There’s An Easier Way… (Windows Search Part 2)
In my earlier post “Seriously, Don’t Use Windows Search”, I reviewed a few reasons you should consider other search tools rather than relying on Windows built in search methods.
In this post, I’m highlighting my basic set up using the X1 Search tool.
The Usual Process
Most professionals use Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) everyday and deal with digital files in the form of PDF documents.
This is what typically happens — based on my experience (I’ll use Excel for discussion purposes).
- Open Excel, click through folders to find the file I am looking for. Open it.
- Or, open Excel, select a file from the “Recent Workbooks” list.
And we do this multiple times per day or hundreds of times per week with the various programs.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easier way?
Of course it would! And there is.
An Alternative Workflow
I outline my workflow below. There are two key considerations to remember:
- I never open up the program to access an existing file — I find the file and then double-click to open it up.
- Finding the file MUST BE easy. Literally, I want to spend as little time as possible finding and opening files.
So, let’s get started.
- I have a folder on my desktop that contains shortcuts directly to my desktop search tool “Saved” searches (just think of them as Bookmarks in a web browser).
- Since I prefer Keyboard shortcuts, I rarely use the desktop folder. My shortcuts are:
— “CTRL + ALT + X” — Open the search program
— “CTRL + E” — Display Microsoft Excel search
— “CTRL + W” — Display Microsoft Word search
— “CTRL + P” — Display Microsoft PowerPoint search
— “ALT + P” — Display PDF documents search
- “CTRL + G” — Display email search results from my GMAIL account (which, obviously, is in the “Cloud”).
It is literally only a second or two to get at my most recently used searches. This is the way I access over 90% of my files every day.
What do the Search Results Look Like?
- Quickly select any file to open or Right-Click for other options!
Additionally, I can immediate filter / narrow my searches based on anything contained in the file name, as well as searching WITHIN the documents.
Incredible flexibility, with instant search results, becomes very appealing once you have experienced it.
So, as I hope you see, there IS an easier way.
A MUCH easier way.
All you have to do is decide that it’s worth the energy to figure it out for you! Is it?
“It’s time for different”
Don is passionate about helping professionals and organizations keep up and adapt to the changing business world that we operate in.
“What Do You Do?”
I frequently get this question. My response (it’s not what you think!)? Check it out here!