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Outlook productivity tips: searching all folders in your Inbox

After four years using Lotus Notes, I began to rely on the View All Documents to search for particular, difficult-to-categorize and “I don’t know where I filed them” email messages.

I am now using Microsoft Outlook again. I found that I needed remedial training!

The best productivity tip that I discovered so far comes from my trusted colleague Colin, who we fondly refer to as Macro Man (he can write a macro to automate most of our publishing challenges).

The default email search in Outlook looks for email messages in the current folder only. (Not good, because if I knew what folder to look in, I would be able to find the message that I am looking for.)  You can click the “Try Searching all Mail Items” link, which is a good option to start with.

If you want to save time and increase your productivity, you can opt to change the default search behavior. The following procedure applies to Windows 7, you can modify as needed for your environment.

  1. In Microsoft Outlook, from the Tools menu, select Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click the Search Options button to display the Search Options box.
  3. In the Instant Search Pane area, select to show results from All folders.
  4. Search and be happy!

About Barrie Byron

Innovative information developer specializing in presenting complex ideas in ways that are clear and concise. Persistent optimist, intrepid adventurer, mentor. Builder of relationships, connecting friends and peers to people they want to know. Social duct tape and generator of goodwill. Follow me on twitter @barriebyron


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