Since starting on the web, I have found my usage gearing toward reference material. As a result, I've tended to value good sources of information. This page isn't one of those mindless "here are ways to find somebody" pages that lists almost every possible phonebook/email directory/homepage listing that exists. (But if that's what you want, try this). There are only three main suppliers of phone directory information, so if you try every possible directory, you're just searching the same information repeatedly.

I've put together a list of the tools that I like to use to find people, and an explanation of what they have to offer and why I prefer them. While there are certainly more resources out there, these have shown me the best results. But if you think there are better choices for this list, let me know!
Resource Details
Google What more do you need? Not much! Here are some tips for searching Google to find info:
1. Use the format 999-999-9999 to use Google as a reverse phone directory, and know who called your cell phone!
2. Enter a street address followed by a zip code to see a map of any location.
3. Enter a name (or business name) followed by a zip code to search the phone directory.
Local/Regional Info These resources can be used to obtain information about individuals and businesses in my home area.
Cowlitz County Assessor Find info about any property in the county, including photos of most homes, owner, assessed value, and whether property taxes have been paid.
Washington resources This page has a huge list of links on it (some of which are excerpted here) with public information in Washington.