Finding things, you need is becoming increasingly complicated with 1000’s of emails and documents stored in a variety of places. Many users struggle to find things and there is a limit to the our ability to remember where and things were to try and search using dates or the sender and spend a lot of time scrolling up and down lists.
Here are some simple and effective ways to make the lists much smaller.
Boolean Operators to help Search
This is a powerful way of finding what you need and is common across most search platforms including Google, SharePoint and Outlook.
For Example – AND (or +), OR, and NOT (or -)
- CenCom AND Solutions will return pages with both words
- CenCom OR Solutions will return pages CenCom in and pages with Solution and pages with both
- CenCom NOT Solutions will return pages with the word CenCom but not the word solutions.
This is a useful way to search for exact phrases or terms for example if you know the title of the document you are searching for
“CenCom Solutions are fabulous” will return only pages with that exact phrase and not only the words which make it up.
- ANY(CenCom,CCS,CCSolutions) will return results with any of the words in the list as it treats them as synonyms.
- ALL(CenCom,CCS,CCSolutions) will return results only if all the terms are present.
- Parenthesis () – as you can see from the above examples these are used to include specific sub sets of searches and they can be nested – CenCom AND (CCS OR Solutions NOT(Dell OR Toshiba))
There are many things you can do in SharePoint specifically
- NEAR – this is an operator which specifies two terms are close together for example
- Quote NEAR(3) Company would search for Company and Quote where they are 3 or fewer tems (words) apart.
- ONEAR – this is similar to Near but is ordered near and will return results if they appear in the correct order for example – Quote ONEAR(4) Service ONEAR Company – will only return a result if for “quote for the supply of service to company” and not Quote for company to supply service”
- XRANK – this is a modifier which will provide a boost in the rank of the search result for example – CenCom Solutions XRANK(1)
These replace words you do not know for example if you only remember part of the title of a document but know the word order – “CenCom Solutions Provide * and *” then the results will include any items where there are sentences with those word orders including any words where the stars are.
There are many specific things for outlook and because it has specific fields this can be helpful, a list would include
- subject: (text in the subject which can include filters like 1-5 above)
- From: (email or name of sender)
- HasAttachments: (yes or no)
- Received: (Date or period – eg this week or “august 2016”)
- Body: (text in the body which can include filters like 1-5 above)
There are some fun things you can do with google
- Barrel Roll or tilt the screen by searching “do a barrel roll” or “askew”
- search “Flip a coin”, “Spinner” or “Roll a die” – if you need to decide something these handy little search will help
- Just type the sum you would an answer to, saves the click to open a calculator – 2*74
- Use maps.google.com to search Loch Ness and see the “street view” man change to the lock ness monster, Similarly when looking at Buckingham Palace he changes into the Queen
- “zerg rush” and a battalion of “o”s will attach your search results destroying them.