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April 29, 2021, 9:11 a.m.
Aggregation & Discovery
LINK: twitter.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   April 29, 2021

After paying for all those damn Substacks, you might as well read them, right? But I’ve found that Gmail isn’t very good at recognizing the newsletters you pay for as important. It doesn’t necessarily treat the newsletter you’re paying $50 a year as different from, say, “20% Off Big and Husky Deals Ending Soon! ⏰ ” from AutoAnything.com.

[Return of the RSS reader]

But journalist Will Oremus, recently of Medium’s OneZero, found a way around this, essentially turning the “Forums” tab of his Gmail into a mini Google Reader (RIP) for newsletters. (Oh man, Google Reader has been gone for eight years. For those who don’t remember, it was a way to read and comment on things that was not Twitter and it was the best.)

The tweet replies include other recommendations on how to manage and filter email newsletters, but “for me, the simple drag-and-drop in Gmail’s tabbed inbox works because I’m not the sort of person who’s great at setting up or maintaining detailed manual rules for what Gmail should do with various types of emails,” Oremus told me via DM. “Any time I set up a specific folder or label, I end up completely forgetting about it, so it’s of no use. The Forums trick works for me because that tab is already built into my everyday browsing experience, and it surfaces things in a way that works for me intuitively on both desktop and mobile.”

I have this up and running now, and it works most of the time. Occasionally stray messages make it into the Forums tab and have to be dragged out. Some newsletters still get away, and there’s still the problem of, well, me still not always reading them. But that’s not a problem that technology can fix!

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