You insist on those kept Unread? you're simply missing a lot on your objectives and you think you know better! that's the catastrophe!
Let's start by deciding on the purpose of emails in order to categorize them:
-Cc, only to be kept informed
-Cc, but to follow-up as interested
-Cc, project related
-Cc, task related
-To, take action
-To, reflect, read
-To, decide now
-To, decide later
-To, read later when free
Two major components are to start with:
The Rules Wizard and Custom Search Folder Bookmark
Use the Rules Wizard to redirect any incoming messages directly to a specified folder. Right click on that folder and set option to show unread messages only.
Use Custom Search Folder creation with required important criteria (last 3 days incoming messages, Unread ALL messages, To Do tagged category messages, flagged messages, Today Emails, Today Sent Emails, etc...)
Right-click on custom folders to show Number of messages ONLY (not unread ones)
So now you have a like Dashboard that you can start your day with, showing only important Searched criteria folders, and in case you like to see those folders with misc emails, ads, subscriptions, or important messages, you can see them without wasting time going through the threads!
When your Rules are numerous and efficient, you would reach a state where if you see emails in Inbox folder alone, this would suggest that this is either a new contact, new junk, unknown sender that you can either ignore for now, or review later for quick deletion.
Want to go that step further in extreme organization and time efficient optimization?
Use IMS systems integrated in your Outlook that allow you to Dismiss, Delegate, Unsubscribe, Auto-File, defer, and Alert tasks and messages. The system is smart, it will suggest your next moves and reminds you of pending or scheduled tasks generated from messages.
Xobni is a service that shows a thread ribbon on the right side of Outlook, showing the Contact, related messages, statistics of best email times, email usage, related file Attachments, frequent conversation sharers, etc...
Having all the above is not enough... Using it is the real deal:
1. First thing in the morning:
- Review your Calender
- Review your daily task list
- Review your alerts
2. Twice Daily:
- Act immediately? Reply, Delegate, or Review and File
- Act later? Defer, Create a Task or Appointment
- No action required? Unsubscribe or Delete
3. Throughout the Day:
- Work on your Tasks by project
- Review high priority messages only
- Review all related information on To Do's