To ensure we stay in touch, add my email address to your safe senders list.

By now you've probably seen other sites suggest the same, but I'll explain in case you haven't.

In an effort to combat spam, most email service providers (ESPs) filter and block mail that appears unsolicited. This is incredibly helpful for keeping your inbox junk free. However, sometimes these filters make mistakes and trash the mail you'd actually like to see. And oftentimes RSS feeds and newsletter updates fall into this category.

So instead of trusting your ESP to scan and filter your messages, you can take action by following these simple steps.

Note: Below are instructions for the most common ESPs. If you use a another provider or a different version of the cited ESPs, you can find further instructions here.

For Gmail

1. Find a recent email from me (if it's not in your Primary inbox, check the Social and Promotions folders).

2. Click and drag the email message to your Primary folder.

3. After moving the email, a popup box will ask if you want future messages to go to your Primary folder. Click "yes."

4. Once you've done that, click "Contacts" in the top left corner of the Gmail interface.

5. Follow the prompts for adding a new contact, adding my email, ryan[at]thisisimperfect[dot]org.

For Yahoo

1. Open email and hover over the sender's name.

2. In the dialog box that appears you'll see three small dots in the bottom left corner. Hover over that and click "Add to Contacts." That's it!

For Mac Mail

1. Open Mail Preferences

2. Click "Rules," then "Add Rule."

3. Enter a description, then complete the dropdown fields as pictured below.

4. Click "OK" to finish.