I Won

A year ago, I started on a quest to get rid of all newsletters, retention emails and other commercial (to me) non-relevant emails. My inbox was overflowing with emails I did not care about and I noticed I was mostly idly swiping away these emails without ever reading them. It was time to do something about it.

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Gmail does an excellent job on spam for me. I rarely get a spam message in my inbox and even more rarely have to dig up an email from my spam box. But still I ended up with 25 - 50 emails a day on things I couldn't care less about. My favorite was from Facebook which sends retention emails like "You've missed 7 notifications, please come see your notifications". Obviously I am not a big Facebook user.

My quest was if I could get rid of all commercial emails which are not spam. Like the ones you silently sign up for when you join a some internet service or site.

I would diligently click on every unsubscribe link I got. If the sender did not have a working unsubscribe link (yes this happens, looking at you Microsoft) or none at all, I would mark it as spam to instruct Gmail to move all future emails to my spam box. Gmail dutifully obliges in perpetuity.

In the first month, I slowly saw the number of commercial emails going down until I plateaued at a few emails per day. But now after 12 months, I only get commercial emails from companies I want - maybe 5 per week - and from services I just signed up for (from which I immediately unsubscribe).

I won the quest. Nowadays, there are literally days I do not get any email on my personal account. None.

I never thought it would be possible.