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Pimp Your Work - Improving Your Work Day Efficiency

Use desktop search to find your stuff

by Tris Hussey on October 19th, 2006

Okay so how many e-mails are in your inbox right now?  Me?  773.  That’s from October only.  Now, what about that presentation you created three months ago and need for something else right now?  Word doc?  Spreadsheet?  I think you’re getting the idea.  With today’s massive harddrives (my first Mac had a 20 meg HD … huge for that time when Word and the System Folder and some documents fit on a 512K disk … 1.2 meg was amazing) it’s pretty easy to lose a file.  I have millions of files, hundreds of folders.  I don’t know how many e-mails (I archive each month by quarter and then a year’s worth into it’s own PST).  How do I track and find them all?  Desktop search, baby!

There are a ton of free, excellent DS apps out there.  And I think I’ve tried all of them at one point or another.

We have X1 and the related (built on the same tech, but scaled down) Yahoo Desktop Search, Google Desktop Search (what I’m using at the moment), Copernic, and Microsoft Desktop Search.

Like I said, I have tried all of these.  Some several times.  Here are the key things I look for when picking a DS app:

  • e-mail clients supported
  • indexing of contacts
  • indexing of calendar (not a deal breaker for me though)
  • file types supported and can you add more
  • Extra that make it fun (Google DS has widgets)
  • Indexing speed
  • CPU load
  • Re-indexing when files are moved or deleted (Google DS didn’t do this as first and that’s why I dropped it, GDS now keeps track of things better).
  • keyboard shortcuts, etc for starting a search
  • integration into IE and Outlook

Since these are all free tools I suggest that you try them, but not all at once.  That will get messy, believe me.

I’m I up for a switch again?  Maybe.  Copernic says they have a new version.  But I do like the fact that GDS indexes my GMail account.  Who knows.

Give some of these a try and let me know what you think.  Which is your fav?

Thanks to Download Squad’s review of X1 for inspiring this post.


POSTED IN: Cool downloads, Cool tools, General work pimps, Software tips, Time savers, Windows

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