March 20, 2012

Tips on getting better email searches in Outlook

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Microsoft Outlook is popular among SMBs, and when upward to hundreds of emails come in each day, the need to quickly search is important. If finding that one particular message in a sea of email feels like a daunting task, here are a few tips on getting what you need from Outlook using Search Contextual Tab and Search Suggestions List.

From CBS News:

The most common kind of search in Outlook is the standard compound string. You know that Paul sent you an email about the TDS status, so you type "Paul TDS" in the search box and hope for the best. The problem is that this kind of search is almost certainly going to return too many results and maker it hard to find the email you really need.

The solution? Use the filters in the oft-overlooked Search tab in Outlook's ribbon. First, click in the search box, which will make the search tab appear. Then use the filters that will help you find what you need. For example, consider the email I mentioned earlier -- Paul's note about the TDS status. Type "book," then click "From" and type "Paul." Now the search zeros in only on messages from Paul with the word TDS somewhere in them, ignoring all the other messages from other people which might mention both Paul and TDS.

With the Contextual tab in Outlook, you can search using the sender's name, subject keywords, whether there are attachments or not, categories, sent date, flagged messages, recipients, and more!

Check out the Microsoft Outlook blog for more tips!