It's taken a while, but I've managed to get some metrics for how much mail I actually process.
Here's my inbox 3 weeks ago before I went on vacation for a week, then went without VPN access for a few days. The xkcd strip is particularly appropos.
Here's that same inbox today, sporting a newer version of Thunderbird. Note the pileup of over 1,000 emails in three weeks, in just ONE of the mailing list filter/folders I monitor.
So, other than filtering by sender & subject, automatically marking my own mailing list replies read, colourizing emails to make the more important ones stand out, and using "Show Unread Threads" view filtering ... what else can one do to manage the deluge?
Does anyone have any good, realistic strategies for dealing with 1000s of emails a month?