Monday, November 17, 2008

the virtue of being organized

I start a new job this morning (see my bio for details, if you're curious), which means last week I was busy wrapping things up at my old job. And I'm making not a New Year's resolution but a new-job resolution: be more organized.

As organized as I am (I colour code my assignment letters), I've always been horrible at managing my address book. In fact, I rarely even enter contacts into it – I let autofill or a search for the last email from someone yield the info I'm looking for. The problem with doing it this way is that when your email account is scheduled to become defunct imminently, you're stuck trying to build your address book from scratch by going through all your past correspondence. A nightmare, I assure you. Because I also have the bad habit of not deleting old emails. I had thousands to go through. So that's part of my resolution, too – delete and file emails as I read them.

Anyway, back to the address book. The reason why I bring this up is because, in magazines – well, in any industry – who you know is important, and your contact list can be one of your greatest assets. Knowing who to call to get a certain job done (say, a writer in Winnipeg for a feature on the city) and being able to reach them makes you a valuable employee. Likewise, it benefits you to have someone whom you can call to sniff out possible openings at a company. So, if your address book isn't up to date, make a resolution with me to get on top of it.

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