Swizzle offers a quick and easy way to clean up your inbox, but I wish it didn’t suggest more emails to sign up for.
Sometimes, I feel like I am drowning in all those emails in my inbox. Between all the marketing messages and ads, plus the newsletters I’ve subscribed to, finding messages that I want, those that are timely and important, is harder than ever. That’s where Swizzle promises to help: this free service sweeps your inbox, cleaning out the clutter.
When you sign up for Swizzle, you simply enter your email address and grant it access to your account. (Right now, Swizzle supports AOL Mail, Gmail, Google Apps, Mac.com/Me.com, and Yahoo Mail only.) It then analyzes your inbox, looking for bulk messages. Swizzle works quickly—within a matter of minutes, it had scanned my Gmail account, which holds more than 14,000 messages—and then presents you with a list of emails that may be cluttering up your inbox. Swizzle isn’t perfect, as it did mistake a few people for bulk message senders, including one friend who had recently sent me an Evite, but overall it was quite accurate at identifying bulk messages.
Once you’re presented with the list of messages, you can decide what to do with each one: the options are nothing, put it in your daily digest, unsubscribe, or unsubscribe and delete all. The daily digest is an email that Swizzle will send once a day (or less often, if you prefer) that contains all of the emails it thinks you don’t need to see right away. This is similar to the Rollup that is sent by rival Unroll.me, and is a nice way to keep your inbox uncluttered without losing access to the messages you might want to read later. I like that Swizzle doesn’t make any moves by default; the only messages placed in your daily digest are the ones you put there. Unroll.me, meanwhile, automatically places emails it believes to be subscriptions in its rollup, which gives you less control over the process.
I also was impressed with Swizzle’s emphasis on unsubscribing. With a single click, Swizzle lets you unsubscribe from all of those annoying mailing list messages you’ve been meaning to stop. That’s what made Swizzle’s next step all the more depressing: after I added emails to my daily digest, Swizzle then suggested more brands I might want to hear from. With a simple click, I could add even more messages to my daily digest. I understand that Swizzle is a business and needs to make money, and promoting these brands gives them a way to do that. But for a company that is centered around the promise of eliminating email overload, it’s a little disheartening to see them suggesting more emails I might like to receive.
Once your daily digest is set up, you can browse its contents on Swizzle’s Web site. While you’re there, you also can browse many more brands that are ready to send you marketing emails—straight to that daily digest. There’s a lot to like about Swizzle, including its neat, clean interface and its emphasis on unsubscribing from bulk email. It’s almost enough to help me overlook Swizzle’s seeming desire to add more marketing emails to my daily load. Almost.
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Liane Cassavoy is a veteran technology and business journalist. She contributes regularly to PCWorld and has written about business issues and products for Entrepreneur Magazine and other publications. She is the author of two business start-up guides published by Entrepreneur Press.