Copywriter, technical writer, translator (FR>EN, ES>EN, IT>EN), journalist

Effectively filtering junk mail

Many people mark messages as junk in their email software (Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird and so forth), then wonder why messages from addresses marked as “spam” continue to land in their computers.

I recalled my own spam control tactics while watching the video embedded below. It doesn’t include all of my tactics, but it makes some great points regardless of the operating system or mail client you use.

Here’s my checklist:

Unsubscribe option

If the email is a newsletter, I look for an unsubscribe link or instructions and follow them. Then I mark the email as spam. If it arrives again (it’ll go to my Spam folder, not my inbox), I’ll go to the “webmail” step below.

No unsubscribe option

If the email does NOT have an unsubscribe link and it is unsolicited, I go to the “webmail” step below.

The webmail step

(I’m sure you’re wondering about this by now.)

All email is available in at least two places: specific email applications on phones, tablets or computers; and “webmail” (clients you access via a web page) like the one for GMail.

Go to the webmail page for your address, find the email that you consider spam, and mark it as spam. When you do this, email from the sender’s address will no longer come to your email client.

More spam minimization tips

Here’s the video I mentioned. It further explains points I made above. It also includes other great tips, like NEVER using the email address your ISP provides (e.g.,,, These addresses aren’t “portable.” If you switch service providers, the email doesn’t go along with you. It would be like switching mobile phone service providers and having to give up your phone number.