Hana Outlook Folder Search: quick folder lookups and email de-duplication for Outlook


Hana Outlook Folder Search (HOFS) is a free Outlook add-on designed to provide instant Outlook folder lookups as well as an in-folder email de-duplication function.

This program is most suited for users of Outlook who organize their email across a large number of folders, and who may be wishing for a quick and easy way to find and their folders. It does NOT provide an email search function though; if you want that look consider Xobni or Lookout.

This app was conceived when the author, who initially wrote it for himself, was facing the daunting task of organizing email across 500 folders and wanted a quick and easy way to find/access the correct folder.

As an added bonus it provides two additional functions: the ability to bookmark folders as favorites, and the ability to right click on a folder and check for duplicate emails.

Here are more notes on this program:

  • How it works: HOFS is launched separately from Outlook and appears as a sperate window. Letters typed in the search box will immediately display relevant folders. The user can then either drag and drop emails to the folder, or can select emails in Outlook and then right click select “Move Selected email to this folder”, or otherwise click CTRL+V.
  • On-demand deduping: simply right click on any folder and select “Remove Duplicate Email”. HOFS checks for dupes by comparing the Message-ID header of emails to other messages received within 48 hours of each other.
  • Ongoing duplicate email monitoring: an interesting feature whereby HOFS will monitor your selected folders for duplicate emails on a continuous basis (select a folder then check “Monitor folder for duplicate email” from the menu). I am assuming that HOFS has to be running for this function to work.
  • Favorite folders: right click on a folder and select “add to favorites” to add the favorites list, displayed in the bottom page of the HOFS interface.

Wish list:

  • Automatic launch with Outlook: an option for that would be excellent.
  • Minimize to tray fix: on close HOFS minimizes to tray rather than shuts down. All well and good, except there does not seem to be a way to maximize it again, and clicking on the program shortcut merely displays a message that HOFS is already running.

The verdict: a simple yet highly useful program that can potentially significantly enhance your Outlook user experience. This program is ideally suited for Outlook users who work with a lot of folders; if this does not apply to you, you honestly might want to consider using folders more extensively, as HOFS really makes it easy to work with them.

But to many people the Outlook dedupe function may be even more valuable than the folder lookup. I was not able to evaluate the kind of job that it does with this, as apparently I do not have any duplicate emails ;), but would appreciate to learn about your experiences with it in the comments section.

Last word: if you use Outlook, download and install.

Version Tested: 0.2

Compatibility: Windows XP, Maybe Vista (unsure about Vista 64) and Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007 (author unsure about compatibility with previous versions). Also requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 3.43 megs).