One thousand, seven hundred and thirty-six unread emails. That’s how many I had in my inbox yesterday morning when I came back from taking a week off. That wasn’t all the email I had received during the week – just the ones I hadn’t opened. I wasn’t able to completely ignore my inbox during that time.

I realized that if I had 1,736 emails that were of little interest to me, it was time to do some inbox spring cleaning. I found a way to do it using the Unroll.Me website, and it was so quick and easy that I thought I’d share my experience with you.

Here’s how it works. You have to give Unroll.Me access to your email account. If you use Gmail or Outlook, the site doesn’t need your password to get this information. Those with a Yahoo, AOL, or iCloud email account have to give up their password. You need to decide if that’s something you want to give away, even though the site says it takes privacy and security very seriously.

Once the site has your email information, it searches for subscriptions. It found 670 email subscriptions for me! No wonder I had so many emails I wasn’t interested in. Many of the subscriptions were from sources that made sense, even if I had never actually subscribed to them. Some, I was perplexed about, though. I’m not sure why I would be subscribed to the UCLA Law School’s email or Club Industry Trendbeat.

Once the site compiles the list of your subscriptions, you have three options. You can leave them as-is, you can hit the unsubscribe button next to each one to stop receiving email, or you can choose to have the site put your subscription in what they call the “Rollup.” Any subscriptions you put in the Rollup will be sent to you once daily in an organized email from instead of coming in one at a time into your inbox.

I unsubscribed from 377 email subscriptions. After I unsubscribed to five, I had to choose a way to share before I could do anymore, so I chose the option to share it on Twitter. It was the only thing I was asked to do to use the service. I didn’t chose the Rollup option because many of the emails I get give me ideas for writing, and I want to get them in a timely manner.

It took me about an hour to go through all of the subscriptions on the list. Many of them were from PR firms, and I needed to search through my inbox to see if which firms send me PR emails that are of interest to me. I didn’t want to unsubscribe from relevant ones.

If cuts my unwanted emails down significantly, it will be an hour well spent. I’ve already noticed many of the emails I receive daily and automatically delete without reading haven’t shown up in the past 24 hours, so it’s looking good so far.

Have you used or a similar service?

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