I hate SPAM. I really, really do. I've missed so many truly important emails because they get lost in the absolute flood of SPAM. As you have probably noticed, junk mail filters are worthless. I mean, they weed out the random malaysian porn emails and stuff, but do nothing to cut down on the floods of emails from companies, non-profits, etc. that bury the email from your kid's room parent telling them to wear their carnival t-shirt on Thursday. No bueno.
Sooo, I decided to fight back. Starting in January, I made it my mission to eliminate SPAM, one annoying sender at a time. I became absolutely ruthless about clicking "unsubscribe" from every single email that I deemed junk. It is a bit of a painstaking process, but it is the only way to really cut down on SPAM. At first it feels like you are accomplishing nothing because there are still so many, but over the months, I got less and less and now I go entire days in a row without a single unwanted email. It is GLORIOUS.
Now that I have my SPAM under control, I also make it a point to clean out my inbox completely at the end of each day to make sure I haven't let anything fall through the cracks. It's like the "one-touch" rule for paper mail--you touch it once and it gets immediately paid, filed or pitched. No good comes from letting mail pile up--paper or electronic. It's a recipe for dropping the ball.
When I started this mission in January, I have over 11,000 emails in my inbox. Now I have three. It takes discipline, but like any habit, it forms quickly and you will be so glad you stuck with it! I feel so much more in control of my life. :)
UPDATE: AWESOME tip from my friend Chris--go to unroll.me and you can mass-unsubscribe from stuff you don't want and you can roll the rest of your subscriptions that you DO want into one daily email rather than having to be constantly bombarded!
Another good suggestion from my friend Renee--maintain one email address for humans and guard it religiously (i.e. never use it when you shop online, etc.) and another one for all the other stuff. :)