How To Organize Emails with Filters

Team Polymail

Finding exactly what you are looking for in your inbox is not always fast. You may need to refer to an email conversation you had with someone eight months ago. The average office employee receives over 120 emails per day—that conversation could be hidden within almost 30,000 messages.

Our goal at Polymail is to help professionals and teams communicate effortlessly, and we’ve had the incredible opportunity to help tens of thousands of people to improve the way they work every day. One such improvement is our extraordinary Search Filter Operation.

Polymail Advanced Search: How It Works

Polymail supports every major email provider and can connect multiple email addresses under the same account. For the average working professional, that’s at least three addresses that receive hundreds of emails each and every day. It takes an advanced method to be able to identify individual uses of keywords in such a vast collection of information. Command/Ctrl + F only works so well!

In order to improve service, Polymail completely rebuilt portions of both the web and mac apps recently. One brand-new feature is Advanced Search

You can now use advanced search parameters to filter conversations based on certain conditions. This means you can type in a specific keyword and the general area in which it might be located, and every possible result will be displayed.

There are numerous uses for this technology. If you are looking for a group of conversations either with a client or within a team, Advanced Search can be used in more of a general way. With a recipient name and a possible folder distinction, every thread that fits the criteria will be displayed.

Using a different format, exact phrases and terms can be identified. This element of Advanced Search could quickly and efficiently find the eight-month-old conversation mentioned above.

How To Use Advanced Search

Polymail’s Advanced Search uses different types of filters to locate pieces of information throughout your mailboxes. For an accurate search, these filters must be formatted properly. The main types of filters include “with,” “from,” “to,” “before,” “after,” “is,” “has,” and one of the most useful for organization, “in.

Here is a guide to formatting your search using the most common filter variations, also known as Search Operators:

  • with:<email address> — This search will yield every thread that contains this person in the conversation. That includes both previously outgoing and incoming messages, as well as emails that have cc’d this person.
  • from:<email address> — This search will find every thread with a message from this person.
  • to:<email address> — This search pulls threads with every message sent to this person from your own email address.
  • before:<YYYY/MM/DD> — This will display the most recent message in a thread sent before this date.
  • after:<YYYY/MM/DD/YY> — This will show the most recent message in a thread sent after this date.
  • in:<inbox,archive,trash,spam,later> — If you have an organized mailbox, in filters are incredibly helpful. This search looks for threads in these folders.
  • in:<list name> — This will display threads in this particular list.
  • is:starred — This search will pull from all starred threads.
  • is:read — All messages in this thread have been read.
  • is:unread — A message in this thread is unread.
  • is:opened — This means the last message was sent with tracking and it has been read.
  • is:unopened — This means the last message was sent with tracking and it has NOT been read.
  • is:replied — This thread has a sent message and people have replied to it.
  • is:unreplied — This thread has a sent message, and no one has replied.
  • has:attachment — This thread has attachments.
  • has:followup — This thread has a follow up reminder.

You can use these Operators in our Web App by themselves or in conjunction with one another, as long as the Operators don't clash. Clashing Operators include is:replied/is:unreplied, is:open/is:unopened, is:read/is:unread, and the before and after Operators. Proper searches pull up email threads (conversations), rather than individual messages.

Formatting a search is very simple. For example, if you are looking for an attachment in an email from your boss David that you archived and starred eight months ago, you could locate it by searching the following: has:attachment is:starred in:archive

How To Get The Most Out Of “In” Filters

Even in the most cluttered and chaotic mailboxes Polymail’s Advanced Search Function can locate individual threads. However, it’s even more effective with an organized mailbox. Here are a few tools that can enable you with an organized mailbox.


Most people are comfortable using email folders, the usual few being inbox, archive, sent, drafts, spam, and trash. Labels are like more specific folders, and can be used as sub-folders of an inbox or archive. Labels are useful for organizing conversations for different clients. If your work is project-based, threads can be organized based on project. For example, all conversations relating to “Project A” can be put under the label “Project A”.


Filters are how emails get filed away into labels. When you set a filter with certain criteria, all future incoming emails that fit that criteria are automatically filed into the corresponding label. “In” filters in Polymail’s Advanced Search correspond with individual folders and labels. In:inbox shows results from the inbox, in:projecta shows results from Project A, etc.


An email list is another way to group conversations together. This method of categorization is based on the contact email addresses themselves. Email lists are helpful for businesses that rely on marketing and other forms of mass-communication. Organizing by list can be helpful in keeping track of conversations between members of a team as well.

Clean Mailbox

Keeping a clean and organized mailbox improves the effectiveness of any email search engine. Recommended standard practice dictates at least two periods of mailbox maintenance every day: once in the morning, and once at the end of the work day. This process involves sorting through new messages, and sending them to the appropriate folder (scam emails are marked as spam, unimportant promotions are sent to the trash, a deadline reminder or new client proposal gets archived, etc.) You can use the in: filters to their maximum potential when email threads are in the appropriate folders.


In filters are incredibly helpful in locating email threads within your mailbox. The more you practice organizing your emails, the more helpful this feature will be. 

Want to save 4 hours a week on your email?

Try email designed for professionals and power up your conversations with intelligent automation. Polymail supports all major email providers including Google, Microsoft, iCloud, custom IMAP, and group programs like Slack, connecting every method of communication you use in one place. Top-rated integration makes Polymail’s coverage unrivaled.

Get access to Email Tracking, Send Later, Message Templates, Calendar Invites, Scheduling Pages, and more! Unique keyboard shortcuts and other uses of automation reduce your workload greatly.

If you’re trying to become more organized, Polymail can restore your “zero inbox” in no time. 

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