Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Who Wants to Join Me?

I am holding myself responsible (and accountable) for cleaning out my email inbox between now and a week from now. I figure it's a good exercise to do over the holiday weekend.

I have a semi-stored backlog of emails in my inbox that number between 60 and 80. As it approaches 100, I vow I'm going to delete 10 a day. I do that... for one day.

I came upon this article today about cleaning out your inbox which gives a step by step plan that appealed to me. Funny, how I could write the article, but sometimes it's easier to just be told what to do. This caught my eye:

Think of snail mail as an analogy. If you put every package or letter you received on your kitchen table without filing it away or throwing it out, your kitchen would soon become an unmanageable pile of papers. Your inbox works in the same way—it’s most effective when you clear it out.

I need to be spoken to clearly and simply like this.

When it comes to snail mail, I am almost obsessive. I quickly divide it into recycling, shredding, a pile (such as bills) that needs action and checks which go in a specific place awaiting a trip to the bank. I am religious about this. Yet I have emails going back to April that have sat there for months. I also have files of emails from old trade shows, old articles, etc. that can be deleted.

So who wants to join me in the great email purge?

PS: In case you don't go to read the article, it also talks about unsubscribing. Every so often, I'll get on a tear and do that ruthlessly, but somehow, just like a starfish's legs, they all eventually grow back. So I'll be unsubbing too. I think what annoys me -- let's say Stonewall Kitchen -- I buy from there from time to time, like their merchandise (sort of old fashioned foods, jams, syrups, etc.) but I don't want to hear from them every day. I wouldn't mind an occasional email, but I don't need a daily one. Bye bye Stonewall Kitchen.

And I have to add that "We miss you" as a subject line brings a smile on my face that I haven't been shopping!

Update: I've done my first unsub -- the St. Kitts Chamber of Commerce news release list, left over from when I wrote for a diving magazine. I didn't want to ask to be removed (oh man, this is embarrassing) because I really liked the woman and I didn't want to hurt her feelings. I know: I should slap myself upside  my own head. So I asked to be unsubbed and thanked her for the lovely job she does on behalf of her clients. Then it was on to a Radio City Music Hall email that I swear I get way too frequently from when I bought tickets there about eight years ago. Then another daily one so I've started the unsub campaign.


Mary Mc said...

Really? 100 emails and you're worried that it's out of hand? That does not seem like much to me. I have way more than that - I'm making the same pledge but I don't see your inbox as being overly full....maybe that's my problem

Pat said...

Your comment reminds me of someone who complains that they just *have to* lose five pounds! Yeah, that's a real tragedy. I guess it's all relative. So come clean: how many emails are waiting for your deleting finger?

Melissa said...

Do you really want tp
I know??? I'm super embarrased to say... Over 2400 in my Dang IN box! I make the pledge to get it down to just 100 :)

Mary Mc said...

I'm with Melissa -- I have about 1200 now that I've done some clean up. I took your suggestion and went after lots of commercial notices I've been getting - they've crept in slowly - from Toyota (local and national), catalogs, other companies. It's a reminder to be vigilant about requesting not to get mailings when you order something. Some of them send daily messages! I've unsubscribed from at least 5 in the last 24 hours.

Barbara said...

I have one of those super-tidy in-boxes, but when I looked right now, it was indeed what I deem to be out-of-hand, probably 30 messages! So I joined your purge and got rid of most of them. Everything is relative...

Barbara said...

In the spirit of your campaign, I decided to get rid of all the Bed Bath and Beyond emails. They have interesting choices when I clicked "unsubscribe" -- copied below:

Would it be helpful if we changed your frequency instead?

- I would like to receive emails twice a month
- I would like to receive emails once a month
- I would like to receive in-store savings certificates and online coupons only
- No thanks, I would like to unsubscribe from all emails

Because they gave me a choice, I clicked on the "once a month" option instead of unsubscribing completely. I have to congratulate the savvy of the marketing person who came up with the idea to give me these choices.