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When things go missing in your business, how much time do you waste tracking them down? Instant Search in Outlook might be able to help.
The World of Reptiles Exhibit at the Bronx Zoo shut down recently because of a wayward Egyptian cobra. I saw the headline and thought to myself, "Now how many times have I had to shut down the business to look for a missing cobra?"
OK, so I've never actually had to deal with renegade lethal reptiles (knock on wood). But there have been plenty of times when a crucial document or piece of info has gone missing, and it was all hands on deck until we tracked it down (insert huge amount of wasted time here). But this hasn't happened to me in a very long time, and it's not because I'm better about not losing things. It's because of Instant Search in Outlook 2007 and 2010.
Nearly all the important things I work on have email associated with them, and with search in Outlook, I've got about 50 different ways to track down what I need. Fast. Most times, Outlook finds the item before I've even finished typing the search term.
You probably already use the Search box in Outlook; it's an easy way to search your Outlook folders to find an item. What you may not know is that you can also use search commands to get better search results. For me, those commands are the key to saving time.
The basic syntax works like this: command:word. For example, if you want to find emails from Jonathan, type from in the Search box, followed by a colon and Jonathan: from:jonathan. No spaces necessary.
Here's my short list of top Outlook search commands:
Things really get fun when you combine commands. You can separate multiple commands with semicolons. I could use from:Jonathan; hasattachment:yes snakes AND cobras for example, to find the email from Jonathan with his attachment on cobras.
You can find a lot more Outlook search commands here. If you've got a favorite time-saving command, please share it in the comments. And here's hoping your venomous snakes don't ever go missing again.
They did find the cobra eventually, by the way. Wonder how many small rodents they're missing now...
-- Doug Kim
More info on Outlook Search:
Can't find that email message? These three tips can help.Better Searching in Outlook 2010 Find a message or item with Instant SearchBest Practices for Outlook 2010Create a Search FolderOutlook Best Practices: Search folders
According to the Outlook search commands link you provided ("Learn to narrow your search criteria for better searches in Outlook"), apparently you CAN search for emails received in the future!
Beside "received:yesterday" it states "Instant Search also recognizes the follow date values: Multi-word relative dates: For example, this week, next month, last week, past month, coming year"
So, it seems that while I can't search for emails received tomorrow, I can search for emails received next month or in the coming year.
This is really cool. Please let us know how it works! ;)
Zoinks Gil, you're right! I suspect what's happened there is that this article is specifying terms that Outlook will recognize, although unfortunately, if you put in those parameters, you likely won't get any results. Until we perfect that cool new time machine feature we're working on...