Found Makes Searching For Files Anywhere Super Simple (And Really Slick)

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As much as many companies want to think that they are your one-stop-shop for data storage, the reality is that you probably have files spread across a handful of services. Your home machine, one or two Gmail inboxes, a Dropbox account — many of us have a variety of documents relevant to our work and personal lives in at least two of these different places. And when it comes time to actually access one of those files again, it can be pretty time-consuming to figure out where it is and make sure it’s exactly the one you’re looking for.

A new app called Found aims to bring some cohesion to this personal data diaspora. Found, which is available now in private beta, is an app for the Mac that lets you find and access your documents whether they are on your computer or online. As is the case with most good apps, the genius to Found is in its execution. Found looks great, is very fast, and has been built with some really thoughtful features.

For now, Found plugs into Gmail, Google Documents, and Dropbox. The company says there will be integrations to let you search across more applications, such as Evernote, in the very near future. If you want to try out Found, you can sign up for an invite at the company’s website — a public release of the app is scheduled for mid-May 2012.

Screenshot of Found file search (click to enlarge)

You can watch Found in action in the video embedded above, but it works like this: When Found is running, it has a small icon on the Mac menu bar at the top of the screen. When you click on that icon or press the control button twice, Found’s search engine pops out of the left hand side of the page. As you type, Found presents relevant documents from your home machine as well as your various accounts in the cloud. When you mouse over each search result, Found presents a full image preview of the file. It also lets you drag and drop files from Found search results into a Gmail message for quick file sending and sharing. Since Found runs on the Mac, it essentially works like an extended, very souped-up version of Apple’s handy Spotlight search function.

Once you install it on your computer, looking for things in Found quickly becomes second nature — and you quickly start to wonder about how much time you wasted searching for things before you had it. Of course, the real key will be seeing how snappy the Found app is once more people are using it after the public launch later this spring — nowadays, an app is only as good as it can scale. But at the moment, Found is looking very like a very promising tool for the those of us who are a bit less organized with our files than we’d like to be.

The San Francisco-based Found was founded (ha, ha) in 2010 by CEO Stephen Brady and chief product officer Vijay Sundaram, who previously worked together at Microsoft. The company is based in San Francisco and currently has five full-time employees. Found has raised $1 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates and Rembrandt Venture Partners.