30 November, 2004

Microsoft Outlook - Free Indexer - Lookout

We all know how crappy Outlook's search engine is; it sucks. It does not index.

For a while now I have been using the Google Desktop Search (beta) to give me indexing across Outlook email, Office documents, and WEB (internet and extranet) pages. However, I was curious is there were something inexpensive or free that might help me with just Outlook, with a lower overhead than the Google Desktop. Google Desktop does not index Exchange Public files, or Outlook Journal, Notes, or Calendar items, and I wanted that. So I went to CNet . . .

. . . and found that they have a series of Outlook articles running this week, and one of the articles (http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10168_7-5511118-1.html?tag=nav) is on this very subject. CNet recommends the totally free Lookout 1.2 (http://www.download.com/Lookout/3000-2368-10309185.html?tag=txt). Note that it needs the 1.1 dot net framework installed on the PC.

My latest incarnation of my OS did not have 1.1 dot net, so I allowed Lookout to install it. Just prior to dot net's installation completing, Lookout stated it was complete. The dot net installation then wanted to restart my PC. I let it do so. Upon restart, I went into Outlook, and Lookout's toolbar was not present. I re-ran the installation, via double-clicking the installer EXE, and chose the repair option. I was then instructed that Lookout would be there when I next launched Outlook. I launched Outlook, and soon the Lookout indexer configuration module appeared. The thing then went on its merry way indexing my email.

For fun, I gave the tool a few minutes to index and then went in and tried a search. It nicely told me that it was not yet done building the index, and asked, "...but would you like to observe its progress?", to which I replied in the affirmative, and got a fun window showing me all the folders thus far indexed, and how many messages in each, etc.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for an Outlook indexer with low overheard, I heartily recommend Lookout 1.2. Note that Microsoft just bought these folks, so we can guess that the product, as is, will either go away, or no longer be free, or otherwise get absorbed into a future version of Outlook. So download it while you can.

For CNet's official review (which I read after typing the above), go to http://reviews.cnet.com/Lookout_1_2/4505-3684_7-31077413-2.html?tag=glance.

5 comments:

Eric Heimerman said...

Cool, I downloaded it and am indexing right now. By my estimation, I should be able to let my mailbox size more than quadruple and still get blazing fast searches. Yay, no more cleaning out my inbox! The IT folks are gonna love this program. I heard they caught wind of it and ordered another 5 Terabyte SAN. Nothing like preemptive upgrades!

Eric Heimerman said...

Better yet, Google Desktop Search 2 Beta can index all of your Outlook emails. I had some problems with Lookout, Outlook 2003 seemed to lock up occasionally when starting it and the problem went away when I uninstalled Lookout. Give GDS2 a try, it's slick!

Anonymous said...

Hello I do not agree ...

ebaleytherogue said...

Anonymous, I wrote that post back in November, 2004, nearly seven years ago. In that time, Google Desktop greatly improved, and I began using it, in earnest, at least four years ago.

Thanks for the comment though! Note that, posting a "I do not agree," under an anonymous tag, might have a little more credibility if you state why you do not agree. I am always looking for interesting criticism. :)

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