How to Make Searching Faster and More Efficient
This knowledgebase article focuses on how to search the various lists in Total Office Manager. There are a few tricks that you may not be aware of.
Searching with Wildcards
- If you have two spaces within the name, you can search this by typing % % in the quick filter. Records with double spaces within the name will be returned.
- You can search for an empty field using double quotes [“”]. That search will return all empty fields.
- If you are searching a column that contains either a “Yes” or “No”, you can also search using “True” or “False” and vice versa. An example might be searching for “Financial History” Yes or No.
- Searching for %A% will return any record that contains “A” anywhere in the name (regardless of capitalization).
- Searching for %A%E% will return any record that contains “A” anywhere in the name and “E” anywhere in the name (regardless of position or capitalization).
Making Lists and Search Faster
- All major lists have an option called Form Preferences. You can add or remove columns. Columns with an asterisk [*] can be removed to improve search speed and load list speed.
- If your company has a lot of data, and your lists have become large and slow use List Optimization. Click Preferences | Appearance | Company Preferences | List Optimization. We generally recommend the “Use Fast List” option. This feature makes a lot of sense when you have a lot of records and they cause your load list and search list function to slow down.
Other Search Tips
- You may want to adjust how often lists are refreshed. This can make working with lists faster. Click Preferences | Refresh | Company Preferences and read the tips on this form.
- All major lists include a feature called Smart Lists. This allows you to create multiple saved lists. For example, you could create a list of sales prospects that need to be called. As you call each one, you can quickly remove it from the list. You could do the same for inventory items that need to be counted.
- Use the Marketing List Generator as a super search utility. What makes this search utility unique is that it not only allows you to search numerous customer-related fields, you can also search out customers and prospects by their purchasing activity. Your queries can contain multiple elements. You can perform a query and then query those results. Queries can also be saved for reuse. Click Tools | Marketing List Generator.
- All major forms that include invoice item selection have an Item Lookup option. This feature allows you to perform complex searches and build an item list to drop onto the item grid. This feature also includes a handy “Bar Code Scanning” option.
- You may wish to load your lists in descending order (Ascending is the default). Click Preferences | Appearance | My Preferences | Load Lists by Date in Descending Order.
- You may not want all of your customers to populate the Customer:Job list when you open it. That can result in needless wait time since you plan to search anyway. You can have this list always open empty. Click Preferences | Customer:Jobs | My Preferences | Open the Customer:Job list Empty.
- When you search the Customer:Job list and the record is not found, you can start a new record with that search term (such as a phone number). Click Preferences | Customer:Jobs | My Preferences | Start New Record with Quick Filter.