Each week, the Huffington Post Canada's Living team will try out something that has sparked our curiosity, and as long as we live to tell the tale, we'll let you know all about it.
Test Drive Subject:TheSwizzle.com
What It Is: TheSwizzle.com is an organizational tool that allows users to clean up their inboxes, and create one designated email called a daily digest to group similar emails together, according to MaryAnn Bekkedahl, president and co-founder of TheSwizzle.com.
Trying It Out: Like many people, I hate email but love getting a good deal. Now, I know I can't necessarily get one without the other, so for years, my email has a been a cluster of daily deals, online shopping sales and newsletters from various fashion magazines. I'm also a sucker for group buying sites like Living Social and Groupon — which is why I've signed up for 15 of them. Do I always purchase something? No. I guess you can say I'm an email hoarder, and most of these emails get deleted every morning — even before reading the whole thing.
Our Thoughts: One 2010 survey found that an average employee gets about 50 emails a day, according to ABC News, which is close to the amount I get in my personal email. An overload of email can be stressful, overwhelming and sometimes, important messages can be lost in a sea of junk.
The Swizzle takes a few steps before it creates a daily digest. First, after creating a username and password (you can actually sign in your with Google account like I did), it scans your inbox for newsletters, deals, offers and commercial mail. It takes about 15 seconds (depending on your email load) and I ended up with a list of all of my daily deal sites and shopping sites.
Next, The Swizzle lets you unsubscribe from emails you don't want in your inbox. And as a hoarder, yes, it was hard but I had to let some sites go (I really didn't need all those newsletters from my university any more). And finally, before creating your digest, you can click off websites you want to see in it. For my digest, I grouped all my fashion websites and daily deals together.
The first thing I noticed when I got my digest was how empty my inbox was. At least 15 of my regular emails were grouped into one convenient email that was easy to read on my phone and the computer. I also noticed I didn't miss the emails I had unsubscribed to — I actually couldn't even remember a lot of them.
LOOK: What TheSwizzle.com's daily digest looked like in my inbox:
Features: Another thing Bekkedahl told me about was the website's ability to schedule your daily digest. I still wanted to see my emails relatively often, so I set up my digest to arrive daily. You can also set up your digest to arrive once a week — Bekkedahl notes that around 18 per cent of The Swizzle's users don't get their emails daily. You can also set up a vacation preference if you want to tune out or if you need a break from spending.
The Warning: As of now, you can only make one Swizzle digest. Which, I know, I shouldn't be complaining about, but I can only group my shopping or deals sites in one email. I wouldn't want other emails, like messages from friends or work-related emails, all shoved into this one category. However, Bekkedahl says the company plans to create a system to allow for multiple digests later this year. (Yay).
The site also recommends other brands and websites to add to your digest, which I found a bit overwhelming. Since I already had so many emails myself, I didn't want to add other ones.
Tips: Depending on your job, I wouldn't recommend this for someone's work account (I chose my personal email). Unless you're the kind of person who reads through everything thoroughly, grouping important work-related emails into one could lead to missing important messages. Also, my work inbox, for example, has several types of emails (and hundreds of them), so I wouldn't want to cluster them altogether.
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