The mail client that I use has an “unread messages” feature, which aggregates the unread messages from all of my various mail folders. I have hundreds of mail folders and subfolders, and much of it is from mailing lists that I seldom, if ever, read. This morning I had 23,000 unread messages, roughly.
This morning, among other things, I got caught up on everything. This involved admitting that some of those lists will never get read, ever, and unsubscribing from them. For other lists that I occasionally read, I marked them read up to the present, and we’ll see how they go. Others, I remained subscribed, but had the rule that sorts them into folders also mark them as read, so that I can read them if I choose, but they won’t have a tally of how far behind I am.
And of course I deleted many thousands of messages that there’s no chance I’ll ever get to.
So, as of this moment, I am all caught up on email. I have no illusion that it’ll stay this way, but at least the unread smart folder will be slightly useful for a few days. At least, so I can hope.