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”


Field Notes – Σεζόν 4

Στα τέλη του 2019, προτού ακόμη μάθουμε τι θα πει πανδημία, νέα κανονικότητα και όλα τα άλλα “trends” που έφερε ο COVID-19, αποφάσισα να ξεκινήσω ένα newsletter. Ο στόχος μου ήταν να πειραματιστώ στην πράξη με το e-mail marketing και να κατανοήσω καλύτερα ένα από τα πιο διαχρονικά κανάλια προώθησης στο Διαδίκτυο. Έτσι δημιούργησα το Field Notes, ένα μηνιαίο newsletter με προσωπικά νέα, προτάσεις και ενδιαφέροντα links. Ξεκίνησα να το μοιράζομαι, αρχικά, με προσωπικές μου επαφές, όμως σύντομα “άνοιξε” και σε ένα ευρύτερο κοινό.

Με το πέρασμα του χρόνου το “πείραμα” μετατράπηκε σε μια πολύ διασκεδαστική εμπειρία και η ανάγνωση των σκέψεων, προτάσεων και ιδεών των ανθρώπων που διαβάζουν τα Field Notes μου, μου χαρίζουν όμορφες στιγμές κάθε μήνα.

Ξεκινάει η 4η σεζόν για το Field Notes. Πράγμα που σημαίνει ότι “γίναμε 3 χρονών”. Με αφορμή τα 3α μας γενέθλια λοιπόν, ήθελα αρχικά να σας ευχαριστήσω που συμπορέυεστε μαζί μου αυτά τα 3 χρόνια και να κάνουμε μαζί μια αναδρομή.

Οι “θεματικές” σεζόν του Field Notes

Η πρώτη σεζόν (2019-2020) δεν ακολούθησε κάποια συγκεκριμένη θεματική. Το 2021 οι τίτλοι των τευχών πήραν τα ονόματά τους από εμβληματικές ταινίες της διεθνούς κινηματογραφικής σκηνής. Τα επόμενα χρόνια, αποφάσισα να ζητήσω από το κοινό του Field Notes να επιλέξει τις επόμενες θεματικές.

Το 2022 είχαμε ισοψηφία. Η μία σκέψη ήταν να συνεχίσουμε με κινηματογραφικές ταινίες και η άλλη τα τευχή μας να λαμβάνουν τα ονόματα από γνωστούς ζωγράφους. Έτσι καταλήξαμε στην θεματική: Εμβληματικές ταινίες σχετικές με διάσημους ζωγράφους.

Για το 2023 η θεματική μας θα είναι δίσκοι μουσικής (albums). Η μουσική είναι πάντοτε “προσωπική υπόθεση” για αυτό θα προσπαθήσω να μοιραστώ μαζί σας albums που τουλάχιστον συνδέονται με μια ενδιαφέρουσα ιστορία.


Στα τεύχη του Field Notes προτείνουμε πάντοτε βιβλία, podcasts και video. Από το 1ο τεύχος έχουμε μοιραστεί:

  • 48 προτάσεις βιβλίων. Μπορείτε να τις βρείτε όλες μαζεμμένες σε αυτήν τη λίστα Goodreads.
  • 26 προτάσεις podcasts. Μπορείτε να βρείτε επιλεγμένα επεισόδια από πολλές από τις προτάσεις μας, σε αυτήν την λίστα Spotify.
  • 28 προτάσεις video.
  • 100+ προτάσεις άρθρων από την επικαιρότητα.


Μέσα στο 2022 διαβάστηκαν συνολικά 5727 Field Notes. Αυτό αντιστοιχεί σε ένα μέσο open rate 36% ανά μήνα, ποσοστό που είναι εξαιρετικό για ένα newsletter και, για αυτό, σας ευχαριστώ.

Στο Field Notes είναι εγγεγραμμένοι πάνω από 600 φίλοι. Το πραγματικά ενδιαφέρον στατιστικό όμως είναι ότι έχω συναντηθεί προσωπικά με περισσότερους από το 90% αυτών!

Τι μέλει γενέσθαι

Το 2023 ελπίζω να έχει πλάκα (τουλάχιστον λίγη περισσότερη από ότι το 2022). Θα προσπαθήσω:

  1. Να βρώ ωραία μουσικά άλμπουμς να μοιραστώ μαζί σας στα τεύχη μας.
  2. Να συμπεριλάβω περισσότερα Field Notes. Σκοπεύω να προσπαθήσω να είμαι λίγο πιο ενεργός στο blogging από πέρσι, οπότε stay tuned!
  3. Field Notes Chat! Μια σκέψη για το πως μπορούμε να διαδρούμε περισσότερο μέσα από το Field Notes. Περισσότερα για αυτό στο τεύχος του Ιανουαρίου, το επόμενο Σάββατο.

Στην “ακραία περίπτωση” που δεν είστε εγγεγραμμένοι στο Field Notes και διαβάζετε αυτό, μπορείτε να γραφτείτε εδώ 🙂


What I read in 2022

I joined Goodread’s reading challenges back in 2018 in an attempt to “force myself” to read more; make a habit out of it. Back then, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work but, looking back, it seems it did. Here are some stats:

  • 2018 | Goal: 4 books | Read: 3 (75%)
  • 2019 | Goal: 10 books | Read: 7 (70%) | ~133% more than 2018
  • 2020 | Goal: 12 books | Read: 10 (83%) | ~43% more than 2019
  • 2021 | Goal: 15 books | Read: 17 (113%) | ~70% more than 2020
  • 2022 | Goal: 24 books | Read: 17 (71%) | 0% (same as 2021)

So since 2018 that I kick started the challenge, epically failing to read 4 books in a year 😅, I have been gradually getting better at it for four consequent years. Getting to 17 books per year, is already a great achievement. I am grateful to have managed to do it. In 2023 I am aiming for 2 books per month. This is not an easy one to tackle, so I’ll probably hold on to this goal for a couple of years.

In 2023 I will try and invest more time in audiobooks. Audio has always been my favorite medium of consuming content (i.e. podcasts) and it seems to help me consume books faster. I will let you know how this worked, in next year’s review 😃

What I have been reading in 2022

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle is an awesome book about leadership and how to thrive in an environment that requires team work. Some insights are especially useful for remote workers. The Heart of Leadership by Mark Miller is another great one. It highlights so nicely the role of the servant leader. Servant leaders are, in my honest opinion, key ingredients for creating and fostering culture to a company or organization.

The Good Life Handbook: Epictetus’ Stoic Classic Enchiridion by Chuck Chakrapani is an analysis of Epictetus’es Enchiridion (= meaning literally Handbook). I also read another philosophical book about the Epicurian philosophy during 2022, Επίκουρος του Διογένη Λαέρτιου (in Greek). I have been reading philosophy these past 3 years and I believe it has been both helpful and rewarding for me. If you consider to start reading philosophy, I highly recommend the Stoic, Aristotelian and Epicurian philosophical schools. And also a piece of advice; don’t be afraid to consume a translation of the original text. It is quite easy to understand and very rewarding.

Finally, Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey was a very pleasant surprise. The writing of McConaghey is soothing and inspiring at the same time. Great stories all the way from his childhood to adulthood. I originally bought the Kindle version but, if I was to read it again, I would definitely go for this Audible version, narrated by McConaghey himself.

I am also honored and proud… drum roll…

… to have read 3 books written by friends this past year. I want to express my gratitude to all of them for sharing them with me🙏 and let them know that I absolutely loved the books!

That’s all from my reading journey in 2023. What did you read this past year? I’d love to read your suggestions on the comments!


Talking VS Listening online

When the pandemic started, during the first quarantine, I remember I felt the need to talk. The thought, the possibility of not being able to socialize and discuss for a period of undetermined length, stressed me.

So I turned to the Internet. Tried to participate in discussions on social media or trigger such discussions with my own posts. Most of the times, there were lengthy discussions. Usually two main opposing opinions and the Internet community forming two sides around them.

Lately I try to stay away of discussions on social media. I, instead, reread the aforementioned discussions. Sadly, in all of them, I see myself being there more for the sake of the discussion rather than to share an opinion. Or to prove a point.

I think there’s much more in listening online, rather than talking. I think that listening and self-reflecting can really bring us close to realizing where we stand on specific subjects.


Coaches, mentors and self-discovery

Coaching, according to Wikipedia, is the practice of guiding an individual through a process. It refers to practical knowledge and that is why it is very important for a coach to be both an experienced professional and a good trainer. Generally speaking I am very careful, suspicious even, around coaches. Most of them have been self declared coaches and have no training and little or no experience.

Mentoring, is having a master of our guilt, leveling up our game by revealing the secrets of the profession we are following. Or we may have a mentor that influences our values, principles and thus our character. A mentor is a person we know and trust. A role model.

Both coaches and mentors can help us pave the path or our lives (personal or professional) via learning / training. But there is also another way. One that requires noone else but ourselves.

This is the road of self discovery. A journey of being aware of the pros and cons of ourselves, our true goals, potentials, strengths, weaknesses, the way we deal with everyday challenges and, eventually, how we live our lives.

The path to self discovery lies in self reflection. At least that is the most effective way I know until today.


– By the end of each week, find a couple of hours and take a walk alone.

– When you start walking have in hand the 4-5 most important incidents of the week. Personal, professional, related to relationships, business choices, how you treated someone or a challenge you faced.

– If you don’t have a good memory take a note to your mobile.

– Whole you walk replay the incident in your head and try to watch it as an objective observer.

– How does yourself look to you in this specific incident. Are you kind, mean, are you abusive, respectful, to you judge or are you a good listener?

– Repeat the exercise every week for at least a month.

– You can optionally record some of your thoughts using the voice assistant of your phone and a notepad application.


The lost art of smiling

Imagine you are on a crisis. Customers are unhappy, people are yelling, things are not well, time is not enough, money are lost, it is a bad day.

The worst thing one can do is lose it. Stop thinking and start demanding, criticizing, trying to find the fault, blame someone (else) for the situation. I still do it more often than I would like, although I am trying hard not to.

Now imagine, in that moment, while in the eye of the tornado, to see a smile. That genuine smile that comes from a calm face. A face determined to try hard to solve the problem but not in panic.

What’s stopping you from being that smile?

Have you ever worked with a person like that?

Do you use humor during hard times to lighten the mood?


The view from above

The Stoics have been using the “view from above” exercise to force their mind to observe a situation from such a distance to make it feel insignificant.

The usual metaphor is to imagine ourselves experiencing the planet earth from the eyes of an astronaut. This way “earthly” problems looks pretty small.

Today, there was tons of micromanagement at work. I hate micromanagement. I always hook on a task and can’t get my head out of it, losing a lot of time.

Here’s something you can try. Next time you are hooked on a thought, task, work or problem, you think of the bigger goal you need to accomplish and reverse analyze it to smaller tasks. The more you decompose, the clearer the solution will become. If, during the process you hook on a smaller task, throw away everything and start over.

For managers: combine the above technique with delegation. It’s a winner strategy.



Philocaly means to love beauty.

I guess we all do love beauty. We do!

Maybe it is difficult to recognize beauty in times of crises. Maybe there is a lack of stimuli when, for example, you are forced to stay home in quarantine.

But beauty is still there, nonetheless. In a nice restaurant when we dine after a long time. In a play or movie we watch with a couple of friends or family. Even wearing masks. Even keeping distances. In returning at work and share a slice of pizza or beer with your colleagues.

Maybe times of crises are a great opportunity to rediscover beauty, hidden in plain sight. A great opportunity to practice philocaly.


A resilient routine

Back in March 2020, during the first COVID-19 lockdown, I was sitting in my home office pondering on how our daily routine was probably going to change for a long time, if not forever.

After a short break — the summer of 2020 — the second lockdown came even harder on my country (Greece), with a duration of more than 6 months.

Time allocation was almost impossible, personal and professional tasks fused and I was trying to get things done in a storm or constant distractions.

We need to find a way to achieve a resilient routine. This may be the most valuable lesson COVID-19 can teach us.