The search capabilities of Gmail are truly what makes it such a versatile and functional application.
And, the better YOUR search SKILLS, the more quickly you’ll find anything you’re looking for inside your Gmail archives.
A lot of Gmail users search by simply throwing a search term or series of words into the search bar and pressing enter. There’s nothing wrong with that approach, but let’s take it one step further!
Here’s how to search Gmail even more effectively:
First – make sure you know how to use Gmail’s Advanced Search. Access it by clicking the Advanced Filter icon in the upper right of your webmail screen:
Then you then enter your chosen search criteria in the Advanced Search dropdown, and click Search.
Whatever you’ve entered in the fields will turn into a text-based search in the search bar.
Let me show you what that looks like (bonus… keep reading to understand how you can get even MORE advanced with your searches by layering them yourself):
which shows up as “after:2021/8/25 before:2021/9/9” in the search bar:
If you add another search item to the advanced search:
then the search bar displays “has:attachment after:2021/8/25 before:2021/9/9”:
And if you and add another item to the advanced search:
then the text in the search bar updates and shows as “subject:squash has:attachment after:2021/8/25 before:2021/9/9”
Now that you can see how each advanced search criteria behaves as a text search, you can keep adding to your search criteria by typing those searches as text directly into the search bar and do even MORE than the advanced search drop down is allowing you to do!
You can keep narrowing your search by adding new criteria to the search bar, until you narrow down the results enough to find the email that you’re looking for.
Here’s an awesome example of using the text search in the search bar in a way that you actually *can’t* do using the Advanced Search dropdown!
Search for an email that has more than one label (this can only be done manually!) For example, search for emails with the label “utilities” and the search becomes this “label:utilities” but if you ALSO want to find emails with the label “Rental Property,” then you can add “label:rental-property” to the search bar, so your new search is… “label:rental-property label:utilities”:
By the way, do you use Gmail labels? If you’re only using labels like folders (or not using labels at all), then you’re definitely missing out on some email efficiencies! Learn advanced Gmail tactics in the mini-course Get Productive with Gmail.
I hope you love all that you’ve learned about layering your email searches and start to use it in your everyday Gmail searching!