With the amount of cloud services that I use on a daily basis continually rising, its finally time to admit that I need a personal search engine.
By personal search engine, I mean something similar to Google or Bing, but when used to search, should only show me relevant content from my online life. For instance, if I need to find a link that my friend shared on Twitter a week ago, there’s no reason why I should have to go through a weeks worth of tweets to find it. Or if I know I saw a funny video on Facebook a while back, but I don’t remember who shared it in the first place, locating it will be impossible. And I don’t think I’m alone on this rant either. Anyone that uses even as little as two or three cloud based services would agree that something like this would tremendously ease their workflow. Today, I think I have found the perfect solution. Greplin, a service that indexes all of your online data, is a search engine that no social media user should have to live without.
I haven’t been using the web version of Greplin much, but I have been using the iPhone app daily over the past couple of weeks, and it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for- a search engine that only cares about me and my content. After you sign up for your free account, you’ll want to connect all of your online profiles and services for Greplin to be effective. It’s pretty similar to another service I reviewed called CloudMagic, but I prefer to use Greplin simply because it integrates with more services. And even though CloudMagic is completely free while Greplin has a free plan and a premium plan, even Greplin’s free plan integrates with more services than CloudMagic’s, so it was a no brainer picking Greplin.
Now, down to the services. First off, if you’re on an iPhone, you can connect your iPhone contacts, which is always handy. Once that’s done, you can connect with your Gmail, Google Apps Mail, Yahoo Mail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Google Docs, Google Apps Docs, Google Calendar, Google Apps Calendar, Google Contacts, and Google Apps Contacts. Greplin also has certain services that are initially locked, but can be unlocked if you invite friends and have them sign up. Those services include Delicious, Pinboard, Google Reader, Tumblr, and Reddit. So if you invite five of your friends and they all sign up, all of the services that I have just mentioned are completely free. (Your friends will thank you for it.)
If that’s not enough for you, you can go premium, which will index all of the previously mentioned services (without the need to invite any friends), as well as Yammer, Evernote, Salesforce, Highrise, Basecamp, and Campfire. Premium accounts cost $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year.
Once you’ve searched for something, Greplin organizes all the results into separate categories, like ‘messages’, or ‘streams’, so you’ll have an easy time navigating and finding what you’re looking for. There’s also a built in browser so you can open links, send messages, and reply to emails while staying inside the app. Greplin also stores your search history, and throws in some search suggestions of its own, which can be found right on the front page.
Even if you think you’re on top of your online life and don’t need any help, you’ll be amazed at how much easier things will get after starting to use Greplin. I can not stress that enough. It’s one of those apps that just needs to be on your home page, or at least outside of a folder so it can easily be accessed. Even it you don’t plan on using the premium service, the free plan is completely worth the two minutes it will take you to sign up. So what have you got to lose? If there’s a chance that a free service will simplify my life, I know I’ll try it out in a second.