If you aren’t using a desktop search tool, you are not only less efficient, you are crazy. For anybody who has used them Desktop (indexed) search tools have made finding things on a computer almost effortless. Some people don’t even bother to file things in folders and just rely on their desktop search tool to find files whenever needed.
Desktop search tools work by creating an index of everything you want to search on your computer. Rather than plodding along through the entire diskdrive searching for a file, desktop search tools use (and constantly maintain) an index of these files which allows for much speedier access to the files on their drive.
In addition to the over popular Google Desktop Search tool, a few others worth a look:
Microsoft Desktop Search for the Enterprise: I’m talking about the Enterprise version here, not the consumer desktop search which integrates with MSN. Works well and features some good add-ins like this one for searching Adobe pdf.
X-1 – Haven’t tried X1 myself, but the pro version just went from $75 to free over the weekend and a co-worker of mine raves about it.
Lookout – A search plug-in for Outlook. I’ve used it, but I like the aforementioned Enterprise desktop better. A friend loves it because it allows him to easily step through all the emails in a chain. If you only care about searching emails this is a good place to start.