App of the Week: Cleanfox

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Let your inbox meet the Cleanfox

If you had to guess, how many emails do you receive every day? 50? 100? Is that taking into account the emails going to both your work and personal accounts? What about your Google account that you probably don’t even realise you own? The numbers add up, and for every newsletter or mailing list you want to sign up to, you’re probably also receiving plenty of junk that your spam filter might not always pick up on.

Here at PA Life, I manage around four or five email addresses each day, I also have two Hotmail accounts, three google accounts and I think I even have a Yahoo address (although I have no idea what the password is). Along the way, emails can get overlooked and missed as inboxes get more and more overcrowded. There are plenty of ways to manage this yourself with the tools available, but what if you’d like to have a broader look at all of your accounts? This is where Cleanfox comes in.

A small team in France, Cleanfox is an app that isn’t cleaning up your inbox, it’s cleaning up the world, according to its website as it describes itself as the greenest way to unsubscribe to mailing lists. With every email using up a certain amount of electricity, storing and receiving unnecessary mail is actually harmful to the environment, and after just a few minutes with the app, I reduced my own carbon footprint by 5kg.

Cleanfox is very simple to use, just connect your email account – or email accounts – to the system and wait for the app to scrub through all of your subscriptions. You’re then presented with a Tinder-style swipe method to either keep, delete or delete and unsubscribe to the unread emails. It reminded me of living at home and finding my mum frustratingly going through all the clothes I said I’d sort and asking ‘keep it or bin it’.

The app helps put into perspective how saving emails for later isn’t always the right move, with every emailing emitting 10 grams of Carbon Dioxide a year, it quickly adds up. Just because we’re no long wasting as much paper with letters and faxes, it doesn’t mean we’re completely green and I think the app does well to remind us of this.

The biggest problem I found is that not all emails are currently supported. The app is fairly young so there’s still room to grow, but irritatingly I found that I could only clear out my personal emails as the Microsoft Office system that runs our work emails isn’t yet covered. Most of the main addresses are supported but you may find yourself only able to sort out your home mail, which you may find is in need of a good tidy up anyway.

The verdict
Cleanfox is a very simple way to examine what mailing lists you want and which ones you didn’t realise you still had. The email equivalent of checking out your standing orders at the bank, it is incredibly easy to use and has the added bonus of making you feel like you’re making a difference to the environment – referring a new member even gives you the award of planting a tree. It’s green, it’s clean and it’s available for all mobile devices, so if you’re in dire need of resorting your emails (as I was), this app is certainly worth trying out.

Visit their website for more details

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    Toby Cruse

    Content Writer - PA Life

    All stories by: Toby Cruse