A Digital Detox: How to Regain Control of Your Email Inbox
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An email address is a necessity for work and play. It’s one of the most valuable accounts we possess when using the Web.
You’ll realize, however, just how quickly your email inbox begins to get out of control due to subscriptions to newsletters, forwards from family members, and spam, which become aggravating especially if we’re trying to remain proficient with messages and keep it business oriented.
The following are a few tips, tricks, and resources for regaining control of your inbox.
By the end of this you should have an inbox that won’t be a daunting task that interrupts your day.
Unsubscribing from Lists – The Easy Way
Email services have evolved and become sophisticated enough to handle much of the spam we receive throughout the day. What they haven’t seemed to gain a grasp on are our subscriptions.
- Maybe you signed up for a newsletter to receive a coupon?
- Maybe you signed up because you wanted a free ebook?
- Maybe it was forgetting to uncheck “don’t subscribe” after leaving a comment on a blog?
Since we have declared we’re willing to ‘opt-in’ to these newsletters it gives the businesses and individuals the right to send us emails – we gave them the permission.
But over time we grow weary of the constant updates.
There is a great trick you can use to purge your inbox of these subscriptions and it goes like this:
1. Type “subscribe”, “manage my subscription”, or a variation of the keywords in the search box of your email client.
2. You will now see highlighted sections of newsletters from various sources due to their requirements to include an unsubscribe option in their newsletters (for compliance).
3. Open and begin unsubscribing from each of the newsletters you no longer want.
It’s that simple.
This process can be done in a matter of minutes and save hours of your week by not having to manually delete emails as they come in plus you’re not receiving the distraction from seeing unchecked items in your inbox.
Filtering the Items – With Tools
Quite a handy tool that has come around to help us control our inbox is Unroll.me.
Once you’re signed up to the service it will start going to work:
- One click unsubscribes to newsletters and other emails
- Round up update emails which then becomes one daily digest
- Support for Outlook.com, Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo, AOL Mail, and iCloud
There are other services you can try out such as Mailstrom.co or Sanebox.com.
If you’re looking for a quick way to take care of your inbox then one of these will do the trick. I wouldn’t really recommend them if you are only receiving a dozen or so emails each day because that’s easily manageable on your own. These type of services are for when you’re getting bombarded daily and if you’re not constantly on top of it you end up needing to take a part of your week just for clean up.
Managing the Rest
Sometimes you can’t find the unsubscribe button. Sometimes you do, click it, and it requires you to log into your account but, alas, you forgot the information. Sometimes it’s coming from someone’s personal email and you’re not sure why they keep sending stuff.
A polite email asking the business/individual to stop emailing you sometimes works.
All you need to do is tell them you would no longer like to receive updates and please remove your address from their mailing list.
If they don’t comply you could take one of the other steps or just mark the email as spam and allow it to go to the spam folder where you could do a quick delete of all with a few clicks.
Image by HebiPics