Saturday, February 16, 2008

igoogle widgets and tips

It always amazes me how people who enjoy something figure out ways of making that thing better. If you do a search of firefox extensions you will get overwhelming (and awesome) results. I, myself do not use firefox for this very reason! It just brings up my ongoing internal conflict between the "collecter" and the "clutter buster". I see awesome apps that I have to have, only to install them and be frustrated and overwhelmed by too many things that get in my way. Perhaps some day I will take the time to test many (such as the webmaster toolbars) and find what is really practical for me, and not to distracting when I'm trying to get work done, but for now, I just can't deal with all that.

One thing I do think actually saves me time and sanity is having my igoogle home page. I am very structured, and it's almost become my to-do list. (My to-do list is on there too!) The wonderful things is that so many helpful widgets, and even web pages work with it. I keep my Joes Goals, One Year Bible, blogs and news headlines, and of course my gmail in order so I can bam, bam, bam, get it done! I also keep the basic callendar, weather, and to-do list to have those reminders in easy view.

One feature I've just begun to use is the tabs. While this is somewhat silly because Explorer will automatically open tabs for however many "homepages" you want, you may not use those tabs every time, which makes them cumbersome. With the tabs in your igoogle, you can import even whold dynamic pages via this widget. So say you wanted your own blog in another tab, just enter your blog address in the handy box he provides, give it permission, and voila!

Another way to customize your igoogle to make it your own is to use a few of these customizable widgets. These are really fun because they encourage you to be creative and allow you to design your own module that probably no one else has thought of! For example I could create one called "What's for Dinner" for my HH to view on his igoogle page at work. They are nice because they are not very complicatedare and easy to update.

Another really useful thing if you use RSS feeds and the Google Feed Reader is to install the widget that grabs from your Google Feeds and shrinks them into your igoogle page. I like this approach because it's a quick overview to all my feeds and not another page to visit. You could also set up your reads in another tab of your igoogle page, if you prefer.

While these are just a few of my personal favorite widgets for igoogle, there are thousands out there for you to choose from, most of which are made by individuals looking to add something useful to the igoogle community. Just don't add too many! The point is to get organized and save yourself some time and hastle!

Here's a few to get you started
Web Worker