What percentage of your emails are actually stuff you want? If you’re like me there are three categories:

  • Good stuff – friends, business emails etc.
  • Crud – straight up spam
  • Other – those lists that you signed up for and read sometime (or never) but have every intention of reading

If you’re like me, the Other category has grown to seemingly unmanageable heights. Yes, that is my actual inbox this morning (right) with 7,464 unread messages. I do get a ton of email but not that much every day. The majority of those unread messages are just ones that I didn’t have time to read when they arrived. Now they sit in some weird email limbo waiting for me to someday have enough free time to dig through thousands of emails.

I am pretty sure that you are like me, albeit not with the sheer volume of emails.

For that reason, I use the first of the year to do an email resolution. That is to thumb through some of the unread ones and decide if those emails are something I really want filling up my inbox. By law, they must have instructions for unsubscribing now unless they come from an individual.

I find that in about 30 minutes you can find dozens of no-longer useful email lists and unsubscribe. If you really take a second and ask yourself honestly “Am I ever going to read any of these?” you’ll find for most that answer is, “no.” Yes, there are some tools you can use that supposedly make this easier but I find the old-fashioned way of doing it yourself yields better results.

As New Year’s Resolutions go… this is an easy win for you too!

by Chris Doelle