One of my favorite productivity tips: Use a tool for what it does best.
Inboxes receive messages. To-do lists track tasks. If you’re using “flags” or “stars” in your inbox to track tasks based on the relevant emails, it’s like putting messages in your to-do list. Or using scissors to tighten a screw.
Don’t do it.
I just reached zero unread and zero flagged messages in my inbox. Mostly, I achieved this by shifting things from my inbox to my to-do list. My workload didn’t actually change much, and yet it became more manageable.
Weird how that works.