For many years I have grown frustrated of constantly going through my “favorites” in my internet explorer and making my rounds to my most visited websites. Not only is it time consuming but in many cases I feel like somehow I have missed something in this great big world!
Recently I have come across a tool that is especially exciting for converging all of the things I am interested in one screen. Some call this one of the gadgets spawned by Web 2.0, but I just call it a web tool that makes sense! Imagine being able to login to one screen to see a forecast for this weeks weather, latest CNN headlines, sports news from CBS Sportsline, be able to search for a term directly off the site for wikipedia, be served with a quote of the day, have access to my favorite blogs, Google Spreadsheets, favorite music, and any other information that I could possible want?
Not only is all this information available but its also interactive. Set it as your homepage and keep it in your background and you can add your tasks for the day, write down e-sticky notes and be presented with Google Calendar for any upcoming events.
Want to personalize your homepage? Its easy to do — you can pick from many themes that change the appearance of your own personal website tremendously! Enter in your home city and for some of the backgrounds, it will even change the weather in the theme to match what you have at home! (best if you don’t live somewhere rainy all day for that theme) Further to this, at the top left of the screen you can “Add Stuff”. Once in this screen, simply search for any tools that you are interested in. You can then add them to your web page and drag and drop them anywhere. (thanks to ajax technology).
Much like tabbed browsing you can also add tabs to fit with different themes of your iGoogle.
iGoogle has changed the way many of us in our own office do our work. It has helped us become far more efficient with our time. With the click of a button, many of the gadgets we use regularly are now at our fingertips.
Have I sold you on the web tool yet? Think of it as your own intranet page without the pain of developing one!
Here is my 5 favorite gadgets for iGoogle:
1) Google Bookmarks – I can add and categorize my bookmarks according to which I regularly use.
2) Google Docs & Spreadsheets – for anyone that doesn’t have a server (or is sick of using one), why not store your most used documents on Google Spreadsheets? All your files are now just a click away thanks for iGoogle. (The Google Docs & Spreadsheets app is a completely different blog altogether!)
3) To Do List – have 10 thoughts on your mind at once? Add them quickly to your todo list and then delete them once you finish them.
4) You Tube – add your tube and get the latest videos according to what your interests are. Interested in internet marketing? Watch search engine marketing videos. Like Bill Gates? Watch videos about him.
5) Music Player – who needs iTunes anymore when all you have to do is add your library to the ‘music player’ app. (that is if you aren’t a LastFM listener)
Want to get started? Well first you need to get a Google login.
iGoogle was nice while it lasted, but they retired it in November 2013 after they’ve realized that it wasn’t that used anymore. Because of the avalanche of Apps the need for iGoogle got smaller and smaller. It was good and I used it for a while, but it couldn’t have lasted more without constant improvements which, apparently Google didn’t want to work on.