The email inbox is best kept empty or filled with work that needs our attention now. If your email inbox is filled to the brim, move it to a folder to process later. From now on, commit to process all email as it comes in. Delete or file the email right away. Its a hurdle for a lot of us to understand that in the digital world things work differently. In trying to clean up email overload often people create more problems by building complex folder structures. That reflects an analog way of thinking. In a digital world we can search for emails quickly. Try to build a simple folder structure.
The best place to start to manage the email deluge is with Gmail. Priority inbox is a new feature in Gmail that helps you see the emails that are important. Smart labels helps you classify your emails into categories. Gmail is the perfect offloading account for your email. Use it for those daily reads your have that are not pressing.
Next, we need to clean out the inbox and manage the inflow of emails. Most if not all email applications have built in tools to keep our email folders trim. Outlook has the ability to take your emails and run certain actions based on conditions that you set. Filters relieves you of the need to file your own emails. Here is a closer look at how to configure them. Check this link out for more information.
OSX Mail has a similar tool called rules. Once it becomes second nature, rules will make using email much less of a pain. Setup a rule once and Mail will take care of the handling thereon in. Check this link out for more information.
A lot of the spam we get is generated by all the sites we register with before we gain access. Next time, try using GuerrilaMail (http://www.guerrillamail.com/). GuerrilaMail creates an email that lasts for 60 minutes. There is no registration required for GuerrillaMail. Other disposable email sites are 10 Minute Mail (http://10minutemail.com) and Mailinator (http://www.mailinator.com/)