Email has become a very low grade form of communication. I may read emails sent to me or I may not. If there is something that you absolutely need me to read then you will have to use a different form of communication, sorry. I have been implementing this policy for about a year now and it has caused me surprisingly few problems. Yes I have missed a meeting or two but truth be told I am not sorry to have missed them.
Perhaps I still feel some mild twinge of guilt at the number of unread emails sitting in my inbox but I am thinking of even bypassing this step by automatically flagging all emails as read. I am one who used take pride at keeping my inbox empty and all old emails filed away in carefully named folders. The advent of labels has replaced folders for me and I only bother to label an email if i) I have actually read it and ii) I think I may need to find it later. For the most part if I really need to find an email later I find that searching by the senders name is usually the quickest way to find it.
Small historical footnote - I once wrote a research thesis one of the main findings of which was that use of email was a good indicator of a company being at the forefront of technology.
Non Historical Footnote: I am still searching for a satisfactory way of keeping up with email when using multiple computers. A web email account seems like one solution and I am experimenting with gmail for that purpose but so far I find the interface loathsome. Perhaps it has hidden depths I have yet to find but it seems ridiculously inflexible to me so far.