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You Should Disable Your Gmail’s Promotional Tab
Living without a promo tab will change your life.
If there was one thing that always bothered me, it was the number of promotional emails I received daily. I had started to unsubscribe from most senders. It is still hard, though. On the one hand, it disables notifications for many emails that you otherwise would have deleted. On the other hand, essential emails often get filtered into that folder, too.
And yet, even after realizing the potential of the promotions filter to help me stay sane, I decided to remove it from my inbox. I decided to allow my mailbox to receive all emails as equals (except emails about social networks. That filter is still up and not going anywhere, thank god).
Disabling the promotions tab was a surprisingly healthy decision. Read on to discover why.
I Didn’t Miss Important Emails
When I deleted the filter, suddenly, I started receiving all of the emails that usually went there as notifications on my phone.
Granted, that was no fun, especially when a service sent multiple emails daily.
But, among the spam, at least I received some critical emails that would have gone to the promotions tab otherwise. Was it the right choice? I was still not sure of it on Day one. I mostly thought I was losing my sanity to my iPhone’s notifications sound.
Now, over a few months of an inbox without a promotions tab (and way fewer subscriptions), I couldn’t be happier! I’m finally receiving fewer promotional emails, and I’m on top of everything that goes on in my inbox.
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Hidden Subscriptions Made Themselves Known
Are you familiar with entering your promotions tab in search of that one email you know you should have received and can’t find it? Well, sometimes during that search, you come across an email from a subscription you don’t remember signing up for, and you ignore it because you’re doing something else now, but deep in your head, you think, “What is that underwear promotional email? I don’t remember signing up for underwear that only models wear.”
Now, think about getting that email as a notification on your smartphone during a workday or when sitting with friends. How would that make you feel? I would have felt embarrassed. I immediately unsubscribed from many subscriptions as they arrived.
Ignoring the ads when you don’t keep up with the emails in that folder is easier. But when the promo tab doesn’t exist, and your sacred primary inbox is littered with cat food ads when you don’t have a cat, then you know it’s time for some unsubscribe clicks.
I Became Aware Of My Email Decisions
Did you know that a new Gmail address does not have a promotions tab? That tab was created to remove confusion when people sign up for so many promotions without realizing it. Disabling that tab allows you to look at the real state of your inbox and organize it better.
It is the most natural action in the world to enter your email address for some prize, right? Well, at that pivotal sign-up moment, you don’t think of all the emails you’ll receive and whether you want them or not. You want the prize that you’ll get soon. If it’s a list I want to be on, and the content is not dull, and ads may be about things I want to buy, I may decide to stay and consume it.
Let me clarify that last sentence: If you’re an author and you try to sell me your book in an email, that’s fine. I will probably unsubscribe when you send me an article full of affiliate links that will get you money but aren’t necessarily attractive to me.
But, overall, I am far more sensitive than I was and will turn down subscriptions I don’t want to consume in my inbox.
How To Disable Your Promotions Tab On Gmail?
So, you’ve read what this simple change did for me and want to try it as well. Here’s a short guide to disabling your promotions tab on Gmail:
Access your Gmail account at gmail.com, click on the wheel to the right, and then settings (you may need to click on “all settings” first before the tabs appear).
Click on Inbox.
Remove the checkmark from promotions.
Click on Save Settings at the bottom of the screen and brace yourself for impact.
That is all you need to do to remove your promotions tab. If you’re serious about doing it — do it right now at this very moment. It will be tough initially, but you won’t regret it.
I believe it was the right choice after a few months without the promotions tab. I unsubscribed from many emails that were clogging my inbox, and even though I still get promotions, at least I’m fully aware of it and take action. Some of them are also interesting to me. Those emails don’t only drown, never to be seen. I already wrote about the benefits of cleaning your inbox. Disabling your promotions tab is the next step in that journey.