Searching for the Perfect Search Tool

Ever since I wrote this month’s Tech Support column about an email product called Bloomba, which wants to become the “Google of Email” by popularizing search as the preferred way to sort email, I’ve been inundated with messages from readers who want to let me know about other email alternatives, and by PR reps from companies who say they’ve got even more innovative search-based products for email, the web, even for sifting through files on your desktop.

I’ll be honest: I haven’t reviewed any of the following products yet. But in case some of you were intrigued by Bloomba’s search-based approach to email and want to nose around these other search products as well, here are some highlights from my inbox:

  • Search Incite: Claims to automatically sort messages by categories that you select — similar to the way online newspapers organize their stories by category (“Business,” “Travel,” “World News,” etc.), you could start having your email sorted this way as well.
  • For all the Apple users out there, reader Vincent Vanderbent noted that similar search-type functionality is available on the “Mail” application that comes with Mac OS X.
  • Reader Ben Ramsey wrote that the Mozilla email client was superior to Bloomba because it already works with both POP-3 accounts and with Exchange server accounts. Ramsey says it also has a calendaring extension available.
  • Vivisimo claims to be a leader in a new field called “clustering” search, which quickly gathers relevant results from web searches, desktop file searches, and database searches.
  • Anacubis, another desktop search product, claims to provide valuable visual information maps, based on your search terms, which show the relationship between information that is captured in databases, web files, and other desktop files.