Among other techniques; at work I practice “e-mail triage”–I decide which messages require my most immediate reading and attention based either on subject line (if possible) or a two-second glance at the body text in the “preview” function (thereby allowing the e-mail to remain marked as ‘unread’ if I decide it isn’t a priority item at the moment).

I also utilize a variety of folders; some are timing or topic based, while others are for immediate issues (I have a folder known as “immediate crises”) and one is for those issues that never seem to die (“ongoing issues”), and things that are pressing but not absolutely critical (“clear and present bureaucracy”). 😀

I admit that in spite of all this, I still have a fair amount of third-tier e-mail sitting around sometimes; which leads me to sometimes multitask in meetings and use the time to try and clean up my inbox!