I’ve been using Lookout – a plugin for Outlook that acts like a search engine for your email – and I can honestly say that it rocks!
It used to be that I would organize my old emails in a myriad of different folders so that I could find them again. Now I have largely moved to depositing them in a single “archive” folder, safe in the knowledge that if I need to find an old email, all I need to do is to enter the keyword or phrase into Lookout and a fraction of second later, I will have a list of likely results, conveniently ranked in order of relevance.
Lookout works by indexing your emails on a regular basis so that when you perform a search, rather than search through your actual emails (as Outlook’s own rather lame search does) it merely searches through its index and pulls up the results from that. Click on a result and up pops the email. It basically works just like Google does, and is equally as fast.
At last, no more sitting there twiddling your fingers in frustration while Outlook’s search crawls its way through your email.
The indexing process runs in the background, supposedly when you are not using Outlook, and I for one have not noticed any reduced performance when writing and sending email. The beta version was solid enough, but version 1.0 has now been released, and best of all (for the moment at least) it’s free.
Another nice feature is that you can use Lookout to index all your files, not just email. I haven’t set it up to do this yet, but I’m sure it would make a much better replacement for Windows own search, which, like its Outlook counterpart, is far too slow and clunky to be used on more than an occasional basis.