How To Do an Email Search

Conducting an email search is an important skill when trying to find a specific piece of information.  Regardless of your email application, an email search, or “find” will most likely consist of these following steps:

  1. Engage the search option and determine where to search. In most instances, the search / find option is found on the tool bar under “edit.”  In some instances, there is also a “search” or “find” button.  Once you engage the tool, you need to specify where to search for the email. This might be your inbox, or any subfolders you have created.  You can highlight the folder to search, and then engage the search tool, or you may use the “browse” option in the search tool to point to the appropriate location.  Most email search tools also offer the option of searching the inbox, and all subfolders.  Only use this option if you cannot identify where the missing email might be, as searching through all folders will greatly extend your search time.
  2. Determine what you are searching for. Once you have determined the correct location, you must enter the keywords to search.  Narrow down the search process by entering your search keywords in the appropriate spot. For example, you can select to search based on a message subject, or something within the body of a message.  Some search tools also allow you to specify whether you are searching for something specific in the “To” or “From” fields.  As with any search, the more specific criteria you enter, the more accurate your search results.  It is wiser to use more unique key words. For example, if you are searching for sales results from the month of November, it is likely that the keyword “November” would provide narrower results than the keyword “sales.”
  3. Narrow your search with additional information. Depending on your search tool, you may also narrow your search by supplying additional criteria. For example, you may be able to search by a specific date range.  Or you may search for emails that were created before or after a specific date. You may also be able to search other criteria, like searching only for emails with attachments, or emails that are specifically flagged.

Perfecting the technique of searching through your email allows you to quickly track down that elusive piece of information and continue on with your work.


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