Unqualified advice: e-mails

One of my favourite dialogues with students is the following: Student: I want to get some info about THIS THING. Me: We sent out an ...


One of my favourite dialogues with students is the following:

Student: I want to get some info about THIS THING.
Me: We sent out an e-mail a week ago with the details and the registration link.
Student: I didn’t receive any e-mail from you.
Me: We sent it on THIS DATE, can you please check?
Student: Are you sure?
Me: Yes, I am.
Student reluctantly looks at Gmail.
Me: So, did you find it?
Student, looking guilty AF: Yes. But I didn’t see it at that time so does it apply to me?

This goes like this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. So today’s unqualified advice is this:

Read and organise your e-mails.

The main reason why you don’t see your e-mails is that you are still using your old, probably slightly embarrassing e-mail account. It also probably has lots of spam and newsletters and whatnots. The solution for that?

Get a proper e-mail address
Proper e-mail address = Something containing your name and with a good webmail provider.
There comes a time in everybody’s life when you have to use your e-mail address for actual correspondence and not just for registering your Facebook account. You might want to ditch your imaunicorn1234 ID for something that looks a bit more… simple? Your name (any variation of that), maybe the year you were born should just be fine.

Create more accounts
While you are at it don’t forget to create a few other accounts! For example: have one account for your official / personal e-mails that you only use for actual correspondence. Also, have another for newsletters (be sure to unsubscribe from the ones you are not actually interested in!) and accounts on different sites and have a really shitty one for useless registrations.

It’s easy to keep track of everything, just download your webmail provider’s app and you’ll have everything on the phone.This way your inbox will never be horrible full with utterly useless “20% off just today” e-mails and you actually will be able to see the important stuff.

And finally: please always read the e-mails from your school/bank/tax office/whatnot. They are not likely to send you things just for fun* (most of them have a separate account for their newsletters anyways). All those e-mails contain information which you might need in the future.

Really.

*Sending e-mails to huge numbers of people is never fun. Have you ever created a mailing list for more than 10 people? It's horrid. 

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