A few months ago, I decided to take control of my email in box. Personal emails went unanswered for months, buried amongst advertising and blogging e-mails (I get my comments sent to my e-mail address). I wanted and needed a better system!
Here's what I've done with my Yahoo account--I'm sure that most email programs have similar features that you can make use of:
1) I made folders for different family members and friends, and transferred all their e-mails into those folders. For some reason, I cannot bear to delete personal emails. Not that I ever go back and read them, but that's another issue to be dealt with on another day! *Smiles*
2) I deleted all the rest. Very easy, should have been done when I received them!
3) Now this is a feature which might be unique to Yahoo users, but I created an email "address" which is just for my blog comments, but delivered to the same email address. Now when comments come in, they are highlighted a different color and I can respond to them using this email address.
4) Here's the part which has worked the best for me: I keep my main in-box empty. If there is an email in there, I either need to delete it, respond to it, or it is there to jog my memory on something. Once I respond to an email, I file it in its appropriate folder or delete as appropriate, and then I don't have it staring at me each time I open my email.
I know this is a lot of detail for something as simple as email, but I have struggled with emailing for years! I have been such a tardy responder to emails, and in many instances this has been quite embarrassing to me. I am so happy that I have finally hit upon a good system that works for me!