“Sorting” Google Mail messages using Keywords
So…you’re probably used to sorting messages in your Inbox and now you’re wondering, “Hmmm, how do I sort my messages from a specific individual or subject in Google Mail?”
Well, in Google Mail, instead of sorting ….you search for messages! It may sound more complicated that sorting, but actually it’s a lot easier – once you learn a few search tricks! Today, we’ll look at using two keywords to help you quickly search for the messages from a specific individual or on a specific subject.
Search for messages from an individual:
So, here’s the scenario. You need to find the messages from a specific individual – let’s use Molly Miles as an example. If you enter only Molly’s first name in the (A) Google Mail search field and click (B) Search Mail, your search results display:
1. Messages to anyone named Molly
2. Messages you’ve sent to Molly
3. Messages containing the word ‘molly’
4. And a notice of any messages that still exist in your Trash to, from or containing the word ‘molly’. (Note: Deleted messages remain in the trash for 30 days before being automatically deleted)
Using search keywords, such as ‘from:’, enable you to quickly find messages from a specific individual.
In the Google Mail search bar, type the word ‘from:’. As you type, notice that Google Mail provides a drop-down list from which you can select the keyword. Select ‘from:’ from the list, or type in ‘from:’ in the Google Mail search bar. Next, begin typing either the individual’s email address or their name. If the individual is someone that you corresponded with in the past, Google Mail will attempt to supply the name so you don’t need to type the entire thing. If the individual doesn’t display in the drop-down list, continue typing their name or email address. Also, it’s not necessary to capitalize the individual’s name. You can enter the information in either uppercase or lowercase letters.
In our case, we:
1. Select from:molly from the drop-down menu.
2. Click Search Mail or press Enter.
Tip: If you want to find all messages you sent, including drafts, enter ‘from:me’ in the search field and click Search Mail or press Enter. You can also view the messages you’ve sent, but have not deleted, in the Sent Mail label and all drafts in the Drafts label.
Search for messages by subject:
To find message by subject, use the ‘subject:’ keyword. In the search field, type or select the keyword ‘subject:’ and then the word you’re looking for in the subject line of the email. The example below searches for all message with the word ‘project’ in the subject line. The results, displayed in the green results window, shows all messages with the word ‘project’ in the subject line.
Search for messages by subject AND from a specific individual:
You can combine keywords to help narrow down your search. The example below searches for all messages with the word ‘subject’ in the subject line AND from Rich. Note that ‘subject:project’ is separated from ‘from:rich’ by a space. Google Mail automatically inserts an implicit ‘AND’ between the two items. To Google Mail, the search string looks like this: subject:project AND from:rich
Search for messages by subject and from one individual OR another:
In the example below, we want to find messages with the subject of project from either Rich or Molly. When searching for this person or that person, or this item or that item, you must enter the operator ‘OR’ – which must be written in uppercase letters.
Tip: If you haven’t done so already, why not print out our handy Search keywords reference sheet? The flip side contains Google Mail keyboard shortcuts.