I read J.D. Meier's Clearing Your Inbox post a few weeks ago, and thought I'd give it a try.
I created two new sub-folders in my inbox - 'archive' and 'indirect', and added a rule for moving indirect emails:
Apply this rule after the message arrives
move it to the Indirect folder
except if my name is in the To or Cc box
I then moved all the items in my Inbox into the 'archive' folder, so that my Inbox is now empty.
I've found that this does make a difference to using Outlook. Items only stay around in the Inbox for a few hours, and are either
- replied to (in which case I can delete the original)
- moved to the 'archive' folder
I'm applying the same criteria to items in the 'indirect' folder too. One benefit is that Indirect items are almost always less of a priority, so I don't need to check these as often.
I also decided that there was no point in keeping old copies of server log emails I receive - so rather than copy them to my PST file, I just set those folders to permanently delete items older than 2 weeks.
About the only downside was when I checked my inbox on my iPAQ, and got a shock that there were no emails at all. I thought something had gone horribly wrong until I remembered that this is how it should be now!