Email should not be for to-do lists OR for file storage — two of the most email productivity crippling techniques that exist! I am NOT a proponent of inbox zero, simply because I refuse to spend time “organizing”. If it can be automated, then file it (or label, categorize, etc.).
However, essential to that approach is dealing with everything that comes in — so at any point in time you know that you have dealt with everything that needs to be handled (I use Evernote extensively for this). And the ability to SEARCH very quickly. So master the primary search capabilities.
It has been astounding to me the gain in productivity when I am not required to file things in order to stay on top of it!