For years now I have spent an enormous amount of time on my phone deleting email. It’s a huge waste of my time and after trying to find a way to stop using email entirely I finally decided to just solve the problem and it really didn’t take much time at all. Here is a screen capture of my inbox before:
and that was from only 24 hours of not checking my email. In the past it has been as high as 2k or more and I typically keep less than 1% of the email that I receive, the rest is spam.
So let’s solve this problem right now!
* I’m on a Mac, the Windows version may a little different but the idea will be the same.
Step 1: In your mail preferences, go to the ‘Rules’ section and create a new rule. The new rule is this, if the sender is not in your contacts, the email is deleted.
* If you want to test this rule before first, change ‘Delete Message’ to ‘Set Color of Message’ and pick red or something that will stand out. When you choose ‘OK’ you will be asked if you want to apply the rule to your current emails, say yes then check to see if this might filter out some emails that you would want.
Step 2: Scroll through the last year’s worth of email and make sure everyone you want to hear from is in your contacts. Your bank, credit card, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Whoever you expect to hear from.
Let me explain why this is the only solution that works.
1. My inbox belongs to me, it is not an open forum for the world to post messages.
2. Cleaning out my inbox takes time out of my day.
3. Junk email is the #1 source of scams, viruses and identity theft that most users will face.
By personally approving who can reach me by email I get full control over my inbox and it’s security. If I meet someone who wants to send me an email they have to first give me their email address and I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
Aren’t you worried about missing an email?
No, and here’s why. If someone finds my profile on LinkedIn and wants to offer me a job they are going to contact me on LinkedIn. If someone has not emailed me in a year and is not in my contacts they probably aren’t going to email me, they are probably going to try to find me on Facebook.
If someone sends me an email that gets deleted and it was important, they will probably follow up with a phone call. If they don’t know me well enough to have my phone number then they probably won’t have my email and it can’t possibly be that important.
A little more detail on the filter example above
Although I’m showing that my filtered email ended up with 8 messages, 5 of those were notifications from my server about IP addresses being banned. The other three? One from a friend saying ‘Happy New Year!’, one receipt from Apple and one notice from my hosting service. All legitimate emails and all things that I wanted to receive.