Although NEO Find brings faster searches and additional organisation to Outlook email, you must switch back and forth between Outlook and a separate program window to get its benefits.
NEO Find creates a separate index of all your messages, which can take a while - the maker says this step can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. On our PC, it took 55 minutes to sift through about 5,000 messages.
Completing the indexing step, though, allows for NEO Find searches that are much faster than what the regular Outlook search function offers. It also permits you to view all messages to and from a particular correspondent easily, or to gather related messages (a "conversation") together in a list with the click of a button.
Those are all useful features, but you can't reach them within Outlook. NEO Find runs as a separate program that, by default, launches automatically when you start Outlook. (You'll have to shut it down manually, though.)
You access NEO Find by clicking its icon in the Outlook toolbar or in your system tray. Its tabbed interface includes two options: an Outlook-like view and another mode that swaps in a list of all your correspondents for the mail-folder view.
In the Outlook-like view, your email folders appear on the left, while the familiar message list and preview pane sit on the right side. A search bar sits at the lower left of the interface.
You can type in search terms, and choose whether you want to look in the subject, body, and/or names and addresses. Once your results display, you can further filter them by status (such as read/unread or flagged), by containing folder, or by date.
The second, correspondent-centric NEO Find view lets you click a contact's name to see all email messages sent to and from that person. You can apply the same filters (status, date, and so on) to the listed messages.
You can read, reply to, or forward your email within NEO Find, but you can't compose a new message. For that, or to access your calendar, contacts, or other Outlook features, you'll still need to switch back to Microsoft’s email client.