A year and a half ago I tried to get to “Inbox Zero” and failed. This is the idea that you get your inbox down to zero mails every day. I’m making another run at it and this time have been a little more successful. I’m not perfect, but I haven’t fallen off the horse yet either. Here’s what I have found to work.
Following these rules makes my inbox look something like this:
I also have a rule to move all mail sent to: or cc: me directly to my inbox. This way mail intended for my eyes won’t get filtered into an “interests” folder.
I have found this system simple enough to keep up with it. It also means I no longer miss mails which got filtered into some folder I haven’t yet read for today. I now see every interesting mail and am at least aware of it. It also helps me keep track of the mails I really need to go back and respond to. My old system was just to leave them unread, but this got unwieldy very quickly and I never made it back to most of them.