One way to clean up your inbox is to reduce your bulk email, such as newsletters and other recurring emails. Commercial email senders are required by law to give you a way to unsubscribe. 15 U.S.C. §7704(3)(a)(i). Sometimes email recipients benefit from more granular tools as well.
In Gmail, you don’t have to look through a whole message to find the unsubscribe link buried in it. Gmail includes the “unsubscribe” link up top, next to the sender’s address. How to block or unsubscribe in Gmail.
In Outlook, you can create a rule that automatically deletes email from particular senders. Alternatively, you may want to read certain newsletters at your leisure, but you don’t want them cluttering your inbox in the meantime. In that case, you can create a rule that sends those newsletters directly to a particular folder, not to the inbox. How to manage email with rules in Outlook.
Other Services and Confidentiality
Alternatively, various services are available that will let you unsubscribe from each commercial sender that you don’t want to receive email from, or view all your newsletters that you want to review at your leisure, in one place.
Be aware that, according to the New York Times, these services may locate data in your email about your purchasing habits, package that data, and sell it back to the companies you’re unsubscribing from, or their competitors.
Last month the Federal Register published analysis of a proposed consent agreement between the Federal Trade Commission and one such service. Unrollme Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 84 Fed. Reg. 43132 (Aug. 20, 2019).
For email accounts that are used for client communications, analyze whether it’s possible to meet a lawyer’s obligation of confidentiality while allowing an outside service to access the contents of the email account.