Over-extending myself with Google

Maybe it’s just that cool new Google products have become so commonplace as to be unworthy of mention, but I’m surprised more people aren’t excited about Google Notebook. Notebook is a handly little application for making notes of what you come across on the Web and saving the relevant links. It’s not the first program of its kind, but it’s easy to use. A small icon sits at the bottom of your browser, like this:
Open Notebook

Click on it and your Notebook opens up. Highlight text and pictures to automatically copy them into a new note, or write your own text. Here’s me adding an item to my notebook on caffeine:
Notebook in action

Everything can then be sorted or edited under a full page view, which is available from any computer.

I’ve immediately started using this as my new way of keeping track of material I want to blog about. When I come across an interesting item, I send it right to my “To Blog List” notebook. Easy.

I’m also finding it useful for researching articles. I have several to write at the moment, so I’ve created a notebook for each one. The links I need go into the relevant notebook with a short, useful description or quote to come back to later. And if my laptop dies the day before deadline, no problem. All my notes are secure on the Google servers.

I only have one complaint so far, and that is that the organization for multiple notebooks could get unwieldy over time. Right now your most recently viewed notebooks are put at the top of the list, but I haven’t seen yet what organization is given to older notebooks. A useful feature for the future might be the ability to mark some notebooks as “archived” and sort them by name or date. Having some way to export the data would be nice, too.

Nice, but not essential. I’m happy with what it offers now and hope it catches on and improves.

Go here for more information and to download the extension.

Comments

  1. Barzelay says:

    I started to use Google Notebook for my first assignment at my summer internship, and I told them about it, and they kinda freaked out. Apparently, because Google stores your information in unencrypted formats and has access to your data, much of their stuff isn’t kosher with attorney-client confidentiality and such. Yikes!

  2. Jacob Grier says:

    Yeah, I can see that. As much as I love all this Web 2.0 goodness about storing your data off your computer, I can see how it could worry law firms and other places. Oh well, one more reason for me not to get a real job.

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