Feb 01

Travel Tip: Labels

Last year I went on a couple trips, one was long, the rest were short.  But no matter the length of your trip managing email is difficult.  Lets face it, most email you get is probably not a priority.  So weeding through your email can be a chore on vacation if you don’t have an effective way to do it.

One of the ways I manage email is by using Gmail Labels.  Yes, it does require you to use Gmail, but as it’s such a robust program you should at least consider switching to it.  And it’s not as hard as you might think to switch.  You can keep your old email account and have Gmail import your email.  You’ll never have to notify anyone.

Why Gmail?  The label system that if offers.  Remember that moment when you realized you could make folders in your email?  Labels are like folders on steroids.

I guess I should first mention that instead of deleting, Gmail leans towards archiving emails.  It hides them away from your view, but keeps them incase you need to reference them.  Yes, you can still delete emails, but since the memory that Gmail allows you to use is so large it will be years and years before you’ll NEED to delete.

So back to labels: similar to folders, but cooler. You get an email, you read it, don’t need it now, but don’t want to delete it.  But you’re not sure which of your “folders” you want to put it into, well with Gmail you don’t have to choose, you can put as many labels on it as you need.  Then when you’re looking for it you can click on any of those labels you used to easily find the email.

How does this apply to your travels?  Well when you get those emails that you don’t need on vacation, but might need when you get home – now you can label them for easy reference when you’re home.  Or maybe it’s emails from the stores you frequent.  You see the email, label it, archive it and move on.  If an occasion comes that you need that coupon code, it’s easy to find.   Now you can focus on the emails from friends and family asking if it’s true that you got robbed in London and need them to wire you cash.

You can set up filters that will automatically label emails (you can also have them auto archived if you have a crazy ex-boyfriend who wont stop email you).  Or you can add the label on when the emails arrive.   I have a lot of automatic labeling done, and it make it easy to archive emails when I’m on vacation, knowing they are not lost, but also not distracting me from the important emails.

If you want more information on how to set up labels, Google has a simple set of directions here.