Sunday, April 6, 2008

Thing 13 - Online Productivity Tools

As it happens, having recently gotten a new laptop for work, I had just set up my homepage to have handy those things I use frequently or like to have at my fingertips. I used Google and my home page has these things on it (with more to come as I have room to spare): notes (like stickies), cat of the day, T olkien quote, Ebay search box, Betty Crocker recipe of the day, Wii news, Gmail, Dell support, online English grammar, news, gmail tools, word of the day, google calendar, google map search, babblefish translator, lyrics search, youtube videos, tetris, google search, weather, wikipedia search, dictionary/thesaurus, and still have lots of room for more. The widget supply seems unending.

I investigated Pageflakes and my Yahoo in addition to Google and they look just as easy and similar. I chose Google because Dell had made it easy for me to customize and their link were already in place, besides having accounts with them already meant no new passwords to create and remember.

The lists of other tools available had lots that I had already looked at or bumped into, but have more to investigate. One tool I have used quite a bit is tiny url. This has made it easier to refer long web addresses when doing reference work for others so they can see the results for themselves.

Remember the Milk and some of the other list applications look interesting, but you'd have to have almost a constant ability to contact it to be really useful. Seems like it might be kind of labor intensive to me. I think I will stick with my handy "filing cabinet"(pants pocket) where I put the notes of what I need to remember and then pull them out at night before they hit the hamper. It's worked pretty well for as long as I've worked in libraries and I am accustomed to using it. And, you don't lose access in power outages.

Backpack looks like a great management tool for group projects and includes a calendar feature. It might have worked well for something like planning the 23 things project, or when working on selecting an automation system with the ability to share documents and input with others in your group.

Going to have to come back to these tools and investigate more possibilities to add to my homepage.