Outlook Mailchimp junk folder workaround

Fossil fuel-powered industrial civilisation may be hitting limits to growth but life goes on in inboxes everywhere.

If you use Outlook and want to be tough on spam and the causes of spam, then you’ll have set your junk mail rules to send everything to the junk folder unless the sender’s address is in your whitelist or address book.

Unfortunately, that means that OK stuff sent through the likes of MailChimp ends up in your junk folder because the ‘from’ address is different on pretty much every message.

That’s when you find that adding a catch-all to your whitelist like ‘*@rgsrv.net’ doesn’t work. Messages still end up in junk, needing to be found and fished out manually.

You can download lists of all MailChimp’s sender addresses and add them to your white list but there’s an easier workaround, which uses Outlook’s search folders.

  1. First create a new search folder by right clicking on the Search Folder section heading in the folders pane at the left of the Outlook window.
  2. A set-up panel opens up. Give the new folder a name – I call mine ‘Not junk’. Next, click Browse and select Junk from the folder list as the folder to include in the search. Click OK.
  3. Next, click Criteria and, on the Message tab, click the drop-down arrow next to the box labeled ‘In:‘. Click the ‘subject field and message body option’ to select it.
  4. Now go to the box above, labeled ‘Search for the word(s):‘ and add your keywords, separated by commas. Obviously you’re looking for words or phrases that are unique to the emails you want to catch with the search.
  5. When you’re done. click OK and OK again. Your new search folder will open up showing (hopefully) just those emails and newsletters you want to read. If some of them don’t show up, try using different keywords.

Once you’ve created your ‘Not junk’ search folder, you can put it in with your other favourite folders with either drag and drop or right-clicking and choosing ‘Add to favourites’.

You can add, remove or change keywords at any time by right-clicking the search folder and clicking the Criteria button.

Remember that Search Folders don’t move messages. They just show you a filtered selection of what’s in a folder (or folders). Any messages in the ‘Not junk’ search folder you want to keep must be moved to another folder or they’ll be deleted the next time you empty your physical Junk folder.

Conditional formatting

Another way to pick out ‘wanted’ newsletters in the junk folder is to use Conditional Formatting (under Folder Settings) to automatically change the font colour in the list of messages. But you still have to scan down the list to check for them whereas the search folder method presents you with only the ones that matter.

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