What’s Your Best Email Filter?

What’s Your Best Email Filter?

Blogger Daniel Morrison just deleted all of his email rules and filters, and he suggests you do the same. His reasoning is that if you’re getting so much email that you need to rely heavily on filters, something’s broken.

Why do you get so much email? Stop it. You’re doing it wrong. If you get too much junk snail mail, do you just file it away and get a storage unit if it gets too overwhelming? No.

Morrison breaks down the most commonly filtered email types, from mailing lists to daily deals, and encourages you to rethink whether letting those types of email into your inbox in the first place is worth it. While a good filter can potentially make unnecessary email useful without distracting you from your main inbox, you run the risk of turning your email into an everything bucket, which is generally a Bad Thing. Operating under the belief that you should strive to ensure the email you receive is real and important, the post makes a decent case for ditching your filters.

As a frequent, card-carrying, sometimes-abuser of email filters, I’m curious: What’s your best email filter? Do you think you’d benefit from ditching your filters altogether? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

Delete Your Email Rules [Collective Idea]


  • Ridiculous – maybe some people use mail rules to over-filter things that they should just unsubscribe from but there’s people out there doing stupid things with stupid tools everywhere. It doesn’t make the tools bad.

    Filters are incredibly useful. For example I use Calbire to send books to my Kindle, I therefore have a rule to delete the outbound email it generates as it’s a useless and just takes up space… I get DMARC email reports for my domain but I send them straight to trash as I don’t need to see them daily but if there’s ever a problem I can look in there to go back the last 30 days… I have rules that forward certain files that certain people may send me on to my dropbox – again I don’t need the emails once the files have been processed and so I delete them once they’ve been passed on.

    Rules, er, rule.

  • I leverage the advantage of running my own mail server (on a Debian server) to allow some fun tricks with filters:
    1) buying a domain allows you to receive mail at [email protected]. This is great for tracing which organisation gave your address away! Then filters can be tailored to his if your spam filter isn’t hitting. There’s an important distinction between server-side and client-side filtering. All my mail is sanitised (antivirus and spam filtered) before getting to my inbox and also gets filtered sever side by Sieve filters (managed by a web interface) into folders or auto forwards. It works great and reduces bandwidth by not moving around emails that aren’t needed. Setting up your own mail server can be a little tricky but well worth it, or look up providers that offer this sort of enhanced service.

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