Search & Filter Tricks
An often underutilized feature of MerusCase is the ability for each user to setup their own custom Filter Shortcuts, use special keywords in searches, and specify any desired pre-filtering settings.
Custom Filter Shortcuts
Almost every area of MerusCase where you can search & filter to find desired items (e.g. Browse Cases, Activity tab, etc.) has its own fully customizable, per-user Filter Shortcuts, each of which can actually add multiple filters with just one click.
To set these up, navigate to the area of MerusCase where you wish to set up your Filter Shortcuts, click on the magnifying glass to the right of the search bar, and note the My Filter Shortcuts section on the left. Here, you can:
- Add: Click New Shortcut to enter a new Shortcut.
- Edit: Click on an existing Shortcut to make edits and then Save to store your changes or Cancel (displayed as an ‘X’) to undo them.
- Remove: Click on an existing Shortcut and then Delete (displayed as a garbage can icon).
Within each Shortcut, you can set up as many filters as you would like. Simply click on +AND to add more. Each will contain the following options:
- Label (what you click): Only specified once per Shortcut. As its name says, this is the clickable text you will see above the search bar to trigger your shortcut (e.g. “Phone Calls”).
- Filter By: The column that this filter will be applied to (e.g. “Tags”).
- Filter Text: The text that will actually be entered into the search bar for the filter (e.g. “telephone”).
Also, consider using the Keywords documented below to create very powerful, specific Shortcuts.
NOT - In all caps can be used to display everything EXCEPT what follows the keyword. For example NOT John will show Jane Smith but ignore her husband John.
OR - In all caps can be used to display combinations. Jane OR John will display everyone that shares a name with our two protagonists.
TO - In all caps can be used on date columns to specify a range. For example, 1/1/2016 TO 1/31/2016 will display all events from January 2016.
Carat symbol (^) - Used to limit matches to the beginning of a string. For example, ^smi will return Smith, but not Blacksmith.
Dollar symbol ($) - Can be used to limit matches to the end of as string. For example, smith$ will return Smith and Blacksmith, but not Smithson.
^$ - Will search only for blank entries. For example, filtering contacts by company for ^$ will only return contacts that have no company attached.
Use these keywords with the filter set to a date option of any sort.
This/Next/Last Year - All items falling in the specified year.
This/Next/Last Quarter - All items falling in the specified quarter.
This/Next/Last Month - All items falling in the specified month.
This/Next/Last Week - All items falling in the specified week.
This/Next/Last Day / Today/Tomorrow/Yesterday - All items falling in the specified day.
Pro-TipDate Filters don't need complete dates to operate. MerusCase takes a guess at the intended filter if the data is incomplete. For example "1/1 TO 1/31" yields the same results as "1/1/2010 TO 1/31/2010" -- until 2011. Then MerusCase will guess that 2011 is the intended year, because the current year is assumed if no year was entered. This can be mitigated by adding a year to one of the range endpoints, e.g., "1/1 TO 1/31/2010".
Another great option for filtering is to set up your account’s custom Pre-Filters, which allow you to change what is displayed by default when you navigate to certain tables in MerusCase. To take advantage of these Prefiltering capabilities, go to Tools & Settings, click on My Preferences, then scroll down to the bottom.
To set your Pre-Filter, you want to set the Default Filter Column to the column you wish to filter by and the Default Filter to the text you want automatically entered; it functions the same as manually entering the same filter in the table. Examples include the following and so much more:
- Hiding all closed cases: Under the Case Files section, set the Default Filter Column to ‘Status’ and the Default Filter to ‘Open’. If you have multiple statuses qualifying as open, you can instead enter it as ‘Open AND Other-Status AND Yet-Another-Status’.
- Only showing events assigned to you: Under the Calendar section, set the Default Filter Column to ‘Assignee’ and the Default Filter to your initials.
- Showing only overdue tasks: Under the Tasks section, set the Default Filter Column to ‘Due Date’ and the Default Filter to ‘7/4/1776 TO Yesterday’.
In tandem with the Custom Filter Shortcuts described earlier in this article, Custom Pre-Filters can be a powerful feature indeed.