These lesser known tricks will speed up your hunt by refining your search based on the commands you type into the Gmail search bar. Bonus: You can use all of these search operators in Xoba as well.
from:email@example.com Partial email addresses are okay too from:meghan
to: cc: bcc:
to:me cc:firstname.lastname@example.org bcc:meghan
Words in the subject line
Messages with an attachment
has:attachment You can be more specific if you’re looking for a Google Doc, Sheet, Slide, Drive, or Youtube video: has:document has:spreadsheet has:presentation has:drive has:youtube
Attachments with a specified name or file type
Where the message resides
in:chats Expand search to include Spam and Trash folders, which are excluded by default in: anywhere
How the message is marked/labelled
is: or label:
is:starred Other commonly used marks include: snoozed, unread, read, important. However, you can also specify from labels you created. label:xoba-beta-launch
You can filter by specific dates after: or newer: before: or older: Or use d (day), m (month), and y (year) older_than: newer_than:
category:updates Other categories: social, promotions, forums, reservations,purchases
Elevating Your Search
Now that you know what to search, let’s go over how you can modify your searches to be even more specific. These next few search operators are a bit more complex, so we’ve included multiple examples with explanations for your reference.
Modify search by:
Multiple terms (expanding search)
from:meghan OR from:me This combination would return messages sent from either Meghan or me.
from:meghan OR is:starred This would return messages that are sent from Meghan or have been starred.
Multiple terms (narrowing search)
to:charlie AND to:me This would only return messages that were sent to both me and Charlie.
from:me AND cc:henry In this case, only messages that were both sent from me and cc-ed to Henry would appear.
- or NOT
meeting -july meeting NOT july This would return messages that contain “meeting” but do not contain “july.”
to:me NOT category:promotions This would return messages that are received by me and are not in the Promotions category.
xoba AROUND beta This searches for messages in which “xoba” and “beta” occur near each other.
xoba AROUND 10 beta This searches for messages in which “xoba” and “beta” are within 10 words of each other.
Searching exact term
“blog post final draft” This returns messages containing the phrase “blog post final draft.” This is not case-sensitive.
subject:“blog post final draft” This only returns messages in which the subject line contains the phrase “blog post final draft.”
Grouping multiple terms
subject:(xoba blog) This returns messages with both “xoba” and “blog” in the subject line. If you search subject:xoba blog, the messages returned would have “xoba” in the subject line and “blog” anywhere in the message.
To:(me meghan) subject:(xoba blog) This returns messages with both me and Meghan found in the recipient addresses with the terms “xoba” and “blog” in the subject line.
Searching term exactly as typed
+blogs This returns messages with “blogs,” but not “blog.”
subject:(+blogs post) This returns messages that have “blogs” — appearing exactly as typed — and contains “post” in the subject line.
You can make your Gmail experience even better by creating personalized filters to automatically carry out actions when a message matches specific criteria. Open Advanced Search, select your search specifications, and click “Create filter.”
Then, you can dictate what Gmail should do with the messages that match the search. Once you create the filter, Gmail will perform the commands for all incoming mail that meets the specifications. This is a great tool for keeping your inbox clean and organized without manually sorting through your messages each day.
Thanks to these advanced features, you can discover information in Gmail more efficiently. But this doesn’t solve anything if the information you’re looking for isn’t actually in Gmail. A prominent issue among users of multiple cloud applications is knowing where things are. It’s easy to lose track of where the most updated version of the pitch deck is or where last week’s meeting notes ended up. They could be somewhere in a Slack conversation, sent in a Gmail thread, or perhaps they were shared via Google Drive. The options can feel endless as new applications are added to our workflow all the time.
Xoba tackles this fragmentation by aggregating your files, messages, tasks, etc. across applications and making it easy to discover information without the wild goose chase. Join our beta today.