h1. What Emails Are For And What They Are Not For
Email address is mostly used for storing heaps of junk nowadays. Subscriptions, mailing lists, forums, newsletters, etc, they force you either to distract your attention for long periods while sorting the mail or to use fat client to sort and filter your mail. I've set up my mail in such a way that if I see I have a new mail then I know that something important happened, and here are the guidelines I use.
h2. What emails are for
h3. Personal communication
Often-neglected email feature is personal communication. Instead of running around web in circles or trying to catch a person online in IM you can probably just send an email to them.
h3. One-time notifications
Email can be used to set up notifications in case something exceptional happens. For recurring notifications, protocols like RSS are better.
h2. What emails are not for
h3. Reading mailing lists
Most of mailing lists generate so much traffic that if you subscribe to more than one, you will get bugged by a new message very often. Then you have an option to lock yourself in with bloated mail processor (like "gmail":http://gmail.com web interface) or cope with lots of stuff that you do not care about in your mailbox manually.
h3. Recurring notifications
Like said before, use RSS or something instead.