For years I’ve been using Mail.app’s rules to sort my incoming e-mail: mail from my web site contact forms go in these folders, mail from friends and family go in these folders, comment and trackback notifications go here, mailing list messages go there. While this keeps my inbox from getting totally unmanageable, I’ve had a tendency to lose track of messages and, as a result, forget to reply to them.
I think I’ve solved this by adding a new smart folder in Tiger’s Mail.app. The folder holds unread and flagged messages. If a new message requires action on my part — a reply, a blog post, or something else — I flag it. If not, I don’t — the message will disappear from the folder the next time it updates.
If I keep at this, I should end up in a state if I don’t reply to you, it’s because I don’t want to, not because the message got lost in the shuffle.