Two steps to less digital clutter

I spend a lot of time online and love trying new online services. Often they don’t add to my life and aren’t used regularly, but I usually forget to remove those accounts or to be conscious of what sites I give permission to. Once a month (or every couple of months) I weed through the digital clutter I’ve created. These two areas are the biggest offenders for me, but I’m sure there are others you can think of.

Junk Emails

I’ve read some people that have two email addresses, one for actual correspondence and one for signing up on websites. I think that’s an awesome idea, and if you already take that approach, bravo! I, however, don’t want to remember which email address I signed up with each site, so I use one address for everything. To take control of what email messages I’m receiving and want to keep receiving I use an online service,

Made for Gmail users, will connect with your account, tell you who you have subscribed to for email, and allow you to easily unsubscribe to multiple services at once. Or, if you want to keep receiving emails, but have fewer messages each day will do a daily roll-up where it combines all of the emails you would have gotten in to one message.

It took me a month or so using this service to really get my communications to a minimum that can be easily managed every day. I now receive only the messages that I’m interested in and save a lot of time each day deleting and unsubscribing to individual messages.

Online Permissions

mypermissions.orgNothing in life is free and with the internet many free services are paid for with information and permission to your information. Many sites ask you to sign in using your Facebook or Twitter account which have this personal information. The problem is that once you grant a site access to your account it has that access until you revoke it. If you’re like me and like to try different online services this can really add up. Enter They give you quick links to permission pages for the most popular web apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Go to, click on the site or services you have accounts with, sign in to the site, and you will see a page that lists sites and applications you’ve granted permission to and an option to leave or revoke permission for each instance. This isn’t as easy as with immediate unsubscribe buttons—you will have to go to each individual site to review your permissions, but once there revoking permission is very easy. My first time doing this I didn’t even remember half of the applications I had granted permission to!

What other digital clutter follows you around?

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