Stupid Geek Tricks: Find Messages Quickly Without Searching in Outlook

This article was written by MysticGeek, a tech blogger at the How-To Geek Blogs.

After watching the project manager at work scroll painfully through 10,000 messages in her inbox trying to find one from the right sender, it occurred to me that a lot of people don’t realize how easily you can use the keyboard to find a message in a sorted list.

Almost any list control in Windows will let you type the first couple of letters in order to focus the selection on the item that matches in the current sorted column. It’s not exactly a new technique, but judging from today’s experience I felt it was worth sharing.

For instance, in Outlook you can sort by the “From” header by clicking on it…

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And now you can start typing the first couple of letters of a name, for instance I wanted to find messages from Amazon.com so I typed in the first three letters quickly: a, m, a…

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You’ll see that the selection went down to Amazon.com. Obviously this is a contrived example, but you can see the value in using this technique.

Note: This will also work for other columns like Subject, or anything that can be sorted in alphabetical order.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+