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As a System Administrator, I tend to accumulate a lot of E-Mail. And, unfortunately, my current employer requires Windows on the desktop and Outlook for e-mail.

My question is, are there any good tools for indexing/searching Outlook E-Mail? Ideally, I'd like a lightweight Outlook specific tool.

Google Desktop is bigger and more heavyweight than I'd like, and I've had so many issues with Windows Search 4.0 that I'm not currently willing to have it installed on any machine I have to use.

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7 Answers 7

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Lookout is freeware and lightweight.

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Lookout is awesome, but not quite work well with Outlook 2007. –  kentchen Jul 6 '09 at 16:55
    
With the tweaks available to make Lookout work with Outlook 2007, it easily beats out anything else I've tried. Lightweight, quick, and simple. Just what I was looking for. –  Christopher Cashell Nov 4 '09 at 17:35

I use xobni with my desktop Outlook and really like it.

I believe Outlook needs to be in cached mode

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I used xobni for a little while and found it to be clunky. It felt like they were a little too focused on the social networking stuff instead of good search functionality. –  Russ Warren Jul 6 '09 at 15:57

I'm partial to Google Desktop. I love the ability to be able to hit CTRL twice quickly and start a search immediately. I only use the search functionality of Google Desktop and it seems to work very well (I turned the sidebar and gadgets off in the options). After it's finished indexing everything, I don't even notice it running.

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There are several PC-based indexing applications that work. But I went in a different direction. I set up a free Google Apps account. It can be configured to pull (via POP) all your email from Exchange. Gmail search is superior to most Outlook-based search apps. I can search, read, and reply all from within Gmail.

Issues:
- Requires Exchange and firewall configuration to allow Google pop access
- Email stored offsite, which may be against company policy
- Sent Folder in Outlook and Gmail are application specific

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I wish something like this was an option. Unfortunately, my company doesn't allow POP3 access to Exchange, and doesn't allow any non-VPN access to it. This case is limited to an internal option. –  Christopher Cashell Jul 6 '09 at 16:56
    
@Christoper Cashell This option can also work if you create an account in Active Directory with the Google App account and add a Forward on the Exchange Server in the AD profile. Or maybe you can convince your company to use SSL POP3. –  Joseph Jul 6 '09 at 18:20

Why not use Outlook 2007 and the built in search functionality ?

It is pretty quick...

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Outlook 2007 on Windows XP (our corporate standard) doesn't have any decent built in search. It relies on Windows Search 4.0, which is a horrible, inefficient, unstable beast of a program that negatively affects the entire machine even when disk searching is configured not to search any disks. It's also practically impossible to disable or remove. –  Christopher Cashell Jul 6 '09 at 16:58
    
The Windows Search integrated into Outlook 2007 is based on the LookOut! plugin technology that Microsoft bought. While in my experience Outlook 2K7 search isn't nearly as fast, and requires a manual kick to the head^Windex every six months or so, I find it is adequate for the searching I do. –  David Mackintosh Jul 6 '09 at 17:51

There's also lookeen wich is not free.

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Search feature in Outlook 2007 is actually pretty slick. But you will need to in cache mode to gain the most performance.

I don't really rely on Outlook for searching emails because we have retention policy on that automatically deletes emails that are 3 months older. I rely on our email archiver a lot more and it works way better.

Hope it helps.

[update] for someone who don't like the built-in search in Outlook 2007. Check this post to make Lookout work with Outlook 2007.

share|improve this answer
    
Outlook 2007 on Windows XP (our corporate standard) doesn't have any decent built in search. It relies on Windows Search 4.0, which is a horrible, inefficient, unstable beast of a program that negatively affects the entire machine even when disk searching is configured not to search any disks. It's also practically impossible to disable or remove. –  Christopher Cashell Jul 6 '09 at 17:40
    
@Christoper Cashell -- I think you are repeating yourself. –  David Mackintosh Jul 6 '09 at 17:52

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