November 6, 2021•281 words
What if we attempted to live a filter-free digital life? I'm not talking about artistic filters or cigarettes, though the latter would probably be a really bad idea. No, I'm talking about Gmail filters.
Some filters in Gmail are downright useful. Being able to delete unwanted email, sight unseen, is a time-saver. However, the filters that "move" incoming email from the inbox to arbitrary labels seem to invite us to spend more time clicking from label to label than just reading the emails one after the other!
I was proud of myself when I reorganized my labels and reduced them from way too many to just enough. Interestingly, less than nine months later, I've felt the need to add more filters. When I thought about it, I realized that my primary filter was broken! I was subscribing to too many things (and not using BurnerMail, duh!!)
Rather than succumb to the urge to filter this new batch of emails, my goal is to unsubscribe from as many as I can and get rid of all filters except the following:
- Filters that delete unwanted email
Deleting from the inbox after reading is faster than clicking the dozen labels I now have. The three labels I keep will help me to prioritize my reading.
Anyway, I don't suppose this idea will appeal to many people. It seems a bit scorched-earth, after all. But, that is what this Digital Diet is all about. One side benefit from all this is that I can finally delete my semi-automatic Gmail Filter spreadsheet. Talk about busy work! (See the Email Filter Shmilter post for details on that.)