Inbox Zero: Unsubscribing (And the Next-Best Option)


Where do all these email alerts, newsletters, updates, sales pitches and unrequested announcements come from?

Inspired by my co-Tipster David Bilinsky’s recent posts on the elusive quest for Inbox Zero, I’ve been in a mood to purge all those unwanted or redundant messages that clutter up  my own, perpetual Inbox Five Hundred.  

In the last few days alone, I’ve hit unsubscribe and said goodbye forever to emails from REM, Quora, Legendary Motor Cars, Carswell (I know, sacrilege), ManChef, Houzz, Cater Trends, Joel from Buffer, Go Daddy, Facebook, CPD On Time, Digg, NY Times, York University, LawCrossing, Sky Auction and PR Hacker, to name a few.

If I have my way, before very long, only bulk missives from the Law Society, CBA, OBA and my CNN alerts will remain standing.

But if all that manual unsubscribing is just too much bother, here’s a quick tip via LifeHacker – set your email client’s “message rules” or filters to search for the word “unsubscribe,” and direct all emails containing that word to your trash bin automatically.  As most unwanted email will contain “unsubscribe,” this is a quick and dirty way to get the spam out of your inbox and en-route to its rightful destination.  Note, however, that this filter may capture the occasional email you actually want, so a manual check of your trash folder will be a good idea before a final delete.

Alternatively, if you may want to review all these emails at a later date (a date that will never come, I promise), or are simply an unapologetic digital packrat, create a new folder called MYSPAM and direct these filtered emails there.

It may be just a small step for mankind…

But its a giant step toward Inbox Zero.

-Garry J. Wise, Toronto (@wiselaw)


  1. Gary

    What a simple and elegant way to get rid of spam emails!

    Brilliant! Wish I had thought of it!

    Cheers and thanks,


  2. I have my “rule” set to redirect these e-mails to a “favorite spam” folder.

    I regularly clean out this folder, but when I am looking for a deal – it is there. For example, I have several florists who e-mail me. When someone has a special occasion or someone passes on, I can check for discounts in that folder, and make use of it as I need it.

  3. The Lifehacker suggestion is definitely an easy way to eliminate some of the junk, time wasting, emails but it also filters out some important ones as well. I like to create individual filters for emails as they come. It takes more time to set up, but it works better overall.

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