Saturday, April 12, 2008

Google Notebooks

I have gotten very interested in many of the tools Google offers to users for free. For one thing, they often include mobile versions for wireless phones and other mobile devices. I recently purchased a Palm Treo 755p smart phone, which has one of the best miniature querty keyboards I have seen and features a convenient user interface. It’s great for accessing web pages, believe it or not, especially ones that offer a mobile style sheet.

Google’s Notebook tool is a terrific way to make quick notes on anything you want to keep track of. Notes can be organized into individual notebooks you create, and within notebooks into individual sections. Convenient search options are also provided. The user interface is intuitive and easy to learn. What’s more, the tool includes a nifty clip feature enabling you to clip items of interest from web pages and insert them automatically into notebooks.

The mobile version is limited to viewing notebooks and adding notes (you can’t create notebooks in the mobile view, for instance.) But just being able to add notes from your phone is a terrific feature. At least, it is if you always carry your phone. It’s easy to use while reading, no matter where you happen to be.

I’ve been trying to figure out a convenient way to search my notes from the phone (the mobile version of notebook doesn’t include the search features either). I finally realized if I published a notebook (another feature of the tool) and made it available as a web page, I could view the page on my phone’s browser and use the browser’s search text feature to locate notes. I decided to add a few of the notebooks I have published as links on my blog just for fun. My notes aren’t great reading, by any means, but they do provide an audit trail for my eclectic rambling through topics that interest me.

If you happen to be an inverterate note-taker, you owe it to yourself to check out Google’s cool (and free!) notebook tool.

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