When we think about decorating an entryway, we usually think about what we want guests to see when they enter our home. Instead, remember that the entryway is the last thing you see everyday before you leave home, and the first thing you see when you return. With that in mind, its important to set up the space so that it is both visually appealing and functional.
When I walk in the door, my arms are usually laden with bags and my first instinct it to drop everything to the floor in relief at finally being home. After a long day, my goal is to make it to the couch as soon as possible, and the last thing I want to do is sort and organize everything I just brought in. Having an organized entryway helps facilitate this reunion with my couch.
You are far more likely to toss your jacket onto an easily accessible hook than to open a door, find an empty hanger, fit said hanger into jacket, and return hung jacket to closet. Having a simpler alternative for items that you use every day will prevent you from dropping coats on the ground or draping them over the back of the nearest chair. Use the closet space to store items that you don't wear regularly, and keep your daily go-tos on a coat rack.
The same logic applies to shoes. How often do you actually return your shoes to their designated storage spot in your closet? If you wear a certain pair of shoes regularly, it makes sense to keep them out close at hand. A shoe mat by the door is a great place to kick off your shoes when you get home, without leaving them in the middle of the room. It's also great for storing shoes that might be wet or muddy!
I am constantly losing my keys, and the only way I can keep track of them is by making sure that they end up in the same place every time they leave my hand. In my last apartment I used a this Target key rack, drilled into the wall right by the doorway.
Currently, I use a gold dish/bowl on a table right by the door. The bowl is a more versatile option that allows you to empty your pockets (or purse) of important items (in addition to keys) and store them securely until you are ready to leave with them again.
It's likely that the first thing you want to do when arriving home will NOT be sorting through the mail. A simple basket near the door can become a great place to drop mail until you are ready to sort through it. Remember to designate a time for sorting though, because mail can pile up quickly!
So, to recap...
Walk in the door, toss coat onto hook, toss keys into bowl, kick shoes onto mat, drop mail into bin, then BAM it's couch time, AND your house still looks neat and clean