I finally did it. After 10 years with the same Yahoo! email address, I finally made the switch to a less annoying provider. For the past 2-3 years I have tolerated the ads, the bugs, the cluttered Yahoo! interface, annoyed every time I opened my mail, but too overwhelmed by what switching would entail to do anything about it.
I started seriously considering switching when my colleague, James Huff, gave a talk at our annual meeting about encrypted email. He mentioned the provider ProtonMail, and while I love that ProtonMail is Open Source and highly secure, I was mostly interested because I knew my time with Yahoo! was running out, and I needed something to switch to.
It took five months of mulling, of avoiding, of thinking, Maybe next week. Two weeks ago, I signed up, just to poke around in ProtonMail to get used to something different. After ten years with the same email interface, I’ve got a lot of habits built up, and I needed time to acquaint myself with a different look. Because it’s brand new, my email space is fresh and clean and clutter-free, and I quite like it.
I want to keep it that way.
This week, despite the overwhelming prospect of changing my email address on every account I’ve built up over the past ten years, I made the full decision to switch. And I’m doing it slowly.
I am cleaning up as I switch over: with each email that comes into my Yahoo! account, I decide whether I want that coming into my shiny new ProtonMail account. For about 70% of the emails I receive, the answer to question is No. I can’t tell you how many mailing lists I have unsubscribed from in the past two days. My goodness, I received a lot of junk.
I’m also unsubscribing from quality content that I just don’t make the time to read anymore. If I get weekly essays in my inbox, but I haven’t read a single one of them, if I’ve deleted without reading it for the past 12 months? Unsubscribe. I don’t want anything unnecessary cluttering my clean new space.
As for all those accounts and services I’ll need to change my email address on — banks, social media, shopping, medical, utilities, subscriptions, local services, schools — I’m making that transition slowly. Each day I update 5-10 sites, and I’m keeping a list of the ones I’ve finished. This could take a while.
Once I’ve changed my email address on official accounts, then I’ll work on my personal contacts. I’ve got contacts in my Yahoo! account that I do not even recognize — I have no idea who they are. I need to go through all of those and clean them out before porting them over to my pristine new account.
Ten years is a long time to accrue correspondence and contacts. I foresee this process taking me a few weeks. I’m okay with that. I have a clean slate, and am working to change my habits as I make the switch. It feels good to scrub everything out.
6 thoughts on “Electronic spring cleaning”
I’ve changed my email address from one yahoo account to another yahoo account – crazy logic
Change is a tonic!
Interesting. I’ve been clearing out electronic files lately. I had my writing, poetry, etc etc in too many files. Now they are neatly in Dropbox or trash.
So you go girl. I’m proud of you! J.
Oh, what a job. Congratulations on your progress toward a brand new mail box and carrier. It will be nice. My cox will likely outlast me! I will wait it out!
It’s lovely when things are easy,clean and clear. It makes things so much simpler don’t you think? Well done, keep up the good work.
Sounds very cleansing. I bet you’ll have so much focus afterward and less noise. I struggle with holding onto the “quality content” that I want to read but never end up having the time. I should probably just unsubscribe but haven’t been able to do that yet. You are are motivating me though!
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