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I have a rather unruly inbox at this point. There's probably at least a thousand messages in there, with 300 or so of them unread. I'm trying to find ways to achieve inbox zero. As part of this I want to unsubscribe from all bulk email I'm getting, and as part of this, want to be able to figure out which senders have sent me the most mail in my inbox. Does anybody know of a tool or something that lets me know who has sent me the most mail?

I'm also wanting to find who's sending me the most mail so that if it's something I can't unsubscribe from I can create a filter for it to just make it more efficient to deal with my inbox. I'm sorry if there are already questions like this, but I didn't find anything.

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My strategy is - mark unread as read. Works like a charm ;p –  elssar Feb 6 '13 at 0:05
    
I really don't understand what your last comment does for what I'm asking –  Tortilaman Feb 6 '13 at 0:07
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It was a rather tongue in cheek reply, but I do actually use it. There are times when I don't want to, and/or need to read a mail. So I just mark it as read. Helps keep the inbox at 0. Ex - conformation emails I don't have to click, newsletters I don't feel like reading, or emails that I know the contents of. It is pretty simple and effective. –  elssar Feb 6 '13 at 0:13
    
Marking something as read doesn't get it out of the inbox but yes, if it is read I won't be as concerned about it. –  Tortilaman Feb 6 '13 at 1:08
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9 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted
  1. For making your Gmail Inbox to zero you should use ActiveInbox activeinboxhq.com
  2. For Finding who has been sending you most mails use, Awayfind it has this feature awayfind.com & Gmail meter Gmail Meter
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This is the type of stuff I was looking for. Ideally it would be free, which it looks like awayfind.com isn't, but I haven't looked through it extensively. Either way though, these are all great finds. –  Tortilaman Feb 5 '13 at 7:13
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Most emails have an "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom. For those that don't, I typically mark as spam, and I have my spam box set to clear itself out ever week or so. As for some sort of plug in for you email, I highly doubt there's anything for that. Extensions like you're looking for aren't made for emails, they're only made for the browser you're using. Just play it by eye, see who appears most, and either mark them as spam or unsubscribe. You can select the box at the top right, or left, of your emails and delete all of them after that, but with Gmail you'll have to do that page by page.

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I got sick of unsubscribing, it's just way too time consuming especially when you have to log in and then confirm. I prefer to set up Gmail filters to automatically delete those emails . –  user4926 Feb 24 '13 at 3:35
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Set up filters in Gmail to categorize certain bulk mail that you may still want to receive, but not necessarily have polluting your inbox proper. Create a label for each category and set the filter to apply your label and skip the inbox (archive). Apply the filter to existing mail. This approach is also crucial for discussion mailing lists that you don't want to fully unsubscribe from.

This keeps them out of your inbox and in their own label which you can go and read when you actually have a chance without having them in your inbox. When you click on the label, it will show you the total number of messages with that label (as well as an unread count in the left navigation bar, like your inbox). For example, none of the messages in the Newegg label below are in my inbox:

1262 newegg ads

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Filters are definitely on my list of things to do, I'm just looking for a way to know what to filter basically. Knowing who I receive email from the most lets me know who I either need to unsubscribe from or setup a filter for. –  Tortilaman Feb 2 '13 at 6:51
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I use three general types of labels usually: specific mailing lists, categories of bulk mail ('political stuff'), and single sites that I want to access individually (newegg). It's hard to say more without digging through your inbox. Start with a single day's or week's email and see what looks newsletter-y or just plain high volume over that period. –  Joe Baker Feb 2 '13 at 8:05
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Besides unsubscribing the newsletters you don't need or can't get to read and using filters, what I did was to take the time to empty the inbox once and from then on emptying the inbox daily. If there are still too many daily emails you need to unsubscribe/filter more.

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I'd like to shamelessly recommend Beeminder's GmailZero tool: http://gmailzero.com

It's kind of the nuclear option if you're too much of an incorrigible procrastinator for any of the other awesome tools in the other answers to work for you. It's a way to truly force yourself to gradually get your inbox down to zero. Beeminder in general is part Quantified Self tool and part commitment device. You pledge to keep all your datapoints on a "yellow brick road" to your goal, in this case from your current inbox size down to zero, eventually. So every day there's a max inbox size you're allowed and if you end the day above it, you get charged.

NB: GmailZero only counts Read messages so you can't get thrown off track by new email coming in, as long as you don't open it and leave it in your inbox! There's of course the obvious loophole of procrastinating by not opening messages in the first place. But I find the following trick works for that: Since GmailZero only counts the minimum inbox count of the day, you can mark everything Read after safely getting on your yellow brick road. Then you're on the hook to deal with them all tomorrow. As long as you don't stoop to marking Read messages as Unread again, that seems to suffice.

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For bulk email--- you have to try out the awesome unroll.me to stick all newsletters into one label (and receive an email summary daily). Easy to unsubscribe there as well.

For inbox zero, it's all about "processing" your inbox. I've written a bit of how I approach the subject here, and for the past few months I've been dominating 2 inboxes with about 200 emails per day.

http://blog.writethat.name/7-simple-ways-to-get-to-inbox-zero-every-day/

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I use categories and keyboard short cuts to organise the emails and then a processing routine that helps me blast through a busy inbox. You know how it is if you go away for a few days and don't check your emails, for example when I go on holiday I make a point of totally disconnecting from the internet and so can come back to a few hundred emails.

The general idea I use, just like in the link, is a GTD approach, anything I can delete (because I don't need to do anything with) I delete, anything that will take a little time to deal with I put to one side...

I also have rules that move messages into sub folders, this is a bit of a deviation from the standard 'have one inbox' approach of GTD, but it works for me. I use hotmail and have a few aliases which I use for different broad things... I have a junk@ address (and a rule that sticks those messages into a junk folder), I have an address for a martial arts class I teach and a rule that pushes emails into that mailbox folder. My goal is to keep my main inbox as clean as possible, so only emails that are for me stay in there. Then I check at 10am and 4pm and quickly blast through following a very similar approach to that in the linked answer.

I've got a good idea of where I'm getting a lot of emails from... a few key suspects, so in your case I'd just filter (just like @JoeBaker) to one of those domains and see how many messages there are. It's not a sophisticated approach, but then once you're on top of your inbox hopefully you shouldn't need to keep running a tool to find where you're getting the most traffic from. If you've really got a massive amount of email subscriptions then, IMO, picking on just one or two each time you check your emails / as and when they come in and deciding how to change dealing with them is a better approach than trying to fix all your subscriptions in one go.

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I use Xobni. It indexes links, attachments, mail, and people. I can see, at a glance, who sends me how much mail, broke down by time of day. It is awesome!

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Click this to learn how to create Gmail filters here. I recommend just doing extreme prioritizing. If you have

at least a thousand messages in there, with 300 or so of them unread.

First you might want to filter out all the read messages, by putting them in trash or just archiving them. (since you've already read them, why read them all over again?)

Then, you'd want to create a filter that marks all unread as read just to reduce impulse of reading email, it's fun but optional of course.

Then you'd want to filter messages. Create filters to automatically archive unimportant emails or delete subscriptions you want to unsubscribe from (instead of actually unsubscribing, because unsubscribing can be painfully time consuming).

Then go through the important emails. If you still have more emails than you can bear, just continue deleting more and more emails until your left with the even more important ones.

You can use Gmail's 'right click email to read' tool in their gmail labs.

Note that messages that have been in Trash more than 30 days will be automatically deleted(quoted from Gmail), so you probably should choose archiving instead of deleting according to what you like.

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