Saturday, April 30, 2011

Organizing Tip of the Week: Use Gmail to work smarter, not harder

There are tons of reasons why having a Gmail account is a great idea for your SSDP chapter:
  • easy to remember & promote
  • presents a professional image of your group
  • allows more than just one person to access
  • preserves institutional knowledge
  • ability to utilize other Google services (many chapters find Groups, Documents, Calendar to be particularly helpful)
  • and the list goes on...
It's simple and free to create a Gmail account for your SSDP chapter (ex: Then, set it up so that your chapter e-mails get forwarded to your regular e-mail inbox (ex:

It's easy to forget to check multiple e-mail accounts, so once you've set up forwarding, you'll have all of your messages in one central location. I did this for the first time in 2005 when my e-mail address was created. I didn't like the school's mail program so I had it forward to a account I created and I've never used anything else since.

Share responsibility for managing your chapter e-mail with your other officers. Provide them with the password to access your chapter Gmail account, and show them how to set up forwarding for themselves.

Then you'll all be able to see what messages have been sent, received, and which ones still need to be taken care of. Not to mention, future chapter leaders will likely appreciate having so much institutional knowledge categorized and accessible by searching for key terms or names that appear in older e-mails.

Already an avid Gmail user?
Take organizing to the next level by using Gmail filters to tame your inbox. These are especially useful for managing those useful but often high-volume Facebook notifications.

Sneak a peak inside my own inbox.
Watch this short screencast and you'll see how I set up a new filter, then I'll show you my existing filters --I have more than 50!-- that help me manage my e-mail.

(Sidenote: I used this awesome free screencapture program, Jing, to record this. More on screen sharing and other helpful web tools to come!)

I hope you find this information helpful, stay tuned for more organizing tips of the week by subscribing to the Dare Generation Diary and by joining our community on Facebook.

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