Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Use custom search folders, part of Outlook 2016: Efficient Email Management.
- [Voiceover] If you have a search that you perform frequently but that has multiple conditions so you don't want to do an instant search each time you might consider search folders. They're an alternative to filtered views. And they're dynamic so they're very useful. In earlier versions of Outlook there were three built in search folders and one of them I loved because it would look in every folder and tell me what unread messages I had.
Now if you want to use search folders you need to create any of the search folders you wish to have. But it's easy enough to do. Let me show you how to create a custom search folder. With your navigation pane open in mail click 'search folders' and choose 'new search folder'. Check this out. Read email, unread mail mail flagged for follow-up mail either read mail either unread or flagged for follow-up. In other words, mail that I still need to do something with. Important mail. Mail from and to specific people so there's the mail from my boss.
Mail sent to a public group. Catagorized mail, large mail, old mail mail with attachments. Or something even more customized. So I'm going to say 'unread mail'. Create a new search folder for unread mail. There's all my unread mail. Now some of that mail is in clutter. Some of that is in my inbox. Some is in 'Bay Area IT'. It is not in 'deleted items' because remember that unless we change the settings 'search and filter' and 'find' do not return items out of 'deleted items' that's why this number adds up to 20 rather then 21.
Now 19, because I've been hanging around here on this message. Let's create another search folder. Click 'search folder', right click choose 'new search folder' and I want to create a search folder that will find all of the mail that is about Bay Area IT 2019. Cool. So none of these say 'Bay Area IT 2019' so I'm going to need to create a custom search folder.
Click choose. Give it a name. 'Bay Area IT 2019'. Criteria I'm going to search for the words 'Bay Area IT' in subject field only. And say 'okay'. And say 'okay' again. And say 'okay' again. And now here's my search folder for everybody who wants to help with Bay Area IT. Here's my search folder for unread mail and here I am back in my inbox.
If you have a search folder you no longer need when the Bay Area IT project is done notice that I can right-click and simply delete this. Now, the search folder contains messages. So I actually want to delete the folder and I don't want to delete everything. I just want to delete the folder. Also, search folders can appear in favorites so if I want to have unread mail in my favorites list there we go.
Search folders are powerful. I'm not really sure why they've been moved to a back-burner where they're so hard to find. But if I don't want to do conditional formatting for a particular cause if I want to be able quickly to see all of the messages that I have for Bay Area IT for example regardless of their location. If I want to be able to see all of the messages that I received related to a particular project or from members of a particular team or particular group search folders are great for those purposes.
If you haven't used them much start at least with unread mail. Create others as you wish and see if you enjoy them. I use them a lot in my organization in Outlook to be very efficient with managing incoming email.
- Viewing messages by conversation
- Ignoring a conversation
- Using Mailbox Cleanup
- Arranging email by date or by sender
- Sorting and filtering views
- Creating inbox folders
- Customizing and using categories
- Using a custom search folder
- Creating Quick Steps and email rules
- Using automatic replies