Does your email Inbox need to go on a diet? Try mine.

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email overloadMy spell checker tells me “unsubscribe” isn’t a word but I know it is because I’ve been doing a lot of it lately.

Now that I’ve achieved “Inbox Zero” (I’ll tell you how I did it in a later post) new emails into my nearly-empty Inbox stand out like a big pimple on an otherwise unblemished forehead. And I’m getting more these days now that the holiday shopping season is in high gear.

And so I’m being ruthless at unsubscribing (also not a word) from as many newsletters and other email subscriptions as possible. I know I can always re-subscribe if I change my mind.

It feels great. You should try it.

Ask yourself, “Do I usually read email from this person/company/group?” If the answer is no, hit the unsub link (okay, now I’m making up words).

If you’re not sure, or if you do at times read these emails, leave the subscription in place for now. You can have another go at this once you’ve removed the most obvious subscriptions.

Another option is to create a filter to automatically send these emails to your email archive. You’ll still get them but you won’t have to see them, unless and until you choose to. Filters are easy to set up in gmail; check your email client’s help file to see if this is possible and how to do it.

A third option for reducing the amount of incoming email is to set up another email address specifically for these subscriptions. Some email services allow you to change your email address. Others require you to unsubscribe and re-subscribe with the new email address.

I have an email address I set up for this purpose. Right now I have all of those messages forwarded to my regular Inbox, but it’s easy to turn off this function. I can then check the other email account once a month, scan through the messages, and decide if there is anything worth reading.

I like getting email. It’s an important part of my work and personal life. I’m sure email is important to you, too. But when you get too many emails, particularly emails you aren’t reading, it’s time to put your email Inbox on a diet.

You might want to hurry. The after Christmas sales will be here before we know it.

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