Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Favorite Things: Gagles of Google

Well--only one favorite thing shared so far, but hey--I'm not Oprah with limitless time and money!! But I have several on my mind...I just need to write about them.

My favorite thing for today is GOOGLE! Not just the google website, but also a variety of programs and other sites they provide. I've been using the google search engine for a few years now quite happily, but in the past year I've discovered many other Google Goodies.

First, I LOVE gmail! My sister convinced me to give it a try several months ago. I had been pretty happy with my yahoo email for well over 5 years. However, my email address was my first and middle name and I was ready for a more "grown up" email address. I was able to use my first and last name on gmail, which seemed more professional. Here's why I like gmail
-it's very simple. At first I thought perhaps too simple...but then I realized simple is good
-you can't make folders, but you can give emails a "label" with a color and do a search by that label
-you don't have to delete ANYTHING! All you need to do is "archive" emails you don't want to see. But, if you ever need to search for an old email, it will still show you.
-replies to an email stay together--like a conversation. Since both my sisters live in other cities there are days we'll email back and forth several times. Instead of having 18 emails in my inbox from them under the same subject, there is just the original email, but when you open it--all the replies are they and you can expand or minimize them. Very handy for referencing too!
-you can also chat with other gmail people without downloading extra software

Onto the next product...

igoogle: it's like a homepage you personalize and sign into. If you have gmail, it shows up there. You add applications to your page such as...
-spanish phrase of the day
-clocks, timers etc
-news services for updates
-facebook or myspace updates
-post-it type notes

You can choose from a variety of themes for your page to personalize the look. I LOVE IT!

Google Desktop is a similar program you download. You can have a sidebar up all the time showing you the first several emails in your gmail box, and again adding from a plethora of applications and gadgets to track other things. I have this on my computer at work and have a baby countdown on it!

Picasa Web
This is a photo program you download to your computer. It finds all the photos on your computer and gives you access to them all from the program. It has basic editing abilities--cropping, changing lighting, hues, black and white, sepia etc. You can upload a set of photos to their online site and share them with others. You can also email straight from the desktop program. If you aren't a photoshop person, this is a great "photos for dummies" (like me!)

Google Calendar
Super easy to use online calendar. You can do a "quick add" and a box pops up and you can enter the date, time and event in any order and it's smart enough to figure out where on the calendar to place it. Events can be edited with a variety of other info also. Google Calendars can also be made public and available to others for group events or even tracking your family calendar.

Google Documents
Sometimes it's a pain to go through the process of making a new document, saving it and emailing it to yourself so you have access to it from another computer. Or perhaps you are keeping a list or journal you want to access...or a sports schedule. Google Documents is like an online briefcase you just have to sign into. You can create, upload, edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents to name a few. Documents can also be made available to others whether they have gmail or not.

Bean recently told me about some financial advice he heard on the radio--that if you were going to get started in buying stock, you should buy stock in a product or place that you like or use. If I were buying stock...Google would be first on my list!!


  1. I, too, have been having an affair on Yahoo with Google :) Love it.

  2. I LOVE google. Although i didnt know you could archive old messages, how do you do that?


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