Tag Archives: search

Use a before filter to create an email DMZ

out.of.control.emailIf you’re like many the end of January marks the time when you realize that you haven’t kept up with your New Year’s Resolutions.

  • You haven’t been to the gym in a couple weeks
  • You’ve already cheated on the diet
  • That stack of paperwork is still sitting there
  • Your inbox is still out of control

While I can’t help with everything, your email inbox I can make a suggestion on – slim it down so it doesn’t look as large of a task.

First, I’m not going to suggest that you declare email bankruptcy and just delete everything. I’m also not going to suggest selecting everything and hitting the ‘mark as read’ and ‘archive’ buttons. I’m going to suggest you create an email DMZ that you can work through as time allows.

If use Gmail for your mail among the many features you have available to you is an outstanding search system (go figure). What we’re going to do is create an email DMZ for the year 2012 and then move everything prior to January 1st of 2013 into it.

First thing you need to do is create a new label for your DMZ, I would suggest 2012 DMZ as we’re looking to create a place for our left over 2012 emails to go. Once you have your label set up you need to then use the powerful search available to you in Gmail and grab all the emails prior to January 1st. As it turns out it’s a single search option with the right data point:


As you can see in the screen capture above the trick is to use the “before” option in the search. When you use this option it’s important to not the way the date is entered – four digit month first, two digit month, and then the two digit day. For a lot of folks that format is not what you’d expect and takes a bit to get use to but once you do it’s a rather powerful way to write the date (more on that in a later post).

Once you get the search results back you can apply your DMZ label and then archive the whole shooting match out of our Inbox.

I can hear you screaming at me now, “you said we wouldn’t archive all that email!” Ok, you got me, yes we did archive it out of your inbox but at this point it’s also all tagged with a label so you can find all of those emails in one place, a listing you can work through. Of course you may just decide to leave them all there and not touch them again – that’s a choice you’ll need to make yourself.

Do you use a DMZ for email or do you just declare bankruptcy and delete everything?

Duck, Duck, Good-bye Google

duck-duck-goAs I’ve already mentioned, I’m in the process of diversifying my online tools. In my last post on this topic I talked about changing my default browser to Opera from Google Chrome and so far, with a few minor challenges, things are going well on that front.

After making that switch I decided that it was time to change my search engine and after considering the various options decided on duckduckgo.com.

One of the biggest reasons I decided to go with duckduckgo.com is that they don’t track you; they don’t save your searches, and they don’t pass along that data to the site you click through to. I also have to admit their results still point me to what I’m looking for and the list includes sites I may not have already seen.

That was something that I had started to notice with Google, my searches had a tendency to hit the same sites over and over. I don’t think it was because they were pushing those sites but instead it was because their search algorithm had, over time, learned that those were the sites I preferred – all the more reasons to shift away from everything in one bucket.

The challenge was on the mobile side of my life as duckduckgo.com can’t be configured to be your default search engine in a mobile browser. So I’ve added it to my list of links on the main page of my mobile browser of choice, Dolphin, and shifted the default browser to bing.com (the lesser of the evils).

Do you use a search engine other than Google? Why not share your choice in the comments below?

Search Evernote with Launchy

If you’re like me you’re always searching for something in your archives, and for me one of the biggest is Evernote which does have a really good search tool but sometimes you just want to shortcut it.

For those that prefer the browser interface, the folks at Evernote did a quick video and blog post about adding the ability to search Evernote to Google Chrome.

But wait a minute you said I could search Evernote with Launchy and you can by adding the same search parameters to Launchy.

Open Launchy, right click and select Options
Click on Plug-ins
Click Weby
Click the ‘+’ button
Under name enter Evernote
For the URL enter – http://www.evernote.com/search?q=%1
Click ‘Ok’

Now you can bring up Launchy, type Evernote, hit the tab key and whatever you would like to search for.

An important note – if you have multiple words in your search term be sure to place the entire string in quotes or the search will one look for the first term.

I should also note that in both cases your results are pulled and shown in the web client – if you’re logged out you’ll be prompted to log in to see the results.

How to Display the Publish Date for a Webpage in Google Search using Launchy

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about how you could update Twitter using Launchy well this week I want to pass along how you can incorporate the date that a particular web page was published. This hack takes advantage of the tip published on 4 May 2009 over at digital inspirationFind the Date When a Web Page was First Published on the Internet.

The secret lies in adding the sequence &as_qdr=y15 to the end of your search – the folks over at Lifehacker pointed this out already in their post Display the Date a Web Page Was Published in Search Results but since we’re going to use Launchy we need to change search tool.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Bring up Launchy
  2. Right click and select Options.
  3. Click on Plugins
  4. Select Weby
  5. Find your Google search
  6. Double click on the Query field
  7. Add &as_qdr=y15 to the end of the line so it looks like:
  8. Launchy's Google Search

  9. Click Ok

That’s it, the next time you evoke a Google search from Launchy the publish dates will be included.

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