Personal Document Indexing system


I have a client who has (literally) thousands of word documents that she has generated over the years.  She's come up with an elaborate folder hierarchy / naming system that has lots of duplicates and leads to easily saving documents in the "wrong" folder and subsequent phone call telling me Windows lost her file. I'm looking for some sort of document indexing / management system that can bring some order to this chaos.  Some of the requirements:

- Windows based
- Easy user interface
- Capable of handling very long folder & files names (more than the 250 character limit you hit in Windows)
- Some way of synching between a laptop and desktop

Note that this is for a single individual. I don't need electronic signatures, approvals, and other stuff for a business environment.

Any suggestions gladly accepted.


Harry Z.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I cannot help with excessively long filenames and such would be problematic in Windows anyway.

Windows Indexing meets all the other requirements. It is automatic (assuming indexing is on) and will find same documents in different folders or different documents in the same folder name under a different tree. Search results show the complete path of the results so it is easy to find the correct file.

The above works in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Aloha Harry,

I recommend two pieces of software to satisfy your objectives — dtSearch and SyncBack:

Both of them meet all of your requirements, specifically:

- Both are Windows based.

- Both have an easy user interface.

- Both are capable of handling very long folder and file names. I don't know what the limit is (or even if there is a limit), but I just tested both programs with folder/file name paths exceeding 400 characters and they both worked fine.

- dtSearch does the indexing and searching. SyncBack does the syncing between laptop and desktop.

I've used both of these programs for many, many years, and I think you'll be very happy with them. If you have any problems setting them up, I can probably help you through it. Also, both companies have excellent technical support.

For dtSearch, you'll want the Desktop with Spider edition ($199):

For SyncBack, I recommend the Pro edition ($55):

As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with either company and no financial interest in them whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer. Mahalo, Joe

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harry_zAuthor Commented:
Aloha John and Joe. Mahalo for your suggestions.  I've been trying to use the OneDrive client on her two machines to keep them in sync. I have no idea what she's doing, but I keep having to set it up over and over again. I'm not impressed.

Do you know if the SyncBack program that uses OneDrive is more robust than the standard OneDrive client?

Mahalo nui loa,

Harry Z.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have been using Sync Back Pro for a number of years now and it is, in my opinion, the most robust sync application around.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> Do you know if the SyncBack program that uses OneDrive is more robust than the standard OneDrive client?

I don't know, because I know nothing about the OneDrive client. But I can tell you that SyncBack is extremely robust. I use it to synchronize peer-to-peer, client-to-NAS, and FTP-offsite. Some of my profiles use versioning, a powerful feature that has saved me many times, while other profiles do mirroring. I switched from Centered Systems' Second Copy to SyncBack many years ago and have have never looked back. I started out with SyncBack SE and liked it so much that I upgraded to SyncBack Pro, and have not used any other sync software since. I can't imagine that you would be disappointed with the robustness of SyncBack, especially the Pro version. Regards, Joe
harry_zAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the long delay in getting back here to update this question.

Had customer purchase SyncBack, had a few hiccups with getting the data sharing working between the two machines. (It worked for one run and then stopped working . Finally got it working again). It seems to be doing the job OK. This is a residential customer, so I only hear from her when she has a problem and she hasn't called for a while.

Again, Mahalo for the suggestion on SyncBack.  Haven't talked to her about dtSearch. She seems happy with her current "filing" system.


Harry Z.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Aloha Harry,
Thanks for the update — better late than never! :)  I'm glad to hear that it's working for your customer. Mahalo, Joe
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Document Management

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