A googol of Google goodness
Maybe it’s because I am in love, but I have no problem with Google being the overlords of the internet. They are the first and last stop on the way to trivial enlightenment, and quite frankly, I long for GoogleLife. Imagine how effortless a trip down the dank library shelves would be if Google could search and find the relevant text for you. Think of how pleasant your life would become if all your daily work and going-ons were managed with the ease and simplicity Google provides. Well, now you can. Google offer so much more than maps and searches, and its high time you improved your (computing) life.
First off all, get rid of that university email account. This isn’t a suggestion, it’s an order. Get rid of it! It’s cumbersome, outdated and about as easy to use as it is sexy. GoogleMail is what the cool kids use. Responses to emails become daisy-chained to the original message, so an email discussion can be read without having to open multiple messages that could be days apart in a cluttered inbox. Labelling your mail transforms an endless list into tasty bite-sized pieces and searching for a long-lost message takes no time at all – because it’s Google. Useful apps such as the ‘attachment reminder’ that scans text for phrases such as ”here’s the attached file” and reminds you to actually attach the thing before hitting Send. You can redirect your university email to GoogleMail where you can reply to the messages using the forwarding address, so you can separate work from play from penis-lengthening inquiries (although the robust filter in place takes care of such pests, relevant or otherwise).
Now you’ve checked your mail, it’s time for work. GoogleDocs allows you to create simplified word, spreadsheet, presentation and form documents online using any computer with internet access. Perfect for ensuring that your work is with you at all times, you can now stop the email attachment ping pong when moving between computers. Apart from the weak spelling checker and lack of specialised functions, it will comfortably handle most tasks. Just don’t write your entire dissertation in it. The form maker on GoogleDocs should be of interest to the poll-making and make-me-take-polls students out there. Whether it’s multiple choice or text responses, it only takes a few clicks to set Forms into action. Summary results and graphs are produced automatically, a bonus for the healthy non-statistician with a deadline.
All GoogleDocs documents can be saved online and made public, allowing anyone to share and collaborate sparing you from emailing your draft to ten people which wouldn’t actually be that big a deal in GoogleMail anyway.
Carrying on the work vibe, GoogleScholar is a more efficient way of finding literary papers than anything the traditional Google search may throw up. Most peer-reviewed publications are now listed and, if nothing else, it will provide a good launchpad into more fruitful and suitable sources.
With GoogleCalendar (see where this is going?) the hectic life of a student can be tamed and organised. It’s quick and easy to plan out your day, schedule meetings and such, with notifications coming in the form of email and popup reminders as well as a daily digest email. Simply type “Dinner with Suave Tech Guy tomorrow 8pm” and it zips straight into your calendar. Rounding up the show is iGoogle, the personalised homepage that houses all of the goodies discussed so far.
After adding the GoogleMail and GoogleCalendar gadgets, try adding in some news feeds straight from your friendly Student website and you will have succesfully completed the Google Brainwashing Programme (TM).
And if you’re still clueless as to where you can find all these goodies: just Google it.