One thing I’ve taken a way from last week’s blog entry is that my online presence is fairly complex. I run three blogs – in two languages, and to three very distinct audiences. I tweet from mainly two Twitter accounts, and keep a presence on a number of LinkedIn groups. Not to mention Facebook. When I hold seminars on social media, I’m often confronted with ‘I don’t have time for all this – I’ve got enough emails to take care of as it is…’. I agree – and yet I don’t. First of all, I have learnt that my social media interactions help me reduce my email traffic – both at work and privately. In order to achieve that, I have deactivated pretty much all email notifications and newsletters on any service. My view is that email as a mode of communication is being pushed back – I’m sure I’ll find an infographic on that – and it is being replaced by more interactive social media channels. I know that pretty much every service you sign up for has the ‘send me updates via email’ setting on ‘yes’ as a default. I think this is unnecessary – I either engage with a service, which I pretty much do in that time on the train, or I don’t. But then I cancel it. I don’t need to know that someone has sent me a message on LinkedIn, because I check LinkedIn every day. In order to stay up-to-date, I follow hundreds of RSS feeds, which do not impact on my email load. What I have learnt is that the cleaner my inbox is, the more I can focus on the tasks it contains. At work, we have a brilliant initiative run by one of our senior academics and a learning technologist – they run something they call ‘tricks of the trade’ – check #rctott, lunchtime sessions which help academics use technology more effectively. I’ve held sessions there on email management, and I tend to parade around my lean inbox at these sessions. And the one piece of advice I want everyone to take away is – if my daily updates annoy you, put me on silent; stop all your alerts, check the service itself rather than getting the pile of 10 updates a day on stuff you are not reading up anyway. It works like magic for me, and I’ve learnt that email does not have to be the bane of my life.