As we discussed a couple of weeks ago, the INTeRnET can be an INTRovErT’s best friend. Never before have so many introverts been able to connect and socialize with others (also often introverts) from the comfort of their own home and on their own time table. It is a great tool—when we don’t allow it to overwhelm us.
This week I’m going to share some underutilized tools most of us have at hand that can help us control the internet and the demands it makes on us and our oh-so-finite time and energy. In order to manage all that is available to us, it is more important than ever to use all the time management organizational tools available to us.
- Create Inbox folders (using Rule function with Outlook Express or Entourage) that send email directly to the designated folder where you can then choose when to read it when you're ready. It's surprising how much less overwhelming it is to not have every incoming thing cluttering up your inbox and demanding attention.
- Consider the Digest setting for yahoo groups or listservs.
- Organize your web browser’s bookmarks. Create folders on your toolbar that are separated or defined by their function and use to you. For example, instead of having an RSS feed where everything comes into your inbox, demanding attention, consider having a series of Blog folders grouped by their role in your life: whether they inspire, inform, or are for socialization.
- Use a blogging platform that has a pre-scheduling feature. That way when you have a bunch of ideas or are feeling in a social mood, you can sit down and whip out a couple of blogs posts and then parcel them out on a more regular schedule. (Not that I ever do that. I write each and every one of these posts at 5:00 Monday morning then hit publish immediately!)
- Depending on how you use Twitter (say, for broadcasting purposes) consider one of the many Tweet Scheduling programs. (I bet we could get Greg Pincus to tell us which ones he recommends!)
- If you want to experiment with chats on Twitter, DO be sure to use TweetChat. I cannot even begin to tell you how much less stressful this is than just following the hashtag. Having said that, however, tweet chats are still pretty stressful for me (and my eyeballs.)
- Freedom for PCs and Macs– I first heard about this from Lisa Yee. It's a program that basically locks you out of your internet connection for a set amount of time so you can, you know, write something.
- If you work across multiple platforms and share the same content them, take advantage of the cross referencing tools available. For example, set up your blog to feed on Facebook (no, I haven’t done this yet) and set up your Twitter and FB status updates to cross feed.
So how about you guys? I know you all must have some brilliantly helpful tools and practices for managing all this. Please enter your favorite internet strategies and tips in the comments and I’ll add them to this post. Everyone who enters will get a chance to win a SIGNED copy of Introvert Extrordinaire Mitali Perkins’ BAMBOO PEOPLE. And if you don't have any tips, but you want a chance to win Mitali's books, you can just say "hi" in the comments. :-)
Lastly, in the comments to last week's interview with Jennifer Laughran, Jennifer left a terrific link that some of you might have missed, so I wanted to be sure and point it out to you. http://www.tribalwriter.com/2011/02/22/should-you-be-blogging-to-help-build-your-writing-career-or-is-it-a-waste-of-time/
I stumbled on the Tribal Writer blog a few weeks ago and find it very helpful. Justine comes from a slightly more entrepreneurial place than I do, but even if one is not geared that way there are still a TON of great thought provoking ideas.