4 Decluttering Tips for Newsletters If You Don’t Want to Trash Them

Dann Albright 24-06-2014

How many e-mail subscriptions do you have? 50? 100? 200? If you’re like me, you have absolutely no idea, but you know that it’s a lot. In the interest of decluttering your inbox, it’s time to take action.


But unsubscribing isn’t always the answer—some newsletters are definitely worth reading! (If you need some geeky fashion advice 5 Cool Fashion Newsletters You Should Subscribe To If You're A Geek Read More , for example.) So what can you do to declutter an inbox full of newsletters?

Get a Daily Digest

Imagine that, instead of receiving dozens of e-mails every morning, you could receive just a single e-mail instead. We’ve shown you how can help you unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters in bulk, and that’s really useful, but if you don’t want to trash all of your newsletters, it can also help you manage them. After giving access to your e-mail account, you can see all of your subscriptions on the dashboard, and you can take one of three options for each one: unsubscribe, roll up, or leave in inbox.

If you choose “roll up,” that subscription will be added to your daily digest e-mail, which is delivered every morning. The amount of clutter this removes from your inbox is amazing — not only can you roll up all of your newsletters into a single e-mail, but you can also include social network notifications and other automated e-mails as well. If you want to see the full text of any item in your roll-up, just click on it and you’ll be brought to the full version in your browser. And none of the e-mails are deleted — they’re just archived so you can access them via your e-mail account later.


There’s also a new service called FollowLetter that appears to offer similar functionality. Unfortunately, it’s in invite-only beta at the moment. I’ve requested an invitation, but haven’t yet received one. If I do, I’ll report back on it! (And if anyone out there has tried it out, please leave a comment and let us know how it works!)


Archive Your Newsletters

If you want to completely remove your newsletters from your inbox so you can read them elsewhere, you have a few options. Of course, you can always just set up filters in Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo How to Set Up Email Filters in Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook Email filtering is your best tool in keeping your inbox neat and organized. Here's how to set up and use email filters in Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook. Read More , or any other mail provider to send your newsletters to a specific folder and mark them as read (or not), so they’ll always be archived where you can find them later. But there are some better alternatives.

If you’re not familiar with If This, Then That (IFTTT), now’s a great time to learn! (The Ultimate IFTTT Guide: Use The Web’s Most Powerful Tool Like A Pro The Ultimate IFTTT Guide: Use the Web's Most Powerful Tool Like a Pro If This Then That, also known as IFTTT is a free web-based service to get your apps and devices working together. Not sure how to build your applet? Follow along with this guide. Read More  is a great free introduction to what IFTTT does and how it works.) By taking advantage of the app’s ability to perform actions in response to certain triggers, you can archive your newsletters to a number of locations.

For example, you could combine a forwarding rule and the above recipe to forward e-mails to Pocket. There’s also a really cool recipe for sending e-mails labelled “Evernote” to Evernote. Just set up a Gmail filter to label your e-mails with “Evernote” and mark them as read, and you’ll be set. (There’s a similar recipe for sending labelled e-mails to Pocket.) IFTTT also has an e-mail digest channel that you might be able to combine with Gmail’s built-in filtering to create your own version of’s daily roll-up.

Marcello Scacchetti has also created a really cool script that will allow you to backup e-mails from your Gmail account to Google Drive folders as PDFs, giving you a way to create a newsletter repository that you can browse at your leisure. Setting up the script and running it is a simple process — just apply a label to all of the e-mails you want archived, then hit “Archive Gmail Messages” in the spreadsheet, and they’ll be copied over to your Drive. You can then archive all of those e-mails to a Gmail label or just delete them. When I ran the script, image-heavy e-mails showed up without images, making this best-suited for text-heavy newsletters.



Keep Newsletters Separate in Your Inbox

The recent introduction of the tabbed Gmail inbox brought with it the Promotions tab to your inbox, where a number of newsletters will automatically be categorized. Of course, being automated, it will get things wrong from time to time. Fortunately, however, you can help Gmail learn which e-mails should be categorized as promotional and which should go to the primary inbox. When you get a newsletter in your primary box, just drag it to the Promotions tab (you can also do this with items that you’d rather have in your primary inbox instead of the promotional one).


After you’ve taught Gmail to effectively categorize your newsletters as promotional items, you can spend most of your time in your primary inbox and just hop over to the Promotions tab whenever you want to get caught up on your subscription.


Create a Different Account

A lot of people maintain multiple e-mail accounts for various purposes, and this strategy can be used to keep your newsletters from cluttering up your inbox, too. Create a second account with a free provider, and use that account to subscribe to e-mail newsletters. Then just hop over to that account when you want to get the latest Groupon deals or read the MakeUseOf newsletter (you do get the MakeUseOf newsletter, don’t you?).

If you’ve already signed up for a bunch of newsletters with your primary e-mail address and you’d like to use this strategy, you can simply set up a rule or filter to forward your newsletters from your primary account to your secondary one and then delete them. While this is a less-than-elegant strategy, it’ll save you the time of editing every single one of your subscriptions.

How Do You Manage Newsletters?

I’ve used a number of these different methods, and I find’s daily roll-up to be the best method for me. I like that it allows you to roll up some newsletters and allow others through to your inbox so you make sure to not miss them. I know a number of people who use separate e-mail accounts with a great deal of success, too. Any of these strategies will work, though, and you might find that a combination of them — or something completely different — is best for you. And, if your inbox is totally beyond redemption, you can always unsubscribe from newsletters in bulk Clear Out Your Inbox: Quickly Unsubscribe From Multiple Newsletters With These Tools Unsubscribing from newsletters is about more than just spam. Most of the newsletters that fill our inbox are not selling medicine or offering prize money – they’re genuine newsletters from trusted companies we ourselves subscribed... Read More .

Which newsletter-management strategies do you find most effective? Share any creative tips in the comments below!


Related topics: Declutter, Email Tips, Newsletter.

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  1. Xavier
    June 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks a lot for your interest in ClosetoShop.

    In fact make a very good job but our system provide some specificity :

    - you NEVER communicate your real email adress. We are not dependent
    on the proper functioning of an automated filtering system : if you no
    longer wish to receive message on any of your email adress you
    just have to suppress this adress (one click on the web interface).
    That's all !

    - with CtS you don't have to give any access to your main email
    account. In fact some people are afraid to give full (and permanent)
    access to their email account ...

    - we provide an very simple, ordered and lightweight daily digest
    (with no visual distractions)

    We're also working to deliver new features soon ...

    After creating an account on the web interface, you can also access to
    our mobile web apps ( ). With this web app you could
    easily generate email when at the checkout the cashier asks for
    your email.

    ClosetoShop is actually hosted in Europe (Amsterdam) and the team is
    located in France.

    Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any question or comment !


  2. Xavier
    June 25, 2014 at 4:28 am


    I think that you might be interested in beta testing our new project (our tagline is "Your inbox will thank you" ...).

    With a friend, I am working on this project whose goal is to provide a way for people to better manage their email newsletter subscriptions. Closetoshop generates a unique email address for each subscription, and will send you a digest containing all of your newsletters once a day.

    Your inbox won't be overloaded anymore, you avoid the frequent distraction of new mail arriving during the day, and you can easily put a stop to unwanted messages.

    Just take a look at (you can create an free account).

    For more detailed information, please read the FAQ (in English) : [Broken URL Removed]

    Don't hesitate to contact us, we need your feedback !


    • Dann A
      June 27, 2014 at 9:49 am

      Interesting! I'll have to give it a look. I'm curious as to what the advantage of creating a unique e-mail address for each subscription is. With, you use your standard address, and everything still gets filtered out of the inbox. I suppose you won't receive as many new mail notifications, though. Are there other benefits? And where are these addresses hosted?

      Thanks for letting me know about the project, and thanks for reading!