Thursday, June 09, 2005

Finding a Pillar in a Haystack

Being able to immediately find something on a computer or a network just keeps getting slicker. It's no secret that in professional services being able to retrieve large volumes of data and documents is as vital as breathing in and out. To accomplish this monstrous task of being organized has become its own industry. Individually we devise folder naming strategies and filing methods in the hope that we'll be able to find the information later. Unfortunately, as the haystack of information gets larger and older, the needle we're looking for keeps shrinking.

This article at Wired.com spotlights a new program for Mac OS that follows the Windows desktop search trend. I have been using X1 (www.x1.com) on my computers for a couple of years now and have almost completely stopped worrying about were I've stored things. Emails all live in one bucket, all document files live in one folder, all graphics in another, and iTunes handles media. When I need something X1 can find it as fast as I can type. I save time, and it's just so much easier.

There are a lot of desktop search engines out there (google on "desktop search"), each with its own bunch of features and screens. I've tried several and X1 continues to be the standard, at least according to me.

It's not often that a program jumps the shark at the end-user level; desktop search will make the jump. The ability to turn a needle into a pillar will reset our expectations and set a new bar.
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