How to manage that email spam better

Services like Orkut, Facebook, MySpace even Ebay, Feedburner Feeds and other newsletters are known to literally flood inboxes every single day. This shit however cannot be termed as spam as more often than not, these are actually important. However, you still end up unsubscribing these notifications choking the very cause they were created for. The only solution to it is to manage these mails better. How do you do that? Here’s a tip.

I’ve always believed that Google Mail (gmail) is much better than Yahoo Mail. I’ve been using gmail ever since they had given out a few thousand accounts. One great feature of Gmail is ‘filters’. Though few people use filters, filters happen to be my backbone in managing all the shit those social networking sites drop in your inbox. Even fewer people know that a mail sent to <usename>+<something>@gmaiil.com will still be delivered to <username>@gmaiil.com For eg: angad619+orkut@gmaiil.com is the same as angad619@gmaiil.com! Try it out if you wish. (but send yourself an email not me. DUH!) So I suggest when you sign up at any site say Orkut, provide the email address <username>+orkut@gmaiil.com

How will that help? Here’s where Gmail’s filters come to the rescue. In my case, Orkut is gonna send all mails to angad619+orkut@gmaiil.com. So I know that the ‘To’ field of their mails has to be angad619+orkut… instead of plain simple angad619. Therefore I create a filter that has ‘angad619+orkut@gmaiil.com’ as it’s ‘To’ field. Further, I can add a label, say ‘orkut’, to it. Also tick the ‘Skip the inbox’ option.

screenshot of how a filter is created - click to view larger image

Your inbox will never show mails from orkut again! However, they can be found under the label ‘orkut’. Tinker around a bit more and put mails from all other services under the filters. There you go. Breathe easy in a clutter free inbox!

However, some sites won’t allow you to have a ‘+’ symbol in your email address. Too bad the trick won’t work in that case. Also, social networking sites like MySpace and Orkut allow you to alter the email address of your existing profile, but Facebook doesn’t allow that. This trick can be used wherever you are asked to submit your email address.

Note: 1.In this post I’ve used gmaiil.com instead of gmail.com just for the heck of it. Just an attempt to get whatever security it can provide!
2.This trick can also be used to find out which service is giving out your email address to the baddies. Suppose xyz.com is a site that gives out free horoscoped and you decide to signup with the email <user>+xyz@gmail.com. The next day you receive span sent to ‘<user>+xyz’, you know who to catch hold of!

Super Note: This post is the first of the category ‘Tips n Tricks’. Expect many more in the near future. If you like this one, consider subscribing to my feeds or signing up for email notifications here:

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