[This is a re-heat and update of an older blog post on You Had me at EHLO!]
Search Folders in Outlook 2003 and 2007 can be a useful tool to manage large volumes of mail in your mailbox; one tip is to create a folder for "all mail since this morning" or similar; I also have a search folder for "all unread blog posts" which means I get a single filtered view, grouped by folder and sorted by date. Here are a couple of examples...
The second condition here sets the list of folders we want to exclude… I use ‘DL: Sent Junk Draft Deleted’, which means any item in Sent Items, Drafts, Deleted Items or Junk Items will automatically be excluded, but so will any folders which contain the letters ‘DL:’ in their name. This way, I filter social mail and less important Distribution Lists into folders which all start DL: <name> and the other DL items which are more important still show up in the Search Folder.
The last stage is to add the Search Folder to the Favorites Folders collection, and set the default view of the Search Folder to show Arrange by Folder… then it’s really easy to quickly collapse & expand the groupings to show and hide specific folders from the results. Now, all I need to do is get round to reading and responding to all that email :) The sad thing is, that as of writing (around 5pm), the filtered mail from yesterday morning is showing 202 items, 172 of which are unread :(
More info on search folders is on Office Online – some here, and here.