Advanced Search: The Quickest, Easiest Way to Find an Email

advanced search outpost

No matter your industry, the key to increased productivity and innovation often rests with how well you’re able to manage the onslaught of incoming information. Business email volume continues to increase every year, with an estimated 128.8 billion emails being sent and received per day in 2019. 

Some of the email messages you get from a coworkers or customers are critical, and not just for an hour or a day, but over the long term. Sometimes you don’t even know you’ll need to put your hands on some important details until days or even months later. Your repeat customers will likely have sent multiple important emails to you over the course of several years, it’ll be better for everyone if you don’t have to rehash old agreements or nuances at each point of sale. 

Plus, as your business relationships grow, it’s very common for customers to contact you using several different email addresses—your customer service email, a contact form on your website, the CEO’s public email address, a salesperson’s email, and more.

How often do you find yourself in this situation: you remember receiving an important message, but don’t remember which mailbox it came into? If you’re like me, it’s quite a lot. The common scenario that follows for many of us has long been: log into one mailbox, search, refine search, log out. Log into another mailbox, search, refine search, log out. Log back into the first mailbox and realize you were using the wrong term, search again. 

It’s a cumbersome process that, in 2019, seems like it should be much simpler. Instead, you might feel like echoing U2’s hit from 1987, because you still haven’t found what you’re looking for.

When “anywhere” doesn’t actually mean “anywhere”

For a company that has built its empire on providing the world’s best search engine, Google’s search function in Gmail is surprisingly mediocre. And Outlook, a product that has long been synonymous with business email, isn’t much better. 

Simple searches are one thing, but if you need to narrow your results, refining your search starts to feel like you need a degree in computer engineering. Terms like “criteria” and “operators” become commonplace, when all you really want is a simple way to refine your search.

In Gmail, for instance, there are 30 different operators you can use when searching, including the operator “in:anywhere.” Unfortunately, that just means Gmail will search through all folders within one single mailbox. If the email you need is in another mailbox, you’re out of luck.

Until now, no modern email client has figured out how to let you search through all your team’s inboxes to find relevant emails from a single person. That’s why we built our Advanced Search feature in Outpost.

Find any email in any mailbox

The premise is simple: you need to find an email message with important information in it, but you can’t recall exactly where that message is. It’s possible a coworker or customer emailed your personal address, or one of several other email addresses you share with your team (info@, sales@, etc.). 

In Outpost, our new Advanced Search feature allows you to search across any and all of your connected mailboxes. You don’t have to remember where to look. You don’t have to log into other mailboxes to run the same search over again. You can search once, and by default Outpost will show your results across all mailboxes. You can also use additional search fields to help narrow down your results. 

Other advanced search fields for messages include:

  • From
  • To
  • Subject line
  • Keyword
  • Has attachment
  • Date (“Before,” “After,” or “On”)

In addition, there are several Outpost-specific fields to help narrow your results even more:

  • Sent by (i.e. which Outpost user)
  • Assigned to
  • Mailbox (when you do know which mailbox to look in)
  • Tag
  • Folder
  • Include spam
  • Include trash

We made Outpost so teams could be more efficient, collaborative, and productive with their email. With Advanced Search, it’s even easier to find and retrieve important information, no matter where it is, so your team can save time and get more done. 

Want to see it in action? You can try Outpost for free, and our team will even help you set up your account. You can also schedule a demo call with us to get a custom tour of how Outpost works.

Posted in: Email Outpost

Jonathan Michael

Jonathan Michael

Jonathan is the Engagement Marketing Manager for Palo Alto Software, and has spent the last 9 years developing and implementing digital marketing strategies. During that time, he has learned that empathy and authenticity are strengths by which companies can effectively engage with individuals at every point throughout the customer journey.

Further Reading

10 Ways to Boost Email Productivity

Is your inbox sapping your productivity? Luckily, email overwhelm is curable. Here are 10 strategies and tips that can help you hack…

5 Effective Email Communication Strategies For Businesses

Email is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to poor communication in the workplace. That makes it a good place to start in your…

Should You Aim for Inbox Zero?

Let's face it: The constant stream of emails we all face can feel overwhelming. But, is striving for inbox zero the answer? Here's how…