No matter how dedicated you are to responding to and archiving all your emails, there will always be one villainous monster preventing you from hitting true inbox zero: mailing lists. These horrors come in at all hours of the day, clogging things up and making it harder to spot the truly important messages—and it’s even worse if you allow for push notifications. It’s time to banish them. And there’s a very easy way.
Use filters to get rid of mailing lists in Gmail
Table of Contents
You can certainly use a third-party add-on to go through your mailing lists and unsubscribe, saying goodbye to newsletters and e-blasts. But you know what’s easier and less expensive? Setting a filter in Gmail.
Open up one of your mailing list emails and click the three dots in the menu bar. You’ll see “Mark as unread,” “Mark as important,” and a few other options, but the one you want is “Filter messages like these.”
From there, you’ll see a dialog box asking how you want to filter your messages. You can filter by sender, recipients, and subjects, but also by anything that “has the words…” In the “has the words” row, type “unsubscribe.” Now, any email containing the word “unsubscribe”—which reputable email blasts almost always do—can be filtered out of your inbox without you having to do anything. Once you type “unsubscribe” there, hit the “create filter” button. The following dialog box will ask how you want these filtered. You can choose to have them archived, marked as read, starred, forwarded, or deleted.
Things to keep in mind when filtering in Gmail
I recommend archiving these in case you ever want to go search for them, but if you are sure you’ll never want to open another mailing list, newsletter, or sales blast, feel free to check the box next to “delete.” If you archive and later want to delete them, you’ll have to do so manually.
Bear in mind, too, that doing this won’t actually unsubscribe you. It will only hide these emails, allowing you to only see the real, direct communications you want to see when you’re looking at your inbox.