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First World Problems: I have 21,000 unread emails

It’s time that I admit that I miss my clean GMail inbox. I haven’t seen it in years. My inbox has become cluttered with emails from Groupon, LinkedIn, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, just to name a few. Right now, I get a LOT of email – most of it being worthless. I’ve completely ignored email notifications for a while now – and I’ve decided today that I want to change that.¬†Unlimited storage has fostered a carefree inbox management strategy. Today I’m going to fix that.

The first thing I’m doing is archiving all of my emails that are in my inbox and more than one day old. They aren’t being deleted, just being moved to the all mail box. I used the search¬†filter in:inbox before:2012/11/26 to find these messages. A quick select all and press of the archive button, and I’m already feeling a little bit better. I now am down to only 47 unread emails. This is a nice set of emails that will let me know what websites I need to tell to stop sending me so much crap.

Now I must go through each junk message, one by one, and click “unsubscribe.” For the record, here’s all the junk email I am changing settings on:

  • LIVE 360 Events
  • Groupon – Removed emails for daily Milwaukee and Madison deals, Getaways, Now! (whatever that is), and Occasions
  • LivingSocial deals – Milwaukee South products and escapes
  • LinkedIn group digest emails – I had to select to get “No email” for each group I’m in on LinkedIn as there was no setting to just shut them all off. At least LinkedIn puts all the groups on one page.
  • Old Navy Deal Alerts
  • LinkedIn Today – apparently this is separate from the group digest emails
  • Network Performance Bulletin
  • Barnes & Noble
  • IT Security Bulletin
  • Slickdeals Daily Deals Alerts
  • AmazonLocal Deals – their unsubscribe link in the email doesn’t work. I had to login to my account to manage my subscriptions
  • PUMA
  • Google Calendar – I had to dig for the settings in Google Calendar to figure out how to shut off my daily agenda emails.
  • Amazon.com Marketing Emails
  • Threadless
  • ADTMag.com
  • VMWare
  • Republic Wireless
  • MetroEye
  • Democratic Party of Wisconsin
  • Redmond Channel Partner
  • Gilt
  • SlickDeals newsletters
  • Samsung Electronics America
  • Visual Studio Live!
  • Jetsetter
  • Madison Mallards
  • Application Development Trends
  • Big Data Bulletin
  • 1-800-CONTACTS – This one was particularly scammy. I clicked unsubscribe, and it made me login. Once I logged in, it automatically put the contacts that I had ordered in the past in my cart and took me to a check out page. I had to dig through my account settings to turn off email notifications.
  • Mobile Device Management
  • The Pabst Theater
  • Newegg.com E-Blast
Now that I’ve unsubscribed from all of these newsletters and archived them, I have exactly five email conversations that were not spam from the last 24 hours. I went through and archived them all, as they were all read or responded to by me. For the first time since I got GMail in 2004, I see the following message:

Not a minute after I took that screenshot, I got a new email from Groupon suggesting I should take a belly dancing class in Madison. If they want to know why I unsubscribed from their emails, they should look at this case – why would I, a 25 year old male, be interested in belly dancing, in a city I don’t live in? I click archive, and go back to feeling great about my inbox for the first time in years.