If you’re like me your Gmail account now has thousands of e-mails and the simple search is not cutting it anymore. The real power in Gmail comes from using search operators to narrow your search results like the examples below:
If I want the email Lisa sent me with her flight information so I know when to pick her up at the airport, I type from:lisa SFO. Likewise:
- A link from my co-worker Michael: from:michael http
- A photo from my mom: from:mom has:attachment
- That last chat I had with one of the Gmail product managers: keith is:chat
- All messages from ebay that aren’t outbid notices: ebay -outbid (the hyphen tells Gmail to return all of the messages that don’t contain the word that follows it)
- The messages in my inbox sent directly to me that I haven’t read yet: to:me is:unread in:inbox
You can limit the scope of your search to a particular subject (subject:) or label (label:) as well. And you can get pretty fancy. Recently, I was trying to remember the date of my friend’s April birthday. I always send her a birthday email, so I searched to:maya (birthday OR bday) after:2007/4/1 before:2007/5/1. It’s the 19th.
For a complete listing of operators check out the Google support site here.