Dealing with hoards of e-mail is a challenge a lot of us face. Sometimes, I think we slog through without taking a moment to consider improvements. Making yourself more efficient can be worth it, though:
I’m not really discussing SPAM filtering. At this point, I think the big guys are already doing a good job taking care of that nuisance. Google Apps with GMail serves me well.
However, people get a lot of “bacon” – e-mail you did technically subscribe to, but may not read regularly. This will be companies you’ve purchased from, LinkedIn updates, professional association newsletters & journals, etc. Not things you’d like to delete, but also not items that should demand your immediate attention.
I was able to clear most of my inbox using a single word:
Because we’re assuming these are legitimate senders (not spammers), they will adhere to standards by including a link to unsubscribe from the mailings. If you’re feeling obsessive, you might also include “Opt Out” in your filter.
This one change has made me quite happy at work.