When iOS 6 was introduced, Apple launch VIP. This feature basically allow you to get selected contacts into an special category. I am a big proponent of not checking email unless you are going to process it, but understand that sometimes, you just need to. In general open email to find land mines only generate stress. But if you must, only check your VIP folder. This will allow you to define what an important email and from who will consider your attention and therefore you will be aware constantly.
Also remember that because someone got VIP treatment on an specific moment doesn’t mean that they should stay there permanently. Move people in and out of status as may fit well. In my personal case, only my wife had kept her status since day one.
P.S In iOS you can also set so it only notified you with a badge (the little number on the right corner) if you receive VIP email. Disable any other badge, therefore no need to review constantly. I just want to be notified when a VIP had sent me an email, otherwise, when I get some time to process my email I will check.
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