WP Remix


When I started the GettingGiving blog, I had several goals in mind. You may have noticed the ‘blog at least once a week’ goal hasn’t been met. Sorry about that! I plan to have a New Year’s resolution to address that issue. Another missed goal, however, has been bothering me as well.

I had hoped to share a few ‘general interest’ items in a wide variety of areas. Generally these would have some professional value to fundraising professionals, but I reserve the right to share an unrelated random item now and again.

This came to mind earlier today when I used the Google Desktop Search application once again to find a long-lost document. If you’re anything like me, you have thousands of documents, files, emails and other items filed electronically in a variety of local and networked locations. Mine have strange names, are filed in the wrong folders and have a variety of other issues that make it difficult to retrieve them at a moment’s notice.

Enter Google Desktop Search.

This free application (available at desktop.google.com) creates a local index of your files and emails and allows you to do a comprehensive search. It’s like having Google attached to your computer, and it’s very very fast. With GDS, the days of guessing what you named (and where you put) a file or email are gone.

Looking for the memo about direct mail expenses you wrote in 2004? Try keywords “direct mail 2004 expenses” and see what happens. Too many documents and emails have those keywords? Try adding the recipient’s name to further narrow the results. Need to find that spreadsheet listing every member of your team and the items they’re bringing to the holiday pitch-in? Enter several of their names as well as the words “corn” and “pie” to see what happens. Voila! There it is!

I’ve used GDS for a long time and every time somebody sees it in action they act surprised and ask how they can get it for themselves. I understand Windows Vista has similar functionality, but if you’re stuck on prior versions of Windows,this is one of those killer-apps that nobody seems to know about. Well, now you do.

Anything that helps manage the ‘digital clutter’ in our lives is worth investigating.

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