My Email Inbox Reduction Experiment

So this summer Matt decided to try biking to work for 30 days, Quadszilla tried blogging for 30 days, both worth while endeavors but I was looking for something to do that had value that would last longer than the 30 days … so I decided to reduce my inbox.

Like most of you I’d wake up every morning with 50-100 emails sitting in my inbox, to be honest most of them where crap and got deleted. Which got me thinking how much time do I waste deleting emails over and over again from the same companies that I am never going to use. So here was my plan.

  • If the sender was legit unsubscribe the correct way
  • If not set up a rule/filter to auto delete all email from them
  • If  unsubscribe attempts failed set up a rule/filter to auto delete

The first 2 weeks of my experiment was brutal I was visiting hundreds of websites, trying to unsubscribe, remember and recover lost passwords it was just awful, However eventually I did see the light of day, and I was waking up to a smaller and smaller inbox. Here are some things I noticed:

  • Smaller companies are much easier to unsubscribe from
  • Larger companies have segregated lists making it much harder to unsubscribe
  • Larger companies abuse take advantage of the 10 day grace period to remove you from their list
  • In some cases it’s completely impossible to stop promotional emails (I like you ClickZ and iEntry but looking in your direction here)

This is absolutely an experiment I recommend that you take part in I can definitely say it’s been pretty successful and a huge win for me as I am usually waking up to 25 or less new email messages in the morning. The first weeks are definitely the hardest, and it’s probably going to take you longer than 30 days, but the rewards will give you more time to get things done in the future. runs on the Genesis Framework

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