I realize this is hideously mainstream of me, but… wow, I love Google. I’m not talking about the search engine (though I love that too). Lately I’ve become so dependent on a few of their web applications, I am not sure how I got by without them all this time.
1. Google Reader: I have talked about this before, but seriously, Google Reader is solely responsible for my ability to keep up with what the rest of you are talking about every day. In the beginning, I actually used to just click things one by one from my blogroll, and when that eventually proved to be too cumbersome, I switched to using Safari to collect RSS feeds. But Google Reader… oh, Google Reader… it allows me to keep track of exactly what I’ve read and what is new from any of the three computers I use regularly, eliminating the need to add feeds to three different browsers or to waste time with things I’ve already seen. I’m also able to organize my subscribed feeds into different categories, such as “manga/comics” and “friends” to facilitate more focused reading. Google Reader, I love you.
2. Google Docs: It’s gotten to the point where I write basically everything in Google Docs, because it allows me to (again) access whatever I’m working on from multiple locations. It auto-saves every few minutes, which is awesome, and also allows me to share documents with others, for instance if I want someone to look something over for me, or if I want to collaborate on a document with another person (or multiple people). Yes, I still save copies of really important items to my hard drive (actually to more than one), but the fact that I no longer have to remember to carry a USB key with me everywhere I go is seriously awesome.
3. Google Calendar: This is a new addition for me, but boy has it become quickly indispensable! I use Google Calendar to keep track of important manga release dates, as well as all of my (largely self-imposed) review deadlines, for Manga Recon, Comics Should Be Good, and even here! I’m a person who works best if I have a firm deadline, so I tend to set them and stick to them almost 100% of the time. Also, I’m a fast reader but a very slow writer, so laying out my deadlines in a visual form helps me better understand and manage my time. Google Calendar lets me have a different color-coded calendar for each of these categories, which I can view all at once to see everything that I have coming up at a glance. Again, I can access this from any computer, and share each calendar with other users as desired.
Thus concludes my ode to Google applications. The day Google starts charging money for these things is the day I become a weeping puddle of goo. Let’s hope that day does not arrive soon.
Grace saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm
I’m a big fan of Google Reader.
I used to use Google Docs (mostly when it was called Writely, before it got bought up by Google) for RPing a lot, but now that I’m not RPing anymore, I never use it. I can definitely see the handiness if you move between a lot of computers, but since I’m always at the same one, it’s not really useful for me.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm
Yeah, I write on my home desktop computer, my laptop, and sometimes my work computer (at lunch or on an afternoon break), so it is incredibly useful to me!
badzphoto saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 4:52 pm
oh, google reader seems like a neat app. Thanks for sharing.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm
It is truly the most awesome thing EVER and has saved my life. :D
Andrea saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 6:13 pm
Google reader is my frieeeend. It especially helps with those stupid sites I love for funnies (like all the icanhascheezburger family) that you can’t predict when they’ll have new content. So now the reader tells me and I laugh and am happy tuna.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 6:15 pm
Heeeeeee indeed! And most of the sites I read are unpredictable in terms of new content, so it is very very useful! :)
Grace saysFebruary 25, 2009 at 7:38 pm
Yeah, I actually use it more for webcomics and macro blogs than actual text blogs.
firstname.lastname@example.org saysFebruary 26, 2009 at 5:50 am
Help. Next walk and talk I must have you explain how to use google reader. Seems like something I could like.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 26, 2009 at 7:03 pm
I will indeed! :)
email@example.com saysFebruary 26, 2009 at 7:19 pm
I figured a little of it out on my own this morning, but I have lots of questions.
StephA saysFebruary 26, 2009 at 11:05 am
Yes, Google Reader rocks! And I love being able to have folders for each kind of content (friends, food, decor, comics, etc.)
I haven’t explored Google Calendar much but I like having it there on the sidebar of my Gmail.
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 26, 2009 at 7:05 pm
I just started recently with Google Calendar, and it has quickly become a favorite! Of course, it’s particularly useful because I have so many deadlines, but the fact that it’s a web application pushed it ahead of iCal (my previous choice) for me easily.
Jennifer saysFebruary 26, 2009 at 11:07 am
I love Google Scholar, too~ great for papers. : )
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 26, 2009 at 7:05 pm
Oh yeah, I bet it is! I’ll have to check it out! Not that I write any papers anymore at my age. :)
Ysabet saysFebruary 26, 2009 at 8:25 pm
I really need to start using Reader. I’ve been keeping track of my feeds with Bloglines for a year or so, but it can be pretty flaky, and people keep singing Reader’s praises.
Calendar is extremely handy, too. ^^
Melinda Beasi saysFebruary 26, 2009 at 8:59 pm
I’ve never used Bloglines, so I can’t compare at all, but I definitely like Google Reader!