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this is what you shall do:: Lookout it's Outlook

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Lookout it's Outlook

Lookout is a plug in for Microsoft Outlook (download from Microsoft for free is here) and one of the most useful things I have come across in a long time. It indexes your Outlook files and makes them quickly and easily searchable. If you have used Google Desktop Search and are familiar with the quick search capabilities it offers, you will have a good idea of how Lookout works - except that it is specific (so far) to Outlook (It doesn't work with Outlook Express) But the speed and ease of how it works makes folders and filing emails almost reduntant. If you can remember some very simple simple stuff, like words in the body of the email, who sent it, a subject or whatever and enter that in the Lookout search bar, any and all email you are searching for will pop right up. I subscribe to perhaps too many Yahoo Groups mailing lists and have more than I need to keep track of in my email box. But for the last few weeks it has been easy to manage because, well frankly, I don't manage it anymore. I let Lookout manage it for me and simply scan them for basic info and then simple let the mail rest unsorted in my inbox. I don't have to worry about finding anything later because the application will do that for me, in less than two seconds. It is so useful and powerful, I may very well give up using Gmail and go back to Outlook now that someone has made Outlook a tool that I can embrace once again. (I just read their homepage a bit and discovered that Lookout will index your whole system if you want it to . . . So I guess this is a quiet MS answer to Google's Desktop Search tool. It might bare watching how this plays out.)