Hired to come in and organize your online/email life - is this a job?
April 10, 2015 6:39 AM   Subscribe

So, there exists such a thing as professional declutterers and organizers, who'll come to your home or office and help you get your stuff together. My question: is there an analogous gig where someone exclusively helps someone else get their personal email/digital/workflow life together (no other apartment/home organizing involved)? Like, say, getting to Inbox Zero, or at least having a system for how they can handle email without feeling overwhelmed? Or helping them track their work more effectively? (Details/background inside.)

If so, what is it called? "Online Organizer"? (Um - given I've worked as an actual online political organizer, not so sure how I feel about this one.) "Digital Declutterer"? (Bit unwieldy.) Because I think that'd be a fun/useful sidegig.

Why I ask: I recently had a work experience where my ostensible primary task was helping an artist do a better job connecting to fans online via email/social - and while that part went great, a surprising amount of our time got devoted to the day-to-day of handling personal email/social/online-work without feeling overwhelm, how to much more quickly pare down their email inbox and keep their tabs/desktop organized and free of clutter, etc. - and they felt like it improved their lives as deeply as the thing I was primarily there for.

I'm figuring out a lot of professional questions at this moment, and it seems, if nothing else, a really interesting potential sidegig. Makes one curious. Thank you!
posted by (The Rt Hon.) MP to Work & Money (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
That sounds like what I'd expect from a Getting Things Done coach - there are probably a bunch of other similar brands and people doing this without association with David Allen, too.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 6:42 AM on April 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

You might also look into Life Coaches.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 6:43 AM on April 10, 2015

I don't know if it is or isn't, but it 100% should be. This is a fantastic idea. Not everyone wants to spend years scouring reviews of productivity tools and apps to waste time on bad guesses. Off the top of my head, related things I think I or others could use help with:
- selecting and optimizing key organizational apps that will work across platforms/devices and will suit the person's preferences (like, reference management for students; to-do lists and prioritization techniques for everyone); or even, helping people choose devices that might suit their ideal workflow, given current standards and people's individual preferences/weirdnesses
- basic file management and maintenance (when and why do you clear out your Downloads folder and Desktop? When and exactly how should you back things up? What's the current best-value storage option to do that given user's current setup?)
- negotiating ads, privacy, security, passwords

Thinking that ADHD coaches might also dip into this kind of thing.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:28 AM on April 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

If it isn't, make it one. Add getting their media life up to speed and you're golden. What to purchase, what to subscribe to, how to configure, etc.
posted by headnsouth at 7:46 AM on April 10, 2015

The job title for this is productivity coach.
posted by eschatfische at 8:24 AM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was hired to do that by a nut job (I only lasted a week). I was called an assistant. She only wanted to pay me for 5 hours a week but she wanted me to be up before 5:00 am to sort her emails and then work with them 24/7. So, be careful when you apply that hours and compensation are in writing.
posted by myselfasme at 8:26 AM on April 10, 2015

Sounds to me like the kind of service I would pay for...if it counts...I second the fact that it sounds like a productivity coach.
posted by The1andonly at 11:49 AM on April 10, 2015

What I would call this is an Evernote expert. Because IMO, Evernote is the best thing all-around to do this. I've thought of doing this myself because I am an Evernote expert. But I don't have time. But I have noticed that there are people with the shingle out. You will find them at the Evernote forums.
posted by cda at 7:44 PM on April 10, 2015

There are members of the National Association of Professional Organizers who do this kind of work. I've seen them call themselves Productivity Consultants, although I'm sure there are other titles in use, too.
posted by jeri at 4:19 PM on April 19, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for all the help on this! FWIW, I've slowly started doing this - just posted to AskMe with a related follow-up. Thanks again!
posted by (The Rt Hon.) MP at 12:54 PM on December 30, 2015

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