Unsubscribe Me – Please!

♫ I let it go and now I know
A brand new life is down this road…♫

Lyrics and Music by: Avril LavigneChad Kroeger and David Hodges and recorded by Avril and Chad.


To paraphrase an old saying, everyone talks about how their inboxes are overflowing but no one actually does anything about them.  Well, almost anyone that is.  I had a conversation with my colleague and friend Debbie Foster at the Pacific Legal Technology Conference  earlier this month and she told me she has a policy of never leaving her desk at the end of the day until she has emptied her inbox of emails.  She calls this ‘Inbox Zero’.  Apparently this concept has quite a following since a Google search generated 39.5 million hits.

So it got me thinking of how I can move to Inbox Zero.  I have to say that at first blush I thought it was about as attainable as fitting into the tuxedo I bought 20 years ago.  But on further reflection, I think there are concrete steps that all of us can take to reducing the volume of emails we all receive and then efficiently deal with those that are left.  So this is the first of a series of posts dealing with the thorny issue of attaining Inbox Zero.

The first step towards Inbox Zero is to unsubscribe from all those ‘junk’ emails that come flooding into your inbox each and every day.  You know – the news service ones, the ones on the latest food and wine reviews (I admit I am a sucker for these), the cheap travel fares, the announcements from Twitter as to who has recently started following you and the like.

Virtually every commercial email list today has an ‘unsubscribe’ option towards the end of the email, courtesy of the ‘can-spam’ act.  Not all of these ‘unsubscribe’ methods are straightforward, easy or fast. You have to be prepared, in some cases, to ‘sign in’ to a website in order to unsubscribe (which can be a royal pain if you don’t happen to remember the password and/or username that you used to sign up for the email list in the first place).  Some will take up to 2 weeks before they process your request.  In some cases you have to ‘unsubscribe’ several times before it ‘sticks’.  But if you are persistent, you can cut down the number of junk emails that pile into your inbox and start down that road to Inbox Zero.



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