My friend and fellow historian David Grabitske threw down a writing challenge on Twitter recently.
The following tweet passed through my timeline recently from Stephanie @SimplyDreamin95: “Does anyone else email themselves stuff they need to save on another device and read or do you have your life together? #PhDLife”
I retweeted Stephanie’s tweet and said: “I email myself stuff aaaalllll the time to read and save it on another device.”
David replied that he did the same and wondered if this could be a future blog topic.
I consider myself as having my life fairly well put together. As much as life can be put together when there are loads of things outside of one’s control. For me, emailing myself stuff to read later on different devices is a method of keeping my life put together.
Email is an old-skool technology at this point, like radio or TV. It’s simply a digital way to send a letter and it’s a very solid, easy-to-use technology. Though I have had many email addresses since our family got its first computer in the 1990s (a Gateway that came in a box with a black-and-white cow pattern), I’m still using our original family email address.
Because it is so dependable, I have used email as a simple way to back up critical documents at home. At work, I have used it to send updates of policies and procedures to a work email address so staff could have access to these documents should anything happen to the organization’s computers or external hard drives. With free email accounts, a significant amount of cloud storage is built in, so why not use it?
And then there’s emailing myself links I want access to on other devices. If I read something useful for work while I’m not working, I send a quick email with a link.
When I find a long article on my phone that I want to read on a larger screen, I’ll email it to myself so I can view it on my computer. Same for online documents that require a download. It’s a pain to access downloaded docs on my phone.
I also email myself photos I’ve taken with my phone that I need on another device if I only need to send a few and can’t get them transferred directly to the device using my phone cord.
In addition, if I’ve found a product using my phone that I want to consider purchasing, I will send a link via email so I can further investigate it using my laptop.
The small visual field of a phone screen makes certain tasks difficult, as does messing with the tiny keyboard. Both of these factors are part of my propensity to email myself stuff in order to access it on other devices that are kinder to my eyes and fingers.
So, there are lots of good reasons to email ourselves stuff, which should alleviate Stephanie’s worry about whether they have their life together.
In case you’re curious, here’s a sampling of items I’ve emailed myself recently:
- Links with different types of blouses
- How To Turn Off ‘You Might Be Interested In’ Section On Twitter – https://www.alphr.com/turn-off-you-might-interested-in-section-twitter/ (Sometimes it’s easier to adjust app settings on a computer rather than on a phone.)
- 5 Steps to Setting Powerful Intentions – https://chopra.com/articles/5-steps-to-setting-powerful-intentions
- A Word the Press Should Remember – https://fallows.substack.com/p/a-word-the-press-should-remember
- COVID drives halt to Minnesota’s population growth – https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/12/21/covid-drives-halt-to-minnesotas-population-growth (I emailed this to myself at work, too.)
- Teaching History Through the Case Method – https://hbsp.harvard.edu/inspiring-minds/teaching-history-through-the-case-method
Do you email yourself stuff to access on other devices? If you have further thoughts on this topic, let me know in the comments.