Spam is the annoying mails and messages which have no value to you, yet consume your time or resources. Traditional outlook opens up a image of Viagra, discount stores, promotions of things you have never heard of and even phishing. I am least bothered about these email, almost all browser has and can filter them out.
1) forwards: There are a bunch of people who are more than happy that they do not have to pay postage charges for the emails. They will forward you the same joke for the 10th time, send you news flashes with incorrect news etc. If any mail has a FWD in the subject bar, I do not even care to open it.
2) Occupational spam: Its part of the office politics, who is important who is not, communication gap that if you send a mail you need to address it to a bunch of 100 guys. (From your manager to the recipient’s manager)
This is the reason why you are surrounded with all data but no information. These are the kind of mails which even the most advanced SPAM software is not addressing. I will give you some simple solutions.
1) Use folders. Each group and mailing list mail should lie in their respective folder and only mails which explicitely mention your name should come directly to your inbox.
2) Separate mails addressed to (only) you from those which were send to groups, or larger audience.
3) Make a separate folder forwards for people who regularly send useless stuff to you.
4) Never even bother to look at mails which are cc to you. 99% of them is just because the sender wants to use you as a CYA gimmick. If you clear these lowest priority mail once a week, it is more than sufficient.
For the webmail providers I request you:
1) There should be an expiry date in the mail. Certain mails like the travel itinerary, meeting timings have no value past a certain date and should automatically be deleted after a certain date.
2) Nobody is interested in a year old fax/telex message. So each time a user gets a mail, give him an option to select the day of deletion. My mailbox still has some last year’s Christmas greeting cards.