For the last few years, I’ve organized my email Inbox by filing messages in a folder that will help me find the messages later. I use one folder to hold individuals I deal with regularly, and another to hold folders for companies where I may deal with a bunch of random people, or if I don’t deal with them regularly.
Something like this: Inbox - People - Bob - Jane - Jim - Companies - Adobe - Dynatech - Grimm's
Doing this, I can use my Inbox as a sort of ‘to-do’ list that lets me know what I’ve got to accomplish in a very dynamic fashion. Need something from me? Send a quick email, and it’ll get done. I even send myself notes on occasion to keep a record of something that needs to be done.
One downside to this, is a long list of people and suppliers that end up making the filing of these emails kind of onerous. Lately I’ve been dealing with a number of companies in the search for a new software solution, and I find that Microsoft Outlook folders all tend to look alike when you get a long list of them running down the side of your screen.
The solution I’ve come up with is to mark a single message as “read” in the folder that I’m regularly filing to, to highlight it in bold and make the folder easy to find when I’m quickly scrolling through the folder tree. This will work in Microsoft Outlook, Apple (Mac) Mail, on your smart phone, gmail, hotmail, or any other email applications you’re using.
I’d encourage you to try this system and see how it works for you!