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Tame your users' Exchange mailboxes with desktop search tools

How do you make it easy for your users to gain quick access to e-mail they need in order to do their jobs? Try desktop search tools.

How often do you hear your users lamenting the fact that they get dozens or hundreds of e-mail messages per day? If you're in a typical organization, you probably hear this a lot, and the situation is only going to become worse in the future. While getting a lot of mail may not be a problem, wading through the mess later on can sometimes be extremely difficult. Outlook does include a search mechanism, and Exchange supports full-text indexing of the mail store. However, Outlook’s search capability isn’t all that great and Exchange’s full-text indexing feature requires adequate processing power to function.

Since information is the lifeblood of an organization, how do you make it easy for your users to gain quick access to e-mail they need in order to do their jobs? Try desktop search tools.

Other than speed and processing power, why would you use a desktop search program instead of the tools included with Outlook and Exchange? First of all, depending on the desktop search tool you choose, you can search much more than just your Outlook/Exchange-based e-mail. Second, most desktop search tools are very, very fast. No more waiting for Outlook to search through your entire inbox; the desktop search tool has already indexed all of your inbox contents for you. Third, many individual desktop search utilities are free, including Google Desktop Search, MSN Search Toolbar/Windows Desktop Search, Copernic Desktop Search, Yahoo Desktop Search, and many more. There are also enterprise-grade desktop search tools available that are more appropriate for large deployments, including Google’s Desktop for Enterprise, X1 and others.

Before you embark on a desktop search strategy, look for the potential downfalls, including regulatory issues that may create problems indexing content in a central location, desktop processor performance requirements, and software features.

For any of you wondering which product I use, my choice has been the free Copernic Desktop Search. I’ve used all of the tools I listed a couple of paragraphs ago and Copernic came out on top in my testing.

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