Email Alerts, Blog /Forum updates, discussion subscriptions general programming/technology update emails that we often subscribe to.Do you actually read them ? or go direct to the source when you find time.

Often we might the mail of programmers filled with loads of unread subscription mail from technology they previously were following or worked on or things they wish to follow .Some or a majority of these mail just keep on piling up .

I personally have few updates that i wish i read but constantly avoid and keep of for latter and finally delete them in effort keep the in box clean. Few questions come to mind regarding this

  • Do you keep such mail in separate accounts?
  • Do you read all the mail you have subscribed to?
  • Do you ever unsubscribe to any such email if you aren't reading them?
  • How much do you really value these email.
  • Lastly do you keep your in box clean ?

wish to deal with this in a better way.

closed as not constructive by gnat, thorsten müller, user53019, user40980, Frank Shearar May 3 '13 at 21:40

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I use 2 email accounts and an RSS Reader, not a perfect system but I like it well enough

  • Email account 1 - Things I want to or should read every time
  • Email account 2 - Things I scan or delete after reading the title unread
  • RSS Reader with time filters - Things I want to read for pleasure, but don't care if I miss entirely
  • which rss reader do you use? – Aditya P Mar 11 '11 at 16:27
  • @AdityaGameProgrammer - Early Edition on the iPad. It's not for everyone, but will let you filter on everything it has, everything from the last fetch, and things fetched Today only. You can also cross-filter by a defined category of feeds, or only specific feeds. The newspaper layout and the different ways it scrolls makes skimming before reading very easy. – DKnight Mar 11 '11 at 17:53

I find the best way to deal with mailing lists is to keep them separate from other kinds of mail. I rarely read all of it; instead, I survey subjects and maybe open the first message in a thread to see if it's interesting. (This can lead to missing something important later; thankfully, on most of the lists I'm on people are good at changing Subject lines.)

Keeping my inbox clean is a bit of a lost cause, bit that has less to do with mailing lists than with letting action items pile up. Of late my answer to that problem has been OmniFocus; before that I was trying to use Trac, but that really wants coworker buy-in to be effective.


I read most of my tech stuff vi RSS (Google Reader). I scan the headings and skip 90%.

I keep my inbox under a dozen items most days.


Do you keep such mail in separate accounts?

Yes, separate folders with rules to redirect them to the proper locations (I use outlook)

Do you read all the mail you have subscribed to?

Yes, and if I find that I'm generally ignoring one feed and it is piling up, the I get rid of it because it's adding no value.

Do you ever unsubscribe to any such email if you aren't reading them?

Yes, because what is the point of cluttering up my folders with unread mail/feeds that I am ignoring.

How much do you really value these email.

Impossible to say. The content must be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Lastly do you keep your in box clean ?

Yes, everything is either redirected to a folder, moved to junk or deleted. If I get more than 5-10 in my general inbox I'm being negligent and disorganized (that's just me, others will vary, heh)

  • the challenging part is evaluating the content regularly to see how relevant it is to your present situation and how much of it you can actually keep regular with. – Aditya P Mar 11 '11 at 8:19

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