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Hacks that work*! How to handle newsletter surge

( * for me at least😁)

If you are like me, every now and then – during your Sunday morning coffee – you read a nice article online. It is so nice that you want to get more articles your way in fear (FOMO) that you might not remember to revisit the blog that hosts this article. Hence, you subscribe to its newsletter!

The problem

Fast forward several months later, although you haven’t found anything else particularly interesting in this newsletter, you are still receiving it. With it you probably get a ton of other newsletters and offers (for some of which you might never opted in, may I add) 😒.

Your inbox is now flooded and you don’t really have the time to go through each one of these unread e-mails and unsubscribe. You will probably either try to bulk delete some of these messages or create a label to transfer all the newsletters or archive them (maybe hoping that you can come back later and re-read some of them; still FOMOing -).

That used to be my story, until recently!

A solution

A very quick and easy way of dealing with newsletters that historically land to your inbox is to create an e-mail filter that will automatically aggregate them to a label. You can then go through them and decide whether you want to keep them or (try to) unsubscribe.

Here’s how you create such a filter on Gmail:

This filter does the following:

  • Finds any newsletter than includes the keyword “unsubscribe” (hopefully due to the GDPR regulation, most of your newsletters must contain such a word – even if it doesn’t really work or provide a way of clicking it 😁-)
  • Skips inbox and stores them to a label of your choice (i.e. “newsletters”). You can ignore my personal naming scheme that you can see to the screenshot above (“Incoming/05 (optional) Mailing lists”). Although there is reasoning behind it, it should be an overkill for most of people. The work of “a madman” 🤣.
  • Finally, you can choose for these messages to never go to spam. This way you mitigate the risk of “losing” some interesting stuff.

Additionally you can add an option for these messages to be changed automatically to “read”. This way a notification for unread messages will be limited only to your inbox folder.

How do I personally use that hack

The aforementioned filter is setup to my Gmail account with which I subscribe to all the newsletters I want to receive. The filter puts everything to the “newsletter” label for me. During a break or when I feel like it, I browse through these messages and I choose whether to keep them or unsubscribe.

This is a really nice low energy habit I enjoy doing every Sunday with my morning coffee. Helps me stay up to date (or rather satisfy my FOMO addiction) whereas, newsletters are no longer a distraction during business as usual.

How do you handle your newsletter subscriptions? Are newsletter messages distracting for you? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Praise: A shout out to Mr. Ari Meisel for suggesting this hack to his book “The Art of Less Doing: One Entrepreneur’s Formula for a Beautiful Life”

By A.

Hello. I am Apostolos Kritikos. A Software Engineer and Researcher “made in Greece”. I love coffee, music and doing the lindy hop (swing dancing).

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