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In Outlook for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author Alicia Katz Pollock provides a comprehensive overview of the full-featured email, calendar, and scheduling application from Microsoft. The course covers the key fundamentals of the program, including sending and receiving email, creating and managing contacts, and scheduling tasks and appointments. It also covers Outlook 2011 organizational features such as the Media Browser, Conversation view, My Day, the Scrapbook, and more.
As time goes on, no matter how good the organizational system you set up, there will be times when it's simply easier to use the search tools than it will be to scan through your emails, calendars, or notes. To search through your email messages, simply click on the Search oval, at the top-right of your Outlook Ribbon. A Search Ribbon appears. You can now look through just the folder you clicked on, or if it has subfolders you can scan through those as well. You can opt just to look through your email messages or by clicking on All Items, you can also view your calendar items, contacts, tasks, and notes too.
Though note that if I choose this option, I'll have to use the Advanced Search tools, which we'll look at in a few minutes. But let's start with the simple search. I want to see all my email messages from my supervisor Judith. So I'll come up to the oval and I'll type Judith. It drops down some options for me: from, to, the subject, received, or category. I want to click on name. So I'll click on from and now I can see all my emails from Judith. When I'm done, I can click the X on the far right of the oval and all the criteria will disappear.
Now, let's try a more complex search. This time, we'll look for a message from Judith that has an attachment and I know I received it within the last two weeks. This time, I'll click on From and it's going to open up the Advanced Tools. From, Contains, judith. And now I have a list of all the emails that I have received from Judith. Next, I'll click on Attachment and I can specify just that it has an attachment or even approximately how big that attachment is.
Now I can see the one email I have from her with the file that I'm looking for. I have many different options as well. I can search by the subject line of my message, who I sent it to, when it was received, the date that it was sent, the importance, whether it was read or not, Flagged, and Category. Now as I'm working, if I ever want to remove an option, I can click this minus sign and it disappears. I can also click the plus sign to add new search terms right from here.
Look at all these different choices that I have. I'll go ahead and I'll take off the second criteria. Now, after I've set my choices, if I could possibly use the search again in the future, I'll click the Save button on the right-side of the toolbar and my search criteria will be turned into a Smart Folder at the bottom of my folder list. Right now, it says Untitled. I'll type in a descriptive name. Then I'll hit Return and now I'll be able to do this exact search again simply by clicking on its name down here. So if I'm up in a folder here, I can click on Judith and there goes that search.
Note that this Smart Folder will be located at the bottom of whichever view I'm in when I started the search. In other words, if I'm looking at my emails when I saved the Smart Folder, it will be here. If I'm looking at my Calendar, that search will be saved only in the Calendar. If I'd later want to make a variation on one of my searches that I saved or one of the default Smart Folders, I can right-click on the name and edit it. Maybe, I want to add this criteria back in and know if it has an attachment, and then I'll Save it again.
The wonderful thing about Smart Folders is the next time I receive an email from Judith with an attachment, it will also be listed here automatically. Now each of Outlook's modules has its own default Smart Folders, pre-made searches that you'll find useful. In mail, I can see my Flagged Mail, my High Priority Mail, or if I've given it a due date, Overdue Mail. Calendar doesn't have any Smart Folders by default, but here's the one that I made in the categories video. Contact has Flagged Contacts and Contacts that you've changed.
Tasks has Smart Folders for tasks that are Due Today, tasks that are High Priorities, tasks that are Overdue, and tasks that you've Recently Completed. And Notes has a Smart Folder from ones that you've updated recently. I'll go back to mail again. If I no longer need a Smart Folder, I can right-click it and then click Delete. It'll ask me, Are you sure that you want to permanently delete the selected Smart Folder? I'll go ahead and delete it. And, there it goes. Now notice that my Search is still open. When I click on my Search, if there is no Close right here I can just click on any other item and it will go away.
Outlook search is amazingly useful since it allows you to quickly find specific items from anywhere in Outlook by utilizing all of the Outlook's organizational features and the ability to save your frequently used searches as a Smart Folder is a welcome timesaver.
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