Keeping Your Emails Clear

I’m technologically schizophrenic, guys.  That doesn’t mean I’m really schizophrenic, but I do have four email addresses.  Four!  And I sometimes feel like I’ve got to take on a different persona when I’m using them.

I call these Personal, Jobs, Writing, and Bullshit.  Personal is the one I use the most.  It’s the one my friends have to reach out to me.  Jobs is for when I’m hunting for day jobs or registering with online job boards.  Writing is similar but for writing resources and when I’m submitting stories.  And Bullshit, frankly, is for relatives I don’t want reaching out to me, but they don’t have this since I don’t keep in touch with them anyways.  I think I use it for miscellaneous registrations, but I’m not even sure about that.  Give me a break.  This was all set up before I knew about filters.

I think I’m beyond hope in consolidating these different faces out of fear that closing one might lead to unintended consequences like, “Oh, crap!  I forgot to update my info with this site and now I can’t log in to do so because that email address is no longer valid!”

I want to express this to writers because if I can make this mistake, others can too.  Case in point: I sent the draft of a script to a friend I’d like to direct.  Because it’s a writing project, I used my Writing address.  No worries.  But then I sent the same script to an actress friend to see if she’d be interested.  I sent it to her via the personal one because she has it.

It felt weird.  It felt like sending classified information from your home computer instead of the government-issued one (like that would ever happen).  But the “send” button had been clicked upon and there was no going back, only moving forward.

Another instance occurred when I emailed a freelance proposal to a potential client with the Jobs address.  We tried setting up an initial meeting but not all of my messages got through because I would sometimes switch between Jobs and Writing.  Bad move, Mario.  It’s never good looking like a scatterbrain to a client.  At least, it wouldn’t look good to me.

I do encourage writers – anyone, really – to have different email addresses depending on different, specific needs.  You can sync them into one mailbox, and forwarding and filtering makes things more organized.  But you have to be clear about the face you’re using with each.

After tonight, my new rule goes something like this: the Writing address is for submissions and freelance proposals only.  It’s also attached to a Google Voice account that serves as an office number; I don’t like just handing out my cell phone number.

I might sound a little anal here micromanaging little things like this, but I also believe it pays off in the long run.  If you’re about to hit the pavement for a job and talk to a recruiter, you’re likely to hear that you need a professional-sounding email address rather than partydude666@hotmail.com.  The same goes for submissions.  Even if there’s a rejection heading my way, it’s best to put on as appropriate a face as possible.

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