June 15

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Unsubscribe from newsletters, unsubscribe from clutter

By Ralph Varcoe

June 15, 2020

productivity hacks

3.3   Dump the Subscriptions

Productivity hack no.32 from '60 Ways to Hurray! by Ralph Varcoe.


Over time we sign up to all sorts of newsletters, updates from websites, new voucher codes, and the like. We follow people and businesses on social media. At the time of signing up and following they were no doubt of interest. The question is, are they still relevant and aligned with your current lifestyle and plans?

When I was into running, on my middle-aged quest to prove I was still young, I signed up to a number of websites and blogs that provided me with training tips and discounts to gels and protein shakes to aid recovery. They were extremely useful, and I achieved my goal.

These days I run a bit but only because I feel I need to stay fit(ish). I’m no longer interested in buying pills to help my VO2 Max increase, or Creatin supplements. And if I never enter a race again it will be too soon.

Rather than keep my inbox clogging up with these emails, which take time to scan and/or delete, I unsubscribed. I put all emails of this type into a folder over the course of a week and then spent a happy half hour unsubscribing. I did the same with people I’m connected to or follow on social media. If I didn’t unfriend them I did at least unfollow some.

I’m not advocating unsubscribing or unfollowing everything. Just those things that you don’t need anymore.

Here’s a quick tip: If you have a Gmail email address (or a service that has Gmail underneath) you can subscribe to websites using an augmented email address so that the subscriptions get tagged. For example if your email is yourname@gmail.com you could subscribe to ‘Pheasant Fanciers Weekly’ using the email yourname+pheasant@gmail.com and it will be received by you as normal. For ‘Craft Brewing Boors Monthly’ it’s yourname+boors@gmail.com. The thing you do is add ‘+whatever’ between your name and @gmail.com.

Then you can set up a rule in your email that automatically adds emails received by each bespoke address to a specific folder so you have them all neatly together and so you can batch your reading for when you have time.

(Unfortunately, I don’t know if this does or doesn’t work for other email providers. I would be interested to find out. Email me and let me know.)

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Ralph Varcoe

About the author

For over 20 years, Ralph has run sales and marketing teams across large enterprises and smaller start-ups, at companies such as Orange, Tata Communications, Virgin Media, Spirit Ai and others. He brings a wealth of experience in personal and professional development with a laser focus on enabling people to achieve more than they thought possible. He's a published author and musician with a passion for creating - be that change, the right solution, exciting campaigns, the right environment for customers to succeed, or podcasts, videos and written content.

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