Friday, 25 January 2019

Searching in MS Outlook

When we use Outlook we will all be very familiar with the frustration of trying to find elusive emails that simply will not turn up in a search.

I simply could not count the number of times I have been absolutely sure that I have replied to an email, only to be unable to find what I sent. So I painstakingly write another email... only to have the recipient reply that I had already responded...! Grr: what a tremendous waste of time it is to do work twice :-(

So I thought it was time to do a bit of investigating on how to narrow down a search in Outlook 2016, and to make our lives a bit easier.

Below are some search terms which can be loaded into the Outlook search window to limit our searches:

"Jane Doe"Only looks for exactly Jane Doe. Not JaneDoe, or janedoe, or Jane doe.

from:"Jane Doe"Finds emails from Jane Doe. Not JaneDoe, or janedoe, or Jane doe.

hasattachment:yesFinds emails with attachments.

received: [greater than] 01/1/18 AND received: [less than] 01/1/19Finds emails you received in the past year.

read:noFinds unread emails.

to:janeFinds emails you sent to anyone with jane in their name.

subject:invoiceFinds emails with invoice in the subject line.

body:bankFinds emails with bank mentioned in the body.

sent:yesterdayFinds emails you sent yesterday (change out for Sunday, Monday, this week etc).

The best thing is that we can then do combinations of these, so we could search for an email that we sent to Jane with invoice in the subject line, where we mentioned bank in the body of the email, which had an attachment:

to:Jane AND subject:invoice AND body:bank AND hasattachment:yes
Even better, we are not limited by AND. We can use other Boolean commands, such as OR, NOT, =, < and >.

This makes searches much easier!



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