Where IS that Newsletter?

Where is that newsletter? I know I signed up with my Gmail account!

Where is that Newsletter?

Gmail – Most Popular Choice

Gmail is often on the top of the list of free email recommendations. After all the Google Suite includes the ability to store contacts, chat, video-conference and share files. But is Gmail the best choice to receive newsletters?

My answer is an emphatic NO.

How many times do you look beyond the Inbox tab on your Gmail? It is a rare occurrence for me, unless I’m hunting for a ‘lost’ email, especially a newsletter. The photo above illustrates that my test emails from my newsletter app, MailerLite, end up in Promotions. That astounds me. Albeit, it’s a different email, but it’s from a name that is my name.

Also, you can see that I haven’t opened all those other emails that DO have a promotional ‘feel’. You know, companies letting you know about their latest deals, things you simply must buy. Indeed, sometimes I could have used the information. What is the solution for always finding my newsletters?

Another Free Email?

I really try to keep up with my inbox. But I have too many different email accounts. I’ve tried to reduce them and have made some progress. At this point I have five active emails compared to eight a year ago. Nevertheless, there is one additional email I value highly. It’s my newsletter email, Yahoo!

Why do I love Yahoo? There is ONE Inbox. Yahoo doesn’t decide where my incoming emails belong. Rather, they are all right there on the left column, waiting for me.

A Specific Email for Newsletters

Yahoo and one inboxI can’t take credit for my decision to create an email just for newsletters. Dan Blank suggested this in one of his social media marketing classes. And as usual, he was right.

Advantages for multiple emails:

  • Compartmentalize my time
  • Avoid wasting time on trivial emails
  • Focus my attention
  • Easily unsubscribe when needed

Other Email Suggestions

Perhaps you wonder why I have kept five different emails. In agreement, I’d like to rid myself of an older one, but it’s like old phone numbers. They are tied to important areas of my life that aren’t easy to extract. Still, I work toward organizing my electronic world thus:

  • Email associated with my website for business
  • Mail.com for my Mom’s needs
  • Gmail for personal (2 for now)
  • Yahoo strictly for newsletters

If only I had hard and fast rules for Gmail and Mail.com… someday.

Have a stressless day!

How to Make Gorgeous Videos

I had been considering taking a 1:1 class on how to make gorgeous videos. But I seemed so busy. I surrendered to my intuition and took the plunge.

Intuition Leads the Way

I met the video teacher, Alma Gonzalez, first in an online course, Communicate with Your Angels, led by Melissa Kitto, late in June, 2019. In addition to helpful information, there were group calls where we saw each other on Zoom along with a private Facebook Group. I noticed Alma had a professional still photograph of herself instead of the outline all the rest of us had when we had disabled video. I wondered how she did that.

Both of us decided to signup for a retreat with Melissa and Inner Soul Retreats. We convened in Canadensis, Pennsylvania from September 26-29, 2019. There were a lot of serendipitous events with each other. Although we could have been far apart in the assigned bedrooms, we were right next to each other. Almost every time we gathered in a circle to participate in a spiritual session, we sat next to each other. Sometimes that empty chair would open up, seemingly out of nowhere. When Alma joked about it, Melissa told us we were meant to work together.

During a block of free time, Alma, myself and two other ladies hiked from our lodge toward the main hotel. I remember avoiding the trail up to the Zipline like it was cursed. Overcoming my fear of the Zipline experience another life changing event I shared with Alma.

About the Video Class

I’ve followed Alma on her YouTube Vlog, noting her incredible video offerings. When I needed a recommendation about a tripod for my iPhone, I messaged her on Facebook. She suggested the Jobi Gorillapod. It was just what I needed, perfect for videotaping my exercise sessions and all my Zoom sessions. I felt even more confident about her knowledge.

Next, I sprang for a 1:1 video class. Before hand, Alma sent me a fact sheet and instructions to download or verify two Apps. During the class she shared her phone to show me exactly what she was doing. I chose to use my iPad for the sharing, leaving my iPhone free to follow along. This hands-on / demonstration technique worked extremely well for me.

Demonstration of the Results

Immediately afterward, I went out in my front yard with my iPhone, looking for wildlife. For days I’d seen an orange and black butterfly on my Pentas plants. He was there again and I shot this video, uncut and original.

Using the techniques Alma showed me, I created this edited version.


LessonS Learned

Perhaps you have no interest in how to make gorgeous videos yourself. But I see so many applications. In the butterfly video, I was able to positively identify the Monarch butterfly by freezing the frames. Then by slowing down the video speed, we can all enjoy it much more. In contrast, the photo at the top of this article is a very similar butterfly, the Viceroy, that allowed me lots of time to photograph her in my backyard. Do you see how it would be difficult to distinguish between these very different butterflies live during their erratic flight?

Do you like taking videos at a family event? With Alma’s class, you will learn about simple equipment that will diminish ‘hand shake. Additionally, she will show you how to do voice overs while still preserving the voices of the people in the event. Certainly, I will never hesitate to create a video, knowing I can clean it up later.

Over all, the biggest lesson learned is to follow your intuition. When you feel that tingle on your arms, fullness in your chest, or queasiness in your gut, consider it might be your intuition speaking to you through your body. It’s very different than that voice in your head filling you with negative thoughts.

I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions about this article. Write a comment, or better yet, signup for my newsletter so you won’t miss a blog and you’ll receive extras I reserve just for my subscribers.

Happy Creative Videotaping,

How Much Time You Waste

Do you know how much time you waste? I thought I was pretty productive until I realized I needed to carve time for new activities. It was important knowing how and where am  I wasting time. Where can I ask others to take over tasks? What do  I want to stop doing in my life?

My circumstance isn’t in a business situation. I’m retired, working on an idea for a business. So that makes me an entrepreneur, I suppose. Regardless, it’s important I know how I spend my time if I want to do new things.

How Did I Determine Wasted Time?

In one of my accountability groups with Whitney McNeill’s Messenger of Spirit, I learned about the app, Toggl. I downloaded it onto my iPhone and started using it immediately, before Whitney’s virtual meeting was even finished.

Toggl is totally intuitive, even for my over-60 brain. However, I admit I’m used to organizing tasks into categories from my career in database design. I believe this is the most crucial aspect of tracking your time. When I first started playing with Toggl on my iPhone, I didn’t understand how Projects work. Rather than continue wasting more time, I replied to an email congratulating me on downloading Toggl. Yes, I asked for help.

Their reply was detailed and included a link to an online tutorial for the Web app. After watching it, I learned a lot more about projects and easily found another helpful article on utilizing the iPhone app. I’ve included both links at the end of this blog.

Tips for Using Toggl

Here are my tips before using Toggl:

  1. Brainstorm what you do in a typical day or week.
  2. When you have a page full of what you do, start grouping the tasks
  3. Form 4-5 large areas
  4. Associate these areas with the tasks
  5. Write the list of tasks down on another piece of paper
  6. Set up Projects from the large areas in the Web Toggl version
  7. Start tracking, assigning Projects first and then use your task list for timed tasks, preferably when you start your day

Helpful Toggl Links

Tutorial using the Web Application
Article on using it on the iPhone (iOS)

I am so excited about this app, I wanted to share it with you. While using it, I realize it is so much more powerful than a simple organizer of time.

Next week I’ll update you on how I’m putting it to use in my daily life.

I’d love to hear from you about your time tracking experience, whether using Toggl, other digital or paper based time tracking.