Email life hack: Keep organized with a family email account

Notes from the teacher in your kid’s backpack are a thing of the past – nowadays everything is digital. The invitation for the school open house, reminder about a well-child check-up and spring soccer schedule all come as emails. With so many other messages flooding your inbox, it’s easy for one to slip through the cracks. The solution: A family email account.
Staying organized can get harder once you add a child – or several – to the mix. And if all kid-related emails are going to an account that only one adult can access, there is a very good chance of missing a message. Just imagine: Alice’s mom puts her personal email address on the soccer team mailing list. When she is on a week-long business trip, she rarely has time to check that account. So Alice’s dad never gets the message about ordering a new jersey on time.
Family of four sits around table with father reading to toddlers and mother working on laptop
With a family email account, everyone is on the same page about the kids’ activities

The challenges of juggling multiple email addresses

Things can get especially complicated if there are two co-parents sharing kid-wrangling duties even though they don’t live together, or if a grandparent picks up the kids from school and takes them to activities every afternoon. And then there is the issue of fairness: even if one parent voluntarily takes the lead on coordinating these activities, they probably could use a helping hand sometimes, while the other parent would appreciate being included and informed.

It is possible to set up systems for forwarding emails automatically or fetching emails from multiple email accounts. However, even if one parent creates an inbox rule that automatically forwards all emails from the child’s teacher to the other parent, for instance, there is still the problem of knowing who has replied. Not to mention the extra work of setting up the automatic forwarding for each new sender.

The solution: A family email address

All of these problems can be solved by creating a new email address for family use. If this new email account is only used for the dedicated purpose of organizing kid stuff, the danger of important information slipping through the cracks decreases exponentially. And you can give a grandmother, au pair, co-parent, etc. access to the account without having to worry about seeing each other’s personal or work emails.
 
Family email address ideas

When you decide to set up a family email address, the usual email username best practices apply. Be sure you choose a name that will be easy to remember and is not so cutesy that you’ll be embarrassed sharing it. Keep in mind that you are going to be writing this email on a lot of sign-up sheets and class lists, and even spelling it on the phone when you make an appointment with the pediatrician. So make things easy on yourself – instead of Alice35683@xxxx.com or sweetie-and-darling@xxxx.com, stick with classics like AlicesParents@xxxx.com or DodgsonFamily@xxxx.com. With mail.com’s large selection of email domains, it will be a snap to create an email address that works for your family.

Keeping the family email inbox organized

Once you have your family email account, you’ll have to agree on some ground rules such as who answers what and when messages should be deleted. Alice’s parents, for example, have agreed that any message left in the inbox is still considered a to-do. Emails that have been taken care of are placed in custom folders to make sure that information is easy to locate. This means that messages that don’t require further action but which contain important information, like the login for a Zoom class or the spring soccer schedule, are moved to an appropriate folder like “Alice - School” or “Alice - Sports”. Messages that have been replied to and not contain any further important information are moved to the “Done” folder, which is set up to automatically delete emails that are older than 60 days. And whoever reads a message containing appointment-related information, like the date of the class holiday party, is in charge of saving it in the calendar and setting up a reminder or an invite to any other family members whose presence is required. Your family is sure come up with a system that works best for all of you!

Do you think a family email address could be useful? Before you create that new email address, leave us some feedback below!

Images: 1&1/GettyImages
 

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