Scott Lewis shares his thoughts on trying out Leave Me Alone to tackle his overwhelming 72,000 unwanted emails.

Update: Leave Me Alone v2.0 is here - we now support other providers alongside Gmail and you can connect multiple accounts, pricing is credit-based, the whole app has been re-designed to make it easier and faster for you to unsubscribe!


The other day I looked at the little indicator on my phone and saw that I had over 72,000 unread emails on just one of my Gmail accounts. Nope, that isn't a typo. 72,000 UNREAD EMAILS!

How did I get here?

I take 100% of the blame on this.

The way I handle emails is I rarely, if ever, delete an email, no matter if it's an email from my family or the latest Victoria's Secret sale. I open the ones I'm interested in and then leave the rest.

And "the rest" are mainly emails from mailing lists I signed up for during the I don't know how many years I've had this Gmail account.

I have a problem and I need help.

I've sought out help before ... no seriously ... I have

Over the years I've tried various ways to help take back control with my inbox.

Clicking unsubscribe links. Setting up filters. Using Gmail tabs. Deleting emails.

Then there are all the online services that promise to help me to get the holy grail ... INBOX ZERO.

Unroll.me was okay to work with. It was nice to move many subscriptions into a single email but this only cut down on the number of individual emails. The content was still there presented in a single email forms and, you guessed it, I rarely opened it and never deleted the emails. Argh!

Mailstrom got me the closest to taking back control with its ability to bulk delete and unsubscribe from emails. I loved it so much I even signed up for one of their monthly plans. So why didn't it work for me? Bugs.

I started using Mailstrom pretty close to when they opened their doors to the public. Lets say it was around the 20,000 unread emails mark.

I was flying through deleting and unsubscribing and could see that 20,000 number quickly drop to 10,000 and even below 5,000.

Then, and I'm not sure why, deleted emails began re-showing up in my inbox. I'm not sure if there was a timing issues on when Mailstrom deleted emails or if opening my accounts in their system, Gmail web experience plus mobile causes confusing, but no matter what, those emails kept reappearing.

I reached out to customer support but never got the problem resolved so I cancelled ... and that's how I got to where I am today ... 72,000 unread emails and counting (72,699 to be exact).

Enter Leave Me Alone

Leave Me Alone was made by fellow makers Danielle and James with, as Danielle mentioned in her blog post, the goal of "... a service which showed me what I was subscribed to and allowed me to easily choose what to opt out of."

Perfect. This is exactly what I need.

Since LMA is developed for Gmail, the sign up process is pretty painless and straight forward.

LMA does a nice job of alerting you why they need to connect to your account and they don't store any information.

Nice to get a quick-overview / understanding of the the layout of the page once LMA scans your inbox.

LMA offers various plans depending on the number of days back you want them to scan your Gmail account. Since this was my first time trying out the service I opted for the 3-day free scan.

In under 60 seconds I was presented with the initial scan results showing 76 subscriptions.

Wait ... what? In the past 72 hours I received 76 subscription emails? Wowzers.

Taking a closer look at the results and I noticed the majority were from Twitter. That's what I get for being a developer and opening up a new Twitter account for each launch.

Ignoring the Twitter emails I did find 6 subscriptions that I had no reason to be subscribe to anymore.

Just like the sign-up process, LMA made the email unsubscribe process painless. Once you find an email you want to unsubscribe from, you click on the toggle next to the specific email and done. LMA does some magic on the backend and you are unsubscribed.

(NOTE: I used the service for the first time today so I can't confirm I was unsubscribed from these lists. If that doesn't happen I'll make sure to update this post.)

There are a lot of other features LMA has to offer (i.e sender ignore lists, scan history) that I didn't have a chance to try out but definitely will during this "I really hope this helps me solve my problem" phase.

Where do I go from here?

Although LMA's pricing is affordable, I'm not ready to commit any $$$ towards it until I can see the true results in my inbox.

My plan right now is once or twice a week to run an LMA scan and see the results.

No matter what I end up deciding to do, I want to thank Danielle and James for coming up with Leave Me Alone and tackling a problem the majority of us have ... an out of control inbox.


Originally published at scottlewis.me on 15 Jan 2019