Following Google’s philosophy of making the information you want readily available to you, iGoogle offers many different gadgets and themes to customize your iGoogle home page. Here’s a look at what we’ve done with ours.
From Mary Fran:
I really like a quick snapshot of the time and weather. That’s why Date & Time and Weather are at the top of my page.
To keep organized I now have my Google calendar on my iGoogle page. My husband and I share calendars, so if he forgets to tell me about a meeting he has at night, I find out about it by checking the calendar. I also miss fewer birthdays and the ToDo list that is easier for me to keep track of now that it isn’t on a piece of paper that’s easy to lose.
Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, but I rarely sit down and look at the magazines I get in the mail. To keep meals interesting at home, I have the Epicurious.com and 100 Cookbooks gadgets. There are often fast, easy, and yummy recipes to try. And if the recipes are really good, I just copy them to a folder to keep track of them.
I like knowing what’s going on in the world, and I like to get the news from different perspectives. That’s why I have the CNN, BBC, and NYTimes news gadgets on my iGoogle page. After reading the news, Inspirational Quotes and Pictures often gives me a quick pick-me-up, as does the Places to See gadget. They take me away from it all for a second. And, if I want to find out more about the place, there is a Google Search box on the Places to See gadget so I can find out more about the place and broaden my horizons.
On my class iGoogle page, I keep Phases of the Moon, the World Daylight Map, a timer, and a Dictionary Gadget. It makes it easy for me to pull them up in a second should the opportunity to use them arise.
On my main iGoogle page, I keep my critical Google gadgets: Gmail, Docs, Calendar and Reader. This allows me to quickly scan which items need my attention, unread messages, and appointments. Because I see my iGoogle page every time I open my browser, I can easily keep on track of all that’s going on in my life.
Like MaryFran, I also have several news feeds on my page plus the 4-day weather forecast. I also like to occasionally try out new gadgets on my homepage. If after a few weeks I find that I don’t use it – I switch it out for another. Currently I am checking out: How to of the Day, MyRecipes: Dinner Tonight, and Free Coupons Finder 2.1.
Don’t want to spend a lot of time searching through all the gadgets? You can add thematic tabs that are already populated with gadgets. For example, if you add a new tab and name it “Just for Fun“, the following gadgets will appear on that tab for you (keep “I’m feeling lucky” checked): Joke of the Day, Sudoku, Hangman, Quote of the Day and Horoscope. Consider adding tabs named Finance, News or Sports and see which gadgets show up.
Another tip: Did you know you can share iGoogle tabs you create with your friends? Click on the down arrow on the tab name and choose “share”. You can also edit your tabs or restore your iGoogle page to a preview version.
Have fun with your customizing your iGoogle page and don’t forget to check out the Artistic themes and customizable themes for your iGoogle page. The themes color your iGoogle page with holiday images, artwork and color schemes. Some even change throughout the day, depending on the time.
Tech Tip Tuesday is written and published weekly by MaryFran Lynch and Colette Cassinelli. The archive of all tips are located at: http://sites.google.com/site/techtipstuesday/