I don’t say this proudly.
I, Janice Wald, am a pack rat.
I save everything. I mean everything– bell bottoms from the 1970’s, eight copies of the same book given to me by my dearly departed grandma, everything.
I have even saved [are you ready?] 10,000 emails in my inbox.
This post will offer action plans, remedies, for those emails.
First, I will explain a free app called Unroll.Me. Then, Jann Alexander from Pairings will explain an app store which offers free apps to cure email clutter– Other Inbox.
Why You Need Unroll.Me
Bloggers often have many Emails. Commenters write about email clutter and email overwhelm.
The reason bloggers chronically drown in emails is a result of their many subscriptions to other blogs. According to Carolyn West, it is not unusual for bloggers to subscribe to 100 blogs. Subscribing to a like-minded blogger’s blog is not only routine in blogging but encouraged.
I am no exception. I have tried other apps and methods for reducing the clutter that all my subscriptions bring into my inbox, but nothing works.
I had heard great things about Unroll.Me, but until recently it was only available for Android users. Imagine my excitement when I found it is available for iOS users as well since I use Apple’s iPhone.
How to Use Unroll.Me
Step 1: Go to the App Store and download the app.
Step 2: You will be asked which email service you want to use Unroll.Me with. Choices include Gmail and Yahoo Mail, among others.
I chose Gmail since I use it for blogging. I have four email boxes but that is the one that is the most cluttered. I actually have two Gmail accounts. I could use Unroll.Me with both, but I’d have to sign out of one and into the other.
Unroll.Me analyzed my inbox looking for subscriptions. It only deals with subscriptions.
Step 3: Choose from three options.
- Keep the subscriptions in your inbox.
- Unsubscribe from them altogether.
- Roll them up, so they are only presented to you once a day.
By looking at the screenshot, you can see before I downloaded the app, I had 133 subscriptions consistently entering my inbox.
You would think it would take a while for me to respond with my choices regarding what to do with 133 subscriptions. I actually read that it takes a while, but it didn’t at all.
That’s one reason I didn’t unsubscribe from the 40 emails earlier. It would take time, and I am always rushing.
The way you tell Unroll.Me what to do with your emails is with one swipe of a finger. You swipe left for Unsubscribe, right for Keep and up if you want your subscriptions to enter your inbox in a “roll up” at the same time every day.
You might wonder why I chose to keep 17 subscriptions instead of rolling up all the subscriptions I wanted to keep. I like to get in early at linky parties and Meet in Greets. I don’t want to wait until 9:00 am the next morning when I receive my roll up to be notified of those emails.
I was excited to see my inbox after using Unroll.Me. To my surprise, my 10,000 emails were still there. This is because Unroll.Me organizes your content for you. It does not clean it out.
By looking at the screenshot, you can see how my inbox is now organized.
- The purple circle is around an email from a subscriber. It is not part of a subscription.
- The red circle shows two posts from blogs I subscribe to. I can wait until the next day when the Roll Up comes into my box to read them. During the wait, I can clean out my inbox further in anticipation I will be getting the posts.
- The brown circle is from a commenter. I need to reply as soon as I can which might be sooner than 9:00 am the next day.
My inbox is now organized by priority. I can prioritize which emails get more immediate attention, those labeled Inbox. Those that were Rolled Up are second in importance which is why I chose to wait until the next morning to see them.
What was once an unmanageable inbox is now organized for me by importance.
My inbox will also be less cluttered going forward since the 40 emails I unsubscribed from will no longer be entering my inbox.
Step 4: When a new article of a blog you’ve subscribed to enters your inbox, within 24 hours, Unroll.Me will write you to ask you what you want to do with the email. Do you want to continue rolling it up? Do you want to unsubscribe altogether?
Unroll.Me has emailed me every day since reminding me to continue to clear out my email inbox as new subscriptions come in. It’s like I have a weight-loss sponsor who doesn’t want me to return to binging on calories, except in this case I’m binging on emails. Instead of adding too many pounds to my waistline, I might add too much clutter to my email box.
The best part, if you make a mistake, just go to “Edit Subscription” (circled in red in the top screenshot) and undo your error. If you delete something you actually want, everything you deleted is alphabetized under “Edit Subscriptions”, so you can easily find what you are looking for. Just click “Keep in inbox” if it turns out you really do want it after all.
That’s it; that’s all there is to using Unroll.Me– 4 quick, simple steps.
In conclusion, this app is downright revolutionary. Many bloggers are told people don’t want to subscribe to their blogs since they don’t want more emails entering their already overcrowded inbox.
Now that their emails are organized and prioritized, they should make different choices. They should embrace an interesting, helpful blog instead of shy away from it out of fear of additional inbox clutter.
How To Tackle The Email Clutter
If you like to focus on your blogging more than cleaning out your email clutter, here are two invaluable free apps to use.
OtherInBox.com offers two free apps to get a grip on your digital clutter. Each of these free (but worth every penny) email solutions offers you a chance to automatically categorize and sort your non-personal email, and will even unsubscribe for you!
That makes them especially miraculous.
Once you give your email address and login credentials to Unsubscriber, a new Unsubscribe folder will magically pop into the folders section of your email client. When you drag an unwanted email to the Unsubscribe folder, it will unsubscribe from that emailer for you—you don’t even need to go to the trouble yourself. Email marketers must hate Unsubscribe.
With OtherInBox’s Organizer, your non-personal emails will instantly get sorted into new folders the app creates in your email folder list, like OIB Shopping, OIB Social Networking, OIB Recreation, OIB Finance, OIB Groups etc. (OIB refers to OtherInBox and is a necessary prefix for each folder.) You have the option to alter how the emails are sorted by simply moving them out of the folder OtherInBox has deemed relevant—back to your inbox, or to another OIB folder.
Once sorted, you can clear out thousands of never-read MySpace and Best Buy emails in one “delete” action from the OIB folder they’re all gathered in. What could be simpler, or sweeter?
Simpler = organized = less clutter Click To Tweet
You can add folders of your own making, if you create them with the OIB prefix, then you can train the subsequent emails you receive simply by dragging them into the appropriate OIB folders.
For example, suppose you’re passionate about indie beers and subscribe to a few email newsletters from some brew pubs, and get some email blasts from your favorite craft beer bars, and every now and then an email arrives from an Etsy artist who silkscreens t-shirts with your favorite indie beer logo on it, those emails will be organized into a folder for you.
Corral ’em all in one place, and they’ll go there automatically in the future! Just create a folder called OIB Brews and when you get a relevant email, drag it into the folder. You only have to do it once for each sender. Organizer is much easier to train than your average Labradoodle.
Each day you’ll also get a summary from Organizer detailing the list of emails it sorted for you. (As if you care! You’re just thrilled to have your inbox decluttered!)
My email client is Apple Mail, and both apps work admirably there. A bubble pops up on each folder with a number to alert me as to how many new emails have arrived. Most other major email clients are supported as well; their features may vary.
Should you get an email from me, please drag it into an OIB Clever Ideas folder you’ve made, to read later. And please be sure to check out my blog, Pairings. We might as well connect on Twitter, too: I’m Jann Alexander @AustinDetails
About Jann Alexander: Aim, frame, click. Read, write, repeat. Find Photography, Writing, Art, Design and Words here about pairing art with what goes with it (everything).
Admin Blogger’s Commentary:
This post shared three ideas to make email inbox clutter a thing of the past. Please share, so other bloggers can feel relief instead of dread when they look at their email inbox and get ideas for apps that will organize their Email for them.
Are you already using any of the apps and can comment on its effectiveness? Do you think you might try any of the three? I look forward to your views. Oh, don’t be in such a rush to go download the apps that you forget to go visit Jann’s blog, Pairings, and show her some “blog love” for coming and enlightening us today.
How to Be a More Organized Blogger with Twitter Lists (How to get less clutter in your Twitter feed)