Search Your Hard Disk at Lightning Speed with Lookeen Free

I recently received notification about a new and powerful desktop search tool for Windows PCs. It is actually free for private users.

This is the type of tool that is especially valuable for anyone who (like me) is not as organized as they ought to be about saving files in logical places. But actually, Lookeen Free will be useful to anyone who can benefit from a rapid method for finding any file just by searching for a keyword (or words).

I once used Google Desktop Search for this purpose, but this was discontinued by Google in 2012 and the version I had on my computer stopped working properly very soon after. As I mentioned, Lookeen Free is available to download free of charge. The only limitation compared with the paid version is that you can only search one hard drive (normally the C drive). If you have multiple or partitioned drives, or want to search on network drives as well, you will probably need the full business version. But, of course, for many writers, the ability to search your own hard disk/drive is all we require.

I found downloading and installing Lookeen Free an easy and intuitive process. By default the software is set to index every folder and sub-folder on your drive, but if you wish you can exclude some (e.g. system folders) via the Options menu. One other thing to note is that before you can use Lookeen Free, the software will need to index your drive. This doesn’t happen automatically the first time you start the software. You will need to click on Start in the Index menu, and away the software will go.

How long indexing will take depends on how many indexable files you have on your drive. It turned out that I had around 140,000, which took several hours in all. You can use Lookeen Free while it is still indexing, but of course the results then may not be complete.

Lookeen Free indexes a range of file types. As well as the text and word-processing files you might expect, it also indexes image files, PowerPoint files, Excel spreadsheet files, web page files, and so on. Searching using Lookeen Free is then just a matter of entering the relevant keywords in the search box. There are also a few modifiers you can use. For example, a minus sign in front of a word will exclude any results including that word from appearing in the results list.

You can also put any search term within double quotes to ensure that only exact matches are displayed. Both of these modifiers are just the same as ones you can use on Google, of course. To show you what Lookeen Free search results look like, here is the result of a sample search I performed using the term “screenwriting”. As you can see, Lookeen Free instantly found 49 results. By highlighting any one of them, you can actually read and access the document in question.

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In my opinion Lookeen Free is a very cool tool, and it’s certainly a lot better and faster than the basic file search available within Windows. If you decide to give it a try, I’ll be very interested to hear how you get on. Please leave any comments below as usual.

Important Update – January 2016. Unfortunately it appears that Lookeen is no longer free. There is now only a 10-day free trial version available from the website. Another tool which is still free is Everything, available from http://www.snapfiles.com/get/everything.html. This only searches filenames, however, so you can’t use it to search within content.

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Free All This Week – My Kindle Plotting Guide!

To celebrate the launch of my new blog, I have decided to make my Kindle e-book Three Great Techniques for Plotting Your Novel or Screenplay free all this week (until Friday).

This no-fluff mini-guide sets out three powerful techniques you can use to generate all the plot ideas you need (and more) to turn out a stream of successful short stories, novels and screenplays.

The techniques can be used individually or – for even greater impact and originality – by combining two or all three of them. Examples are included throughout.

Three Great Techniques for Plotting Your Novel or Screenplay is based on content from my best-selling course Write Any Book in Under 28 Days. Naturally, if you haven’t seen this, I hope you will check it out too. Write Any Book in Under 28 Days (also called the Nick Daws Course by my publishers) sets out my unique method of outlining and “blueprinting” a book, and much more besides.

Finally, if you don’t have a Kindle e-reader, don’t worry. You can still download and read Three Great Techniques for Plotting Your Novel or Screenplay using one of the free apps available from Amazon. Apps are available for smartphones, tablets, laptop/desktop PCs, and so on.

I hope you enjoy reading Three Great Techniques for Plotting Your Novel or Screenplay. If so, a review is always very much appreciated, of course!

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Welcome to my new blog!

Hello, and thank you for visiting my new Entrepreneur Writer blog. In this blog I hope to share tips and advice for writers and aspiring writers, along with current opportunities and resources.

Some of you may know me from my old blog at MyWritingBlog.com. This was run in association with The WCCL Network, publishers of many of my writing courses, including the original and best-selling Write Any Book in Under 28 Days. For various reasons I am no longer working with WCCL, so that blog is no longer being updated (by me at any rate). I should also like to take this opportunity to clarify that I no longer have author access to that blog and am unable to approve or reply to comments on it. Sorry!

Nowadays I write mainly about home business opportunities (e.g. for my regular clients at More Money Review), so my new blog will have a certain bias towards this. As it is entirely my own rather than owned by a publisher, I shall have a completely free hand in what I write, so don’t be surprised if I get a bit controversial from time to time!

Since I am new to running my own (self-hosted) WordPress site there will inevitably be a learning curve for me, so please accept my apologies (and let me know) if I make any technical mistakes.

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon with more updates and information. If you would like to contact me you are welcome to leave a comment below and/or send a message via my Contact Me page.

Photo credit: moleskine in the spring via photopin (license)

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