I know a lot of people already do this, but here it is: I finally made another Gmail account for newsletters, email discussion lists, Facebook mail, and every other misc. thing that comes through.
I’ve seen recommendations for something like this in the past, but then I also saw a lot of commentary that argued it was unnecessary, given Gmail’s stellar organizing capabilities. You can tag/flag/funnel any message into any folder, so technically you need never have to have your InBox littered with anything you don’t want.
Except that, I’ve been finding that my Gmail searches for important information often become very diluted by all the superfluous conversations that have nothing to do with me.
For example, a couple days ago I was trying to find the hotel where Greg and I stayed for VegFest Portland a couple years ago. We want to stay there again this year. But I couldn’t find it because all my searches just turned up a thousand different email discussions over the years on various lists where someone had mentioned the word “hotel”.
Not to mention, it’s just hard to keep up with all the filtering necessary to keep the InBox clean. You pay for one cupcake somewhere and email yourself the receipt, and suddenly you’re on the email list for all cupcakes in Seattle, and there are a lot of very busy cupcakes in Seattle.
SO. I made a new Gmail address, and in that went everything I’ve every Yahoo Group I’ve ever joined (about a million - I have a lot of hobbies, don’t judge me), my Facebook email (I’m an admin for a group that sees a lot of traffic, but there are whole weeks where I don’t need to read it), Freecycle mail, local conservation groups, travel news, Google alerts, and newsletters for all the places and business I do want to keep up on (I just want to choose when I do so).
Within 48 hours of its creation, that email account was packed full. I couldn’t believe how full. And it was so nice to have it all in an entirely other account, all of it at roughly the same level of importance, so I didn’t have the extra chore of sorting and making new filters (my original account has probably a hundred filters that I can now mostly delete).
I’m finding that, with my original personal account freed up, and all the newsletter/misc stuff in another account, I’m reading more email in each account. Win/win! If you’ve ever thought about doing this but thought it would be too much work; the work is worth it. Go for it!
Oh and about the “illustration” at the top - I drew that - if you can call that drawing. I’ve read that Tumblr doesn’t cancel accounts lightly, but when it does, it’s often for copyright violations. I figure from now on, instead of fishing the internet for illustrations or icons that I assume/hope are free to use, I’ll play it safe and start inserting more of my own little doodles. I’ve seen other people do this and I love seeing their drawings.