- Delete (or Archive) - Don't spend a lot of time on building archive folders. Use built-in search capabilities to find things
- Delegate (Forward to someone else)
- Respond (keep it short) - Appropriate response length is good. My comment is to put important content into the subject.
- Defer (Put into a pending folder) - something that you check periodically to see if it has resolved. I use flags in Outlook to keep track of my deferred actions
- Do or capture a placeholder for it (such as a calendar or a task)
Do email less (unless of course your job is real-time)
Do email on a schedule. Turn off mail arrival signals, then once per hour process it using the above five actions. Go back to work.
Filter junk email (especially spam, but also those non-critical listserv notes, etc.)
Don't fiddle - focus on getting your stuff done, not playing with your email organization
Take this advice and be productive.