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Lighten Your Inbox in 10 Minutes with Unroll.Me

A black and white photograph of a mailbox with its flag up

With the close of the semester, you’re probably doing what you can to get your email inbox under control now that some of your colleagues have left the campus and your students have finished their finals. Email is, of course, the gift that keeps on giving. So it’s perhaps appropriate as we approach the end of the year that I make a gift to you of a fabulous new (and free!) service I discovered that will radically reduce the number of emails you receive on a daily basis: Unroll.Me.

The basic premise of Unroll.Me is that it will take all of the emails that you’ve subscribed to over the years—whether to get a coupon or when signing up at a site—and funnel them into a single email that you get once per day. Or if you’re feeling daring, you can unsubscribe from a particular subscription with a single click. Here’s a 40-second video that perhaps makes it a bit more plain:

Signing up for Unroll.Me is very simple. After providing an email address and agreeing to terms of service, you grant permission for the service to interact with your email. It then scans your inbox for subscriptions. You can choose to wait for it to finish the scan or have it email you once it’s finished. On my Gmail account, which I’ve been using for 9.5 years (?!), it only took about 2 minutes to find the first batch of subscriptions.

You are then presented with a list of all the different subscriptions Unroll.Me has found and given three choices: to keep the email in your inbox, to unsubscribe, or to add it to your “rollup.”

The web interface for editing subscriptions

It’s one-click simple to choose where the email is headed. Keeping it in your inbox means that the subscription will continue to be delivered as it has always been. Choosing “Unsubscribe” will send automatically route all of those emails to your trash from that point on. The most unusual choice is to add the subscription to your rollup. The rollup is an email that you get once per day (and you can choose if you want it in the morning, afternoon, or evening), which contains thumbnails of all the rollup emails.

Screenshot of a daily Rollup

Clicking on the thumbnail will open a full-size version of the email, so you can read it. But I’m guessing that you’ll find like I do that you glance over them quickly and decide that you don’t need any of them. Just in case you want to have access to the original emails, you can find them in an Unroll.me folder that has been created for your inbox.

Interestingly, the Rollup will often report that Unroll.Me has found additional subscriptions in your inbox and provide you a link so you can then make choices about how you want to interact with those emails. If you go to the website, you can also see archived versions of your previous rollups and even take a peak at the one that is starting to get assembled for tomorrow’s delivery. It’s like having a time machine!!

When I signed up for Unroll.Me, I was surprised to find that I had about 180 subscriptions. I kept a little less than half coming to my email box, sent 70 to my rollup, and unsubscribed from 33. In the week that I’ve been using the service, I’ve noticed a real reduction in the amount of useless email coming into my inbox, which saves me time and gets me working faster on what I need to do.

The only drawback for Unroll.Me is that it only works with Google, Yahoo, and Outlook.com email accounts. So there’s a good chance that it won’t work on your university email. But apart from that drawback, Unroll.Me is an outstanding service, doubly so because it is free! Note from the future: Jason revisits Unroll.me.

How do you control your daily influx of email? Let us know in the comments!

Lead image: Our New Mailbox / CC BY 2.0

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