... or rather, run the right color up the flagpole. As e-mail is loosing its value one needs to be smarter about pulling the small stuff out of mail threads. A 4-minute reply to a 3-minute mail is far slower than a 2-minute exchange.
The key is to differentiate the advantages of asynchronous vs. synchronous communication.
First, seek to use Instant Messaging. By means of the flagged personal status it, IM, is more courteous then a phone and it is a lot faster than e-mail.
Second, flag messages for recurring short-stop meetings rather than building mail threads! Outlook 2003 allows message flags in multiple colors. Using, say Orange, for quick verbal replies allows a team to move mails to what effectively becomes collaboration items that can be handled far quicker over the phone or in a WebMeeting. If, during such synchronous events, the flagged mail needs to become an action item it may simply be dragged to the Task-icon and then categorized accordingly.
In short: Color flagging for recurring events often beats mail threading in small teams. And, it adds to the personal touch too!