I’m a huge fan of the Unclutterer Blog, and I read daily posts via my Feed Reader on my mobile phone. It has inspired me to clean my study, and of late it has inspired me to clean up my inbox.
I’ve implemented a tagging system similar to that described by Gina Trapani from Lifehacker, but at the end of the day, there were subscriptions that had built up over time that I was deleting on a daily basis. They weren’t even going in a ‘to read’ pile (I find piles like that never get read).
Instead, I started sorting my inbox, and using the following criteria I culled:
- Not interested in the subject any more – remove subscription
- Haven’t read the last 5 emails that they sent – remove subscription
- Not sure – automatically tag it when it comes in (I used gmail filters and tag with ‘subscribe_eval’). I have started evaluating these every week (I have set a Google calendar email alert to do so). If I don’t read, then see point 2 above.
If I keep them, then there must be a reason, and I don’t want an archived set of newsletter and advertising emails in my email account, so I must either:
- Read and delete, or
- Go to the article or link that I am interested in (if there is a web-based version) and bookmark it using Magnolia or Delicious (I use Magnolia). That way I can search for it easily if I need it in the future, tag it appropriately, and organise it in a way that can be used.