Kill junk, kill pseudo-junk, and then kill all the stuff you won’t ever respond to. Whatever’s left is yours to return.
This is the core of my personal email management. I do this everyday, effortlessly, and in the worst case scenario I’m left with a few unread messages. Many have praised the Inbox Zero approach, and I was expecting something utterly revolutionary, in a sense. Mann’s suggestions are solid, don’t get me wrong, but to me a lot of them seem pretty basic. Or at least, it’s how Email Management 101 should be. Apparently the number of clueless people incapable of handling their inboxes out there is even higher than I thought.