It was something I was feeling a little guilty about (and I don't like that feeling!) because I felt bad about not getting back to people right away but yet I was feeling overwhelmed with the situation so I didn't know how to get on top of it. Looking back now those feelings seem rather silly but it was truly a problem for me.
However I am happy to report for several months now (basically starting last August) I have gotten my e-mail inbox under control and hopefully I will never feel overwhelmed by it again!
I read some advice in a book (that I can't remember the name of ) that really helped me.
The advice was - When you find time to look at an e-mail - don't just look at it and leave it in your inbox (something I used to do all the time!)- do something about it! His basic rules where: If the e-mail will take less than two minutes to deal with- do it right now! It is surprising how many fall in this category. I have also been forcing to make decisions more quickly about whether the e-mail really is anything that I am in interested in or not - and if it isn't then it quickly gets deleted!
If I can't just quickly delete it or take care of it (answer it, or dot something else) within the two minutes then I put it in the appropriate file. It either goes in ACTION which is basically a file that holds e-mails that I do need to do something about and when I do have time (hopefully at least once a week) then I tackle the e-mails in the action file. I also have a waiting file which holds things like receipts from things that I ordered online and that I am waiting to arrive. I also have various files that hold archives of e-mails (that I may need or want to look back to at sometime) which are filed according to writer or topic).
This method has helped me considerably in keeping my inbox cleaned out! I no longer feel overwhelmed and for that I am very grateful!
Another thing that I have worked to do it to unsubscribe from many things that I am not interested it. I can't catch all the spam but I have been able to get rid of some of it.
Do you have any tips or ideas for cleaning out or organizing your inbox?