There’s a free software utility that frankly I’d be willing to pay for, based on the value it delivers (at least for me). It’s an add-on to Outlook called Xobni (

Xobni works with Outlook 2003 and 2007. According to the website, “Xobni’s Outlook add-in saves you time finding email, conversations, contact info & attachments.” And guess what? That’s exactly what it does – very well.

I downloaded and installed Xobni about a month ago. It uses up considerable system resources while initially indexing your email store (including your archive), but thereafter it seem to have no discernable impact at all on performance – unlike other email search tools I’ve tried.

Visit the website for a video demo of what Xobni does – there’s too much for me to include here. So I’ll just mention the part I enjoy the most. When I’m looking at an email from, say, David, I see amongst other things:

  • Any information available about David from Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn and other public sites.
  • A list of all email conversations I’ve ever had with David – click to show the emails involved and interact with them.
  •  A (clickable) list of all attachments we’ve exchanged via email.

Just one month in, I know I’d be lost without this add-in. Please feel free to post comments after taking a look for yourself.