Saturday 12 January 2019


This year, I'm really taking hold of my online communications.

Starting to feel like I have too many in-boxes: Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. Sometimes I read a message, then forget which platform it was on and have to search through them to find it again.

It really isn't good for anybody, especially a writer. Too easy to get distracted.

I'm employing two methods.

One is putting my phone on aeroplane mode unless specifically checking messages. I know this means people can't call me either, but if they can't get through, they can always message and I'll see it later in the day. I'm definitely more of a messager than a phone speaker.

The other useful tool I've discovered is Boomerang.

If you're using Gmail, I think you get this automatically, or it's an app you can install.

Boomerang has two helpful features. One is that it allows you to schedule posts. It helps with those people who always reply to e-mails instantly. You don't want to reply, because you know you'll get another e-mail in the next five minutes and feel compelled to reply again - and the cycle continues. This way, you can reply, then schedule your post to send later in the day, late at night, next morning or next week. 

But Boomerang's best feature is Pause Inbox. You can stop anything new coming into your in-box for the next few hours, or until tomorrow morning, or Monday morning. You can even set it to automatically load new messages at your chosen time once a day.

It really does make me feel much lighter and negates that compulsion to keep checking my in-box. I can get through everything in the morning, then turn it off for the rest of the day.

Provided I don't open up Facebook or Twitter, I'm hassle free and able to focus on more productive things. And, if I do find myself actively looking for a distraction, I can always unpause my in-box and reconnect my mobile to the network.

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