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I have more than 500 GB worth of data on my local and network drives. It is somewhat organized, but finding a particular resource can be problematic at times: did I put that educational video on c# in videos, programming, or education folder? I really do not want to have to reorganize it all.

I probably want something that would be as easy to use as Launchy and as powerful as Google Desktop, but as light and fast as Total Commander.

Any suggestions?

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closed as off topic by ChrisF, TFM, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Dave M, Dennis Feb 2 '13 at 20:58

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Windows, Mac or Linux? – random Sep 30 '09 at 1:47
Windows. I don't use other operating systems. – Joshua Sep 30 '09 at 1:53
Is your file system NTFS? – DaveParillo Oct 1 '09 at 0:07
@Dave: I think you can safely assume that nowadays. Even something as horrible as XP installs on NTFS by default. – Joey Jun 28 '10 at 9:29

im using Search Everything

* Small installation file
* Clean and simple user interface
* Quick file indexing
* Quick searching
* Minimal resource usage
* Share files with others easily
* Real-time updating

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Everything is good for searching files, but you have to name them (as in filenames), and it can't search content. – Shiki Nov 11 '11 at 11:08

I love X1. I believe the great feature of this over the others is that as you enter search terms, the result grid narrows down in real-time so you can quickly zero into things. It indexes all your files and email too.

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Interesting software, costs a bit too much though. – Shiki Nov 11 '11 at 11:11
Yes $50. I love this program so much I bought it and it is part of my "essential" applications. Surprised no-else has cottoned on to the "real-time" responsiveness. – Nicholas Nov 14 '11 at 5:48
I am an organisation freak, but I have to say that this program has changed the way I work. Rather than try and file everything in the perfect place, which is an unwinnable battle, I can just do basic triage saving files to a subst drives for major areas/projects (e.g. p: for personal w: for work), then I can just use X1 to quickly zone into file I'm looking for. Same with email, I usually just type in the name of the person/project to find the conversation, have let my obsessive outlook filing go. – Nicholas Jan 10 '12 at 2:52

Google Desktop is all I use it's fast as long as it's not encrypted.

Note: Google Desktop is now discontinued.

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It will take a day or two for the initial indexing - which may or may not bog your system down - but once its done it will be well worth it. – AnonJr Oct 9 '09 at 14:05
As far as I know, Google stopped Desktop's development, "As of September 14, Google Desktop will no longer be available for download, and existing installations will not be updated to include new features or fixes. ". ( ) – Shiki Nov 11 '11 at 10:55
@Shiki Yeah, I am dreading the day that it stops working. I depend on it daily. Microsoft's desktop search is what a coworker uses, I may have to try that as a replacement – Move More Comments Link To Top Nov 11 '11 at 14:43

I hear a lot of good things about the Everything search engine, but it's only really going to be a big help if your filenames are fairly descriptive. What you are describing sounds like a perfect case for a metadata-oriented filesystem like WinFS, but I have no idea if that's ever going to be implemented.

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Why not use Launchy? I know you mentioned it, and I assume that you have some problem with it, but it seems like a good tool for the job. Add wherever you would like to search to the catalog. The only problem is that it depends on your naming of files to be fairly descriptive. If you were on a Mac, spotlight sound just about right for you too, but I don't know of anything similar for Windows except Google Desktop which has already been mentioned.

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For your videos I would choose a specific video collection management tool that let you visually and fast browse inside your files via thumbnails. This way you will always have a great structured overview of all your videoclips.

I am a big fan of X1 for text and metadata but for videos it is different. The way the brain works is that it triggers on images(a no brainer fact right:-)) and if you are looking for a few scenes in a clip somewhere, thumbnails from that video presented in an organized manner will help a lot.

Good luck in your search for productivity

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