Help! My Email Accounts are Out of Control

Mail BoxWhat do you do when you wake up and realize you have too many email accounts with various services and no idea how to simplify?

Start with a big piece of paper. List those pesky accounts and why you have them:

    1. myname@verizon.net • address with home internet service provider–using it for official purposes and it’s listed on various accounts
    2. myname@epa.gov • Official work e-mail (using it on LinkedIn.com as well)

  1. pseudonym@gmail.com • Primary personal e-mail
  2. myconsultingpractice@yahoo.com •  I created this account because I lost my login to a gmail account created long ago ie. myconsultingpractice@gmail.com and wanted to lock up the name
  3. myname@myconsultingpractice.com • I’m thinking of launching a business venture in the future and bought the domain, it came with email accounts
  4. myname@me.com • I set this up when I got an iphone and wanted to use MobileMe
  5. myname@yahoo.com • I belong to several Yahoo! Groups and used it to create my Flickr account

Now take a moment to think. You need a strategy. What are your goals? What needs are you trying to meet?

Goals:

  • Simplify my record keeping
  • Separate business and personal accounts
  • Create a professional web presence that’s independent from my job
  • Reduce email related stress

Needs:

  • Keep track of passwords and logins
  • Remember about the emails seldom used
  • Avoid checking a bunch of email accounts unnecessarily—who has time?

Can you think of other needs and goals or email accounts that could be added to the list? If so, add a comment below and I’ll walk through a potential strategy next week.

In the mean time, sign up for Chaos To Clarity’s free weekly newsletter and get your very own password keeper–it already has a section for email and you can create your own sections as needed. Print it out, carefully enter the relevant logins and passwords,  keep it in a safe place, and feel a bit more in control immediately.