A better way to search your documents and email (Desktop Search)

Search tools in Windows and Outlook have always been suboptimal to say the least. It always bugged me that I was able to search billions of web-pages in seconds, but had to wait considerably longer if I wanted to find something on my PC.

That changed about a year back when I first discovered “desktop search tools”.

Just enter a keyword or phrase, and Desktop Search would instantly retrieve any relevant email or files. In fact, searching my hard disk is now even faster than searching the web… a sharp contrast to the clunky search functions built into Windows and Outlook.

When would I use it?

Aside from finding past emails and misplaced files, I have found it especially useful when I need to organise information.

For example, if I need supporting material for a client satisfaction survey. I just type in “client satisfaction”… and all the presentations, spreadsheets, email, and word documents where my client’s name appears will be retrieved for me. (I can of course filter them by document type).

Why is it faster?

Imagine flipping through an entire book to find what you want (which is what your computer does by default) then imagine how much time you’d save just by referring to the index.

What Desktop search does, is it indexes your email and files so your computer can refer to it and find information faster. Searches that used to take minutes, now take less than one second. Save a few minutes here, a few minutes there… it all really adds up.

Which desktop search tool should I use?

I’ve tried Google, Windows Desktop Search, and Yahoo Desktop Search tools, but Yahoo really stood out to me in terms of terms of ease of use, power, and flexibility.

*Update* : Yahoo no longer offers this service. Do try the the other free services or X1 which is a paid software but worth every cent

Go ahead, give desktop search a try, and take the information on your PC to the next level.