Put a Knife in the Heart of your Junk e-mail

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Do you hate unsolicited e-mails? I’m not talking about straight up spam, I already know you hate that. I’m talking about e-mails you may have signed up for intentionally or unintentionally.  It kind of works like this, you purchase something online, donate to a political candidate, request some information from a company like healthcare, banking services, widgets etc.

The Hook

You may have even checked off the please do not send me any more information box at the bottom of the from. Somehow they find you. The biggest abusers are often companies you gave permission to. So, for instance, I may follow my favorite hotel for special offers, the next thing you know I am receiving offers from three or four other hotels in the same chain.

Or, I may have donated to a certain political candidate and now I’m receiving multiple e-mails from candidates and other talking heads in his party. I definitely did not want to hear from these people. I could haplessly search at the bottom of these e-mails for the minuscule hidden unsubscribe link. Then login with more information and attempt to unsubscribe, often a fool’s errand.  I could just mark the e-mail as SPAM or JUNK, however, I may be blocking actual e-mails I want to receive. This also often fails to block or trash e-mails from others in this group.

The Suckiness

Okay, regardless of how many ways I describe this, it sucks. It’s also unfair to bloggers, organizations and companies that spend some time creating newsletters, offers, and information you actually want to receive. This pisses some people off so much they declare e-mail bankruptcy and just shut off their e-mail address only to create a new one and start all over. Another trick I’ve used in the past is to use a “junk persona” or just a working junk e-mail address on Yahoo or Gmail, for those times you need to receive confirmations or links but don’t want to use your personal e-mail. This is also a pain in the ass.

The Solution

Now that I’ve completed my rant, I will share a FREE solution I’ve been using for the past year.  It’s called Unroll.me.  Once you sign up it scans your in box automatically searching for e-mails that you’ve subscribed to either willingly or unwillingly. Unroll.me then asks if you would like to consolidate these e-mails into a single rollup.

Unleash Your Inner Ninja

This is where the fun starts. This is where you get to exert your new found knife wielding powers on your unwanted e-mail guests. Unroll.me will present you with a list in alphabetical order of all of the e-mail subscriptions it has found in your e-mail account.

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You don’t need to deal with them right away. They will stay in your inbox until you mark them as,” add to rollup” or  “unsubscribe” you also have the choice to select “keep in inbox.” As you can see, my work e-mail was out-of-control. I actually unsubscribed to 174 lists so far.  As far as all the other lists they go, into the roll up which is sent to you once a day allowing you to quickly scan any of the e-mails you’ve chosen to keep. My current rollup includes 481 lists. Some of these lists you may only hear from a couple times a year and they will neatly be placed in the roll up. My daily rollup averages about 5 or 6 rolled up messages. You can always unsubscribe or move them back to your inbox at any time.

Here’s what the subscription page looks like so you can quickly go through and unsubscribe, add to roll up or keep an inbox as new lists appear.  You will be amazed at how many lists you’re actually on.

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Some of these lists you will want to keep in your inbox and others you’ll have never heard of, and can dispatch them immediately forever with a click of the mouse. Generally, I won’t recommend something that I haven’t used for quite a while. I can say that Unroll.me is really onto something here.

End Game

If you’ve ever been distracted by an e-mail, this is the tool for you. It allows you to batch all of this less than important stuff into a quick daily single e-mail you can quickly scan through or trash. There are definitely organizations, companies and bloggers I want to hear from but don’t need them filling up my work inbox.

As you click on items to read in your daily rollup, you will be taken to a page where they are all consolidated by day. You can also sort them by category.

If you’re not sure about this, try it with a personal e-mail or one of your old junk e-mails. You’ll quickly see the value in unsubscribing and working lean with a much trimmer inbox.

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