Needles and Haystacks: So much mail, so little time

I have only a few months of email in Outlook and I’m already struggling to find an email I know I’ve seen or written. Despite my best effort to use folders well, there’s just too much volume.

I’ve tested three free solutions for locating mail and documents on my computer. All three work well and I’m comfortable recommending any. Each installs easily and uninstalls cleanly.

  • Copernic Desktop Search
  • Copernic’s strength is that indexes a wide variety of files and emails and can go deeper into your computer’s file tree than the others. The weakness is that this makes the options a bit more complex.

  • Google Desktop Search
  • It works just like Google. You already know how to use it. When you search the web with Google, it will also show items from your desktop. (Only on the machine running the desktop software… Your data is not shipped to Google.) Of the three, this is the easiest to use.

  • LookOut for Outlook
  • Microsoft bought the company that produced LookOut to get the technology for its answer to the Google Desktop Search. This is the original product. It integrates directly into Outlook and focuses on searching email, but can be extended to search My Documents, too.

I’m currently using Copernic at the office and looking for a good Linux solution at home.