Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Creating Search Folders in Outlook 2003 and 2007

Use Search Folders to Group Messages by Sender, Topic, Keyword, and More

The Search Folder is an easy way to organize your correspondence without actually shuffling copies of messages between folders in Outlook 2003 and 2007. For example, say you’ve been working with someone on several different projects. You might keep a folder in Outlook under the name of each project.  But with a saved search folder, you can put together a virtual copy of all the messages you’ve sent to that person and received from them, regardless of which project it related to.

Here’s how to do it:

1.       Go to the New button on your toolbar and click the arrow for the drop-down menu.

2.       Select Search Folder.

3.       You’ll see a number of Search Folder options. You can organize them according to whether they’re flagged or not, who sent the message, how large any attachments are, and a host of other options. You can also customize folders by more advanced criteria.

4.       Say you want to create a folder for all of your communication with a particular person. Select Mail from and sent to specific people under the Mail from People and Lists column. Then select Choose.

5.       Type in the person’s name in the From or Sent to field at the bottom. It doesn’t have to be their actual address. Click OK, and click OK again to close out of the Search Folder menu.

6.       You’ll see a new Search Folder listed in your mailbox that will contain all of your correspondence with that person.

The real value of the Saved Search folder is that it collects messages sent and received messages, so you don’t have to go trolling through your Sent Items to get a full picture of every conversation. And when a particular folder isn’t useful to you anymore, you can go ahead and delete it – the original messages remain intact regardless of what happens to the Search Folder.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the capabilities of recent releases of Office. If you haven’t upgraded, now might be the right time.


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