Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Using search folders, part of Outlook 2007: Effective Email Management.
If you keep all of the e-mail messages that you have received in your Inbox, you won't have much use for Search folders. But as soon as you begin creating subfolders in your Inbox, or you want to be able to see what's in your Inbox and your Sent Items folder at the same time, you will have a great use for this feature of Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft Outlook 2007 comes with two built-in Search folders, and so we are going to use those to see how Search folders operate. Search folders cross all of the folders listed under all mail items.
So first, if I am in my folder list, Search folders are at the bottom, but if I am in Mail, and I choose the Search Folders, there are two Search folders already; one is for any mail that's been categorized. So I am going to click Categorized Mail, and real quickly you will notice that this change is from an italicized, grayed-out icon to a real icon that says you have some categorized mail, and one of the messages in categorized mail is unread.
So notice that what I see is a filtered view of Categorized Mail only. I am also going to then click my other default search folder that says Unread Mail, and it will quickly go and get all the mail I haven't read and show me where it comes from. So it says in the folder OilFest you have one item there. You have one in Accounting Items. In your Inbox, you have five items. In a blog folder that's part of my RSS Feeds, you have 18 unread items. If you are like me, you might totally forget that you subscribed to items like that, then you say, I have 500 unread items, oh! They are all newsletters.
The Search folders actually crawl through all of your folders and present information about Categorized Mail or Unread Mail. This is an easy way then to go through and say okay, I am going to manage all my Unread Mail. First, I have a couple of conflicts that are about information that didn't go out. I don't need those anymore. Five items in my Inbox. I will get to those; one in OilFest, that's fine, Tell them only 1 more server, looks like that's been handled. I don't need to do anything more with it, and then Expense Sheets, because it wasn't sent to me it's been sent back and forth here, and Expense Sheets, uh oh! I need to do something about that.
So I will quickly flag that item to do something about the expense sheets today. Now, if I switch folders to any other folder, and I go back to my Unread Mail, you will notice that I no longer have unread mail in my OilFest folder. Like all of the other folders in Microsoft Outlook, if I am working through my unread mail, all of the items that are there will stay there until I have done them all. So Search folders make it incredibly easy to be able to find messages that fit a general description: Unread messages, Categorized messages, wherever they are regardless of which of the mail folders they are in, in Outlook 2007.
If you haven't used Search folders previously, start using your Unread Mail folder in particular, and in the next video, we will take a look at how you can create your own Search folders to meet your needs using Outlook 2007.
- Viewing messages by conversation
- Flagging messages
- Understanding flags and the To Do list
- Sorting and filtering email
- Creating a search folder
- Creating email rules
- Using the Out of Office Assistant