Here in Atlanta, we’re opening our windows, stocking up on our allergy meds, and packing up the stuff we don’t need. It’s that spirit that inspires today’s topic: clearing some of your association’s clutter.
Illustration courtesy of Hyperbole and a Half
Keep: Inactive members
You never know what’s going on in someone's life that could cause inactivity: it could be that the member is going through a career or life transition, has irregular scheduling, or simply isn’t engaged. It could be that one or two small tweaks are all that’s necessary to get those sleepy members reengaged. Maybe all they need is a shot in the arm.
Toss: Inactive social media efforts (but keep the account)
Or at least toss your efforts and keep the accounts. If one social media platform isn’t working out, maybe it’s not worth your time. Right now, anyway. Keep the account and look in on it occasionally when you have time. Many times a social media platform is just one or two small tweaks away from mega success, so it’s a good idea to toss your efforts if you're not getting a return, but keep the accounts.
Keep: Last year’s date book
Despite the oodles of pictures, notes, recaps and videos, I tend to forget last year’s big events until I cruise through my day planner at the end of the year. It might be a good idea to flip back through last year’s calendar and take note of how your days looked. Were you attending more networking events? Going to conferences that you missed this year? It’ll be a good opportunity to reflect on the successes and setbacks of the previous year and plan for the future.
Toss: Blogs with outdated or incorrect information
Your association grows and changes every day, and because of that some of the information you put out there in the past could be outdated or no longer useful or correct. In many cases, a quick edit will do the trick, but sometimes your circumstances have changed so much that you just don’t want that information out there anymore. Nothing really ever dies on the internet, but you can stop people from looking you up on a search engine and finding faulty information, at least faulty information that's coming directly from you.
Keep: Business cards you picked up at conferences and meetings
You might want to consider importing them into your E-mail software rather than having messy stacks of business cards strewn all over your desk (like me) but you never know where those contacts will come in handy. Jot a quick note to yourself as to where and when you met that person and bingo, you have a way in when the time comes that you have a question or want to make an introduction.
While you’re at it, clean out: inboxes and RSS feeds
E-mail accumulates annoyingly fast. And the problem is, it all looks useful! These days clearing your inbox to only a couple E-mails is a huge feat, so try to do that periodically if you can. It’ll help your E-mail software run quicker and more efficiently in a lot of cases, and will help you keep organized. Create folders for the important stuff you just can’t get rid of.
Also take a look at your blog subscriptions. Are there any that you just delete upon receiving the notification, because they’re just not as relevant or interesting as you once thought? Clearing some of the less-relevant content will make way for increased productivity and allow important things to come in.
Happy cleaning! Let us know how it goes.