For me, one of the most satisfying things about having a home based business is not having to supervise staff.

And one of the most frustrating things I found early in my home based business career was not having staff to call upon to do things like searching for the file I really needed and couldn’t find!

Then I discovered desktop PC search. As most of what I’ve done professionally for years has had some expression in a document file, spreadsheet file or email, desktop search was an unalloyed boon.

My favourite search tool is, I’m proud to say, Australian-grown Isys. With customers from the US Department of Homeland Security to the UK Metropolitan Police, the Ford Motor Company and the World Trade Organisation, this is non-trivial software. When this company was younger and their prices lower, I had their desktop search software installed and it was brilliant. Checking their website and seeing what they offer now I feel a bit sheepish that I didn’t upgrade after the first couple of years. Almost certainly I would have saved myself a lot of time searching for elusive documents and emails.

The latest version appears to be more expensive than the earlier versions – ‘less than $1,000’ the website says, presumably closer to $1,000 than $100 – but I’m sure still great value for money.

The fact is, Isys spoiled me for anything else.

Then Google desktop search came along and I was impressed enough with this as a free product, but after a while I found myself comparing it unfavourably with Isys.

Now, while I save up for a current version of Isys, there is a very nice search tool available courtesy of Microsoft, the MSN Toolbar, a free download for users of Windows 2000 and XP.  It claims to recognise 200-plus file types. I’ve downloaded it, tried it and so far I am impressed. 

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