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Finding Today's Mail


The BeOS Find function is great for creating queries to find subsets of your e-mail. Tip 7, Queries for E-mail, talked about this in great detail.

But, while the tricks described in Queries for E-mail are great for searching on criteria that stay the same -- for example the Reply-To field will always contain "BeDevTalk" for messages from the BeDevTalk list -- they are not as good for searching on criteria that "age", or change over time.

The perfect example of this is that "current mail" is the subset of your e-mail which has arrived in the last day, or the last week. It's easy to search for a date range, say 1/1/98 to 1/7/98, in the Find panel, but after a week, that date range isn't so "current" any more.

Fortunately, when you need to solve this problem, the BeOS is ready for you. The BeOS Find function understand a lot of relative date descriptions. We'll cover them in detail next week, but for now, here's how to create a query that will find "today's" mail -- every day:

  1. Open the BeOS Find panel, by choosing Find... from the Be menu.

  2. From the "find what" pop-up (which says "All files and folders" by default), choose "E-mail".

  3. From the "find by" pop-up (which says "by Name" by default) choose "by Attribute".

  4. In the Attribute Query definition area, choose "When after" from the attribute pop-up (which says "Name" by default).

  5. Type "yesterday" in the After text field.

  6. Click the Search button.

    Find Yesterday's Mail panel

This query will find all of the e-mail dated after yesterday -- in other words, today's e-mail. Save this query as something like "Today's Mail" (see Reusing Your Queries if you need a refresher), and put it or a link to it anywhere you will find it handy, like your Desktop or the Be menu (How to Add Things to the Be Menu).

Next week: The relative nature of time (or everything you ever wanted to know about searching for things by date in the BeOS).

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