share all of the books that you and your colleagues have read that you find instructionally impactful? AND then each of you can comment with your review or how you used it with your classroom… Here is a collaborative board I created for my colleagues to house books that blend education and technology in innovative and meaningful ways.

Ed Tech Shelf: Books for Education and Professional Development
Many thanks to Ross Cooper for allowing me to expand upon his original post. Please don’t forget to read Ross Cooper’s original post, check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @RossCoops31¬†and please, please remember to share these ideas with others… as you begin to organically grow and hone your own Amazon literacy skills.

 

Where Will TechChef Be Next?

As you may or may not have noticed, the TechChef4u site has undergone a few changes in both design and organization over the past few months.

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know where she will be speaking next… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email¬†techchef4u@gmail.com.


08 Jul 2015
Comments: 1

How to Achieve Ultimate Desktop Zen with Canva

Summer can be a double-edged sword. As educators, we are relieved to have the time to regroup and rejuvenate our content and minds. However, we sometimes pile our to do lists and DIY projects so high that we become overwhelmed once again by the sheer volume of things we would like to accomplish in two to three months.

How to Transform Your Desktop with Organizational Wallpapers - includes a step by step guide and 50+ Examples

How Do You Get Organized?

I know it sounds silly, but when I have a clean desk, I tend to get more done because I can immediately get to work rather than become distracted by the pile of papers and binders on my desk.

The same holds true for my computer desktop. From my own experience, I have found that when all of the folders, screenshots, and web clips are nice and tidy, I can easily jump into checking email or blogging rather than spend time looking for files.

Step by Step Guide to Create an Organized Desktop and Achieve Productivity Zen

How Can I Get Organized?

I have had a few people take interest in my Type-A-OCD-desktop… so I thought I would spend some time designing a step-by-step guide for you to achieve desktop zen!

 

What If I Don’t Want to Create one of these from Scratch?

If you are digging this idea, but would prefer to start with a ready-made organized desktop or just need a little more inspiration on layouts and possible categories… check out these 50+ options I have curated for you on a brand new Pinterest board!

50+ Desktop Organization Backgrounds

What Other Productivity Hacks Do You Have For Me?

I am so glad you asked. I have two other posts to help you achieve tip-top productivity shape this summer:

Enjoy and Achieve Productivity Zen! ūüėČ

STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL SUMMER ISSUE of the TechChef Gazette!

TechChef Techucation Gazette:¬†Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter:¬†There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast,¬†sign up today.

Cooking Up Keynote

***Where Will TechChef Be Next?***

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Fall and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com or request booking here.


09 Jun 2015
Comments: 2

Capturing Creativity with Canva

I have been a loyal canvagelist for some time now. Recently, I was approached to do a webinar on the topic. Many times I find that people just need to see how the tool is being used by students, in classrooms, and professionally before they feel comfortable enough to invest the time.

The Complete Guide to Using Canva in Edu

How Can I Use Canva? Let Me Count the Ways…

As Canva is image based, I thought the best way to encapsulate my canvagelism is¬†through a Pinterest board. Because I tend to need order and consistency within my boards… each pin on this board starts with “Use CANVA to…” and then explains how the tools is used.

45+ Ways to Use Canva

How Can I Use Canva? Tell Me More…

For those of you that would prefer a guided tour, the FREE webinar is archived here. In the webinar I highlight 35+ ways Canva can be used ranging from classroom collages, posters and tables of contents to infographics and iTunes U icons.

Many thanks to Peggy George @pgeorge and Classroom 2.0 Live for archiving the webinar and all the links and resources here.

Talk to Me About Curation…

And for those of you planning to level up your curation practices this summer, I have one more educational nugget for you. Recently, Carolyn Foote @technolibrary and Dean Shareski @Shareski, and I did a Google Hangout on Curation Best Practices and Tools.

Beyond the tips and best practices we share, I found the idea of calling in experts on various topics and conducting Google Hangouts with them for each section of a college course to be a most epic educational idea indeed. If you are interested in the other topics he has gleaned, Dean has archived them all here in a Playlist.

Please Curate and Create Responsibly this Summer…

As always please curate and create responsibly. If ever in doubt, I have prepared this Listly of tools and best practices for Curating and Creating with Care ūüėČ

STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL SUMMER ISSUE of the TechChef Gazette!

TechChef Techucation Gazette:¬†Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter:¬†There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast,¬†sign up today.

Cooking Up Keynote

***Where Will TechChef Be Next?***

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Fall and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com or request booking here.


29 May 2015
Comments: 2

Why I Declared Email Bankruptcy… and 11 Tips for Reclaiming Your Inbox

As educators, we all have ideas and to do lists for what we would like to accomplish for summer. Beyond keeping my boys busy with 1,000+ apps, app-tivities, and educational crafts, I always have a “few” items on my own list I intend on completing (that many times I could either not complete during the school year or am trying to complete before the new school year to ensure a smooth run.)

Email Bankruptcy Pin

Now that I have set the stage for one of my to do’s… I will divulge a deep dark secret. Mine is that I am an email hoarder – avoider. I didn’t start out with this issue in 2007 (when I opened my Gmail account… my first personal email account after my AOL Mail account – I know you are judging me now) but slowly over the years, I signed up for more and more email subscriptions and newsletters and the task of unsubscribing to them all became overwhelming. In fact, the task of even sorting through the emails and filing and archiving them became insurmountable. I would grab a beverage and throw on a movie and plan to organize them and I would make it through 200-300 and feel no relief or sense of accomplishment as I knew there were 4,000 still awaiting my review.

No Choice But Email Bankruptcy

What Prompted You to Take the Plunge?

Everyone has a defining moment – a turning point if you will. While I would make excuses for my delayed responses and missed emails and felt inept when my husband asked me,¬†“didn’t you get that email I forwarded you?”, I still held firm that I could eventually dig myself out of the email quick sand. Yesterday I found out that my boys’ principal is leaving the district and I immediately felt distraught – she is amazing. How did I now know about this? So I texted Carl Hooker to ask him about it? And he kindly told me that that email was sent out nine days ago. I mentioned that I had 8,000 unread emails (most unactionable) and he said “delete them”… he called it “email bankruptcy“.

“What? Delete them? Can I actually do that? Do I have permission to do that? Why has the idea never crossed my mind?” – Lisa Johnson

The idea stuck with me and felt liberating just to think about. I know I would be admitting defeat – that the great big email monster had conquered one more innocent victim. But somehow there was relief in starting over and employing new organizational and discriminating tactics that clearly I did not have in my arsenal in 2007.

Pros And Cons of Email Bankruptcy

So naturally before making the decision, I created a pros and cons list. The pros were way ahead of the cons I could think of at the time.

Email Bankruptcy Pros Cons

My mind was racing with anticipation. I thought about my closet.

“Could one function with a closet they couldn’t walk in to? One that gave them anxiety every time they opened the doors? Bursting with clothes they couldn’t find? Thousands of clothes they hadn’t worn in years? ” – Lisa Johnson

The answer was was clear. I keep a very organized closet and I go through clothes every few months and even sort them in to categories with ease (e.g. summer clothes, winter clothes, work clothes, casual clothes)… so why couldn’t I apply these principles to other parts of my life?

Before taking the plunge I posted my Pro/Con list and my quandary to both my personal Facebook and my TechChef one and was met with an overwhelming positive response:

  • “There is nothing in that inbox that is required for life” – Stephanie Wallace
  • “Archive Everything!¬†Let it go!!! Let it go!! If you let go and it needed a response, people will email you again.” – Rafranz Davis
  • “You can also just delete chunks. Like delete everything over 6 months, then when you realize you are going to live, go to 4 months, then 2 months…” – Renee Hooker

So, I pondered it for the next twelve hours. I didn’t want to act too soon but I also know if I wasn’t proactive, I might get cold feet. I even did some research:

And then I took the plunge… and archived it below to support others that might also be on the verge of this life-changing decision.

11 Steps to Email Bankruptcy

Declaring Email Bankruptcy

Yes, I ultimately admit defeat but I also vow to never let it happen again. As some of you might be in my shoes… I thought I would share my process:

Vacation Responder

  • Set Up a Vacation Setting: I did this to notify people of what I was doing as well as to provide alternate ways to communicate with me that might be more¬†effective and even efficient. My intent is to only leave the vacation responder on for 2-4 weeks so people know I am going through a transitional period.
  • Make a List: Make a list of any actionable emails that are still on your docket. Typically ones that haven’t been answered in the past week or so and make it a priority to answer them before the bankruptcy day.
  • Remove All Labels: I Removed All labels. I was a label hoarder (e.g.¬†I had over 30 labels – ¬†one for every district I worked with and sometimes one for each app developer). I was like that kid that put a different label on every document rather than sorting them into overarching simplistic labels. So first I deleted all of my labels.
  • Streamline Labels: Next, I streamlined my labels into the categories I receive email in most (e.g. Personal, TechChef4u, and TechChef4u Receipts). Personal is anything from my family and school-related to my boys. TechChef4u is anything involving my blog or communications and TechChef4u Receipts are any online purchase I have made relating to the business.
  • Limit Yourself to 2-3 Stars: I go star and label happy and then I never know what they mean when I mark them on an email so I forced myself to just choose two.
  • Set a Filter for Promotional Emails: So as I mentioned I have signed up for several accounts over the years (e.g. Shutterfly, Picaboo, Starbucks, Groupon, etc…) and I actually want to receive these emails but realistically I don’t have time to review them and they tend to be very distracting… So I set a filter for these types of emails to be directly archived in to my “Email Bankruptcy” folder. If I want to look for a sale or have a little money burning in my pocket, then I can open this folder up… but at least now I want be hammered with sales on books, Groupon deals, and what new item Starbucks has decided to add to the menu for summer.
  • Delete All Drafts: I wanted to start simple and dip my toe in this process so deleting all drafts made the most sense. Clearly, if I haven’t sent the email by now, I am never going to.
  • Delete All Spam Forever: This felt good! I did it one fell swoop.
  • Disable Labs: I had multiple labs that were cluttering my workspace and were entirely distracting. Less is more so I disabled any labs or widgets that I felt took away from my productivity at large.
  • Change Email Notifications: I use several apps and services like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Scoop.it, etc… that send me notifications when someone tags me or comments on something I write. While this info is helpful, it oftentimes distracts me from the task of actually answering emails when I am in my inbox. So I made sure to turn off those notifications as the comments will still be available within Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc when I log in to those accounts.
  • Change Theme: This was the final step before I took the plunge – kind of like getting a hair cut after a break up. I changed the theme to a custom background to celebrate my acknowledgement of failure and resolve to move past it.

Email Bankruptcy Loading

Once this was complete, there was nothing to do but delete. Well, I wasn’t quite ready for that just yet. I opted for the “put all of those clothes you don’t wear in a box and put them in the attic and/or garage and then give away anything you don’t need or access in the next 6 months to a year.”

No New Mail

I felt liberating. I selected ALL, labeled them with “Email Bankruptcy” and archived the whole lot of them. Strangely, my 8,438 was actually 14,725 but tis no matter. There is no reason that I should be using 7.42 GB of my 15 GB storage cap in my Gmail account. Anything that I most likely needed was either already downloaded from the attachments or curated somewhere else as a link.

How Do You Feel?

I do say I feel lighter. I know that is strange… but I do. I will tell you that I keep refreshing my inbox like a school girl that picks up the phone to see if it is still working or if anyone has called. Other than that, I feel pretty good but only time will tell ūüėČ

I am hoping that this will be a fresh start but know that I have to make changes as well:

  • Cancel Subscriptions: As subscriptions roll in, I am unsubscribing from most of them.
  • Better Organization: I am hoping that the streamlined labelling and star system will help me quickly navigate through incoming emails. My hope is for improved productivity and communication.

Please Share… If you or someone you know suffers from email avoidance or email hoarder syndrome, know that this is a serious and real condition but there is treatment and support. No, but seriously, if this can help others realize they aren’t alone and they can reclaim their productivity and inbox… then I have succeeded in my mission. Also, if you or someone you know is a serious 0 inboxer, I would love to hear tips and strategies for this process.

SECRETS TO SUCCESS

Email Bankruptcy and Inbox 0 are just two strategies that relate to a much bigger picture. This is a board I have been working on secretly… and just made public.

“I realize that in ED Tech many times it is about troubleshooting and professional development… and sometimes we forget to educate the whole teacher… including skills for productivity and organization and overall general well being that can come from appropriate use of technology…” – Lisa Johnson

So without further ado… I bring you my Life Hacking Secrets to Success board that I will continue to update with topics like creativity, stress-management, people skills, tips for organization and much more…

Secrets to Success

 

STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL SUMMER ISSUE of the TechChef Gazette!

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Cooking Up Keynote

***Where Will TechChef Be Next?***

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Fall and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com or request booking here.