Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
They’re all over the place on the web: give us your email address, and we’ll send you a great free something and a newsletter. I know this, and I do it myself.
It also happens in paper: give a charitable organization some money, and suddenly you are getting a paper newsletter or magazine.
But what happens when you realize that you are inundated?
Corralling newsletters, commence.
The Old Label Trick
With most email programs, you can filter your messages by sender and put them in a per-determined place. That seems to be the advice of the moment…put them somewhere and read them when you have time.
But what happens when you open that folder to find dozens of emails, and you lose site of the stuff you really care about?
Or the provider breaks their word and instead of sending one email a month, you get one a day? Or your postal box is filled with updates?
It’s time to put the newsletters on a diet.
Purge The Backlog
When there is too much to read, it’s time to purge. Don’t worry – all these newsletters will come around again.
As far as possibly missing out on information, the time it will take you to sift through everything will outweigh the value of any possible nugget found.
Next, you need to assess each newsletter as it comes in.
Is this something you are interested in? No? Look for the unsubscribe link on the bottom of the email. (By U.S. law there is supposed to be one…)
Is it something you want to read, but less frequently? Look for options at the bottom of the email to change your frequency.
If it is paper and you don’t want to read it, call the charity and ask to have it canceled. They will surely appreciate saving the money! Or use a service such as Catalog Choice to remove yourself from the list.
Avoid Another Backlog
One of the things that I found is that by shuffling newsletters off into a folder other than my inbox, I wasn’t reading the newsletters. They weren’t in front of me, so I ignored them until there were too many to ignore.
Since I use GMail, I still label them as newsletters, but I leave them in my inbox to be processed with the rest of my mail. Often I find it takes less than 30 seconds to skim the article and decide if there is anything in there worth a closer look. (More soon on my latest email revamp)
I also apply the same rule to newsletters (both electronic and paper) that I do to magazines. If the last issue hasn’t been read when I receive the new one, the old one goes in the trash.
Have you dealt with purging your newsletters? Share below.
Photo by Esparta. Licensed under Creative Commons.