I try to keep my inbox empty, but due to a lack of a task manager that I can feel good about, I don't have a place to put pending tasks.
So sometimes I leave them on my inbox. Not good.
Until I find a good system that I like to use, to keep my tasks and projects, I made a small adjustment to my mail habits. I already have an extensive list of rules to filter mailing lists and other regular emails to proper folders.
What I did now was this:
- created an Interesting Folders smart folder: basically, it joins together the folders (either mailing lists, or my regular inbox) that I want to keep a close eye on;
- created a Quick Read smart folder: simple condition - show everything from Interesting Folders that is not read.
So each time I open up my email client, I just look at the Quick Read folder. It shows only new mail messages that I haven't read yet. The thing I like the most is that if I need to do something later, I can just leave it there and it will disappear on my next check, but still be safely stored on the original folder.
It's not perfect by any means, but its working very well for me.