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2009-04-21

Time Management Tool: iGoogle

Time Management
Image by Tazmany

Hi. My name is Brianna Preston and I have a time management problem.

I've improved with God's grace, but it will probably always be a bit of a struggle for me to say "yes" to the best, and "no" to the merely good, mediocre or even downright wasteful.

One of the biggest time suckers in the history of the world has got to be the Internet. (I can hear the hearty agreement echoing as I type.)

It's a fabulous thing isn't it? The Internet, I mean. A marvel, really. At the tips of my fingers I have access to any amount of information. Truth be told, I'm a bit of an information junkie. Information about marriage, parenting, healthy living, recipes, medical research...the list goes on forever.

I'm a reader and a researcher. The Internet fuels my habit. Plus, I love the ability to keep in touch with my family (who all live far, far away from me) via Facebook. I'm just wetting my feet in Twitter (how fun!). I can do all my banking online. I can check the weather, the news, my portfolio and the sports scores! Actually, I don't have a portfolio yet and I care nothing about sports. But the fact that I can do those things thrills me. Oh, and don't get me started on all the blogs I love to read and the message board I'm part of--a wonderful small community of Christian moms.

You get the idea. And many, many of you are with me. You have an inner Internet junkie, too. Right? It's a very, very common problem.

Well, I don't remember how I discovered it, but there is a tool that has really, really helped me to manage my online time.

iGoogle.

I know. Some of your eyes are widening. "Goodness. She was really living in the dark ages."

But I'm thinking that if it took me this long to discover it, there must be someone else out there who doesn't know.

So, my quest and mission are simply to share this with others like me. The sadly uninformed who are still missing out!

Here's a quote from the Google people themselves to explain:

iGoogle lets you create a personalized homepage that contains a Google search box at the top, and your choice of any number of gadgets below. Gadgets come in lots of different forms and provide access to activities and information from all across the web, without ever having to leave your iGoogle page. Here are some things you can do with gadgets:

  • View your latest Gmail messages
  • Read headlines from Google News and other top news sources
  • Check out weather forecasts, stock quotes, and movie showtimes
  • Store bookmarks for quick access to your favorite sites from any computer
  • Design your own gadget.
These are the tools I use on my own iGoogle page:
  • Gmail (here's the link from simple mom that convinced me to make the switch to Gmail)
  • Remember the Milk (the above link references this, too)
  • Google Reader (if you're a blog reader and you're not using a feedreader, you definitely should be)
  • TwitterGadget
  • Facebook Gadget
  • Blogger Dashboard
  • Sticky Note
  • FoxNews.com
  • The Weather Channel
  • Date and Time
There are SO MANY options to choose from! Customizing your iGoogle page will mean that you don't waste your time hopping around to a million different sites to "check" on them. You'll have all that information at a glance. Very cool.

If you haven't already, I highly recommend setting up a Google account and utilizing this tool. It totally works for me.

Are you an iGoogle user? Are there other online tools you recommend for increased productivity?

17 comments:

Corrie at "Cents"able Momma said...

I need a tool that will shut down my computer by itself when I've been on it too long :-). I love Google Reader...

Kirsty said...

Oooh I will have to check that out. I do love my gmail but I need all the help I can get. Thanks you. I have thoroughly been enjoying your Keeping the home fires burning series.

(I agree with Corrie above, that would be a super tool :)

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Yes! I am a someone who didn't know! I just started using Google Reader but had no idea about this iGoogle -- cool! Also, love your line about "saying 'yes' to the best and 'no' to the merely good"! I pray for wisdom in that area all the time!!!

Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

Thanks for this. I actually only started using google reader YESTERDAY! Guess I'm a little slow sometimes ;)

The Momma Bird said...

Never heard of iGoogle, and I could just HUG you! I am "this" close to closing my Facebook account because I've been feeling like my online habits are too time-consuming, but this might just do the trick for me! THANK YOU!!

~~tonya~~ said...

Thanks for the tips. Off to check out iGoogle. TFS

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

Well, look at that! I'm so glad that there are others who didn't know! :P

Corrie, I think that we could ALL benefit from that kind of tool!

Kirsty, I'm so glad you've been enjoying the series!

Enjoy using iGoogle, everyone!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Great post!


@Corrie...I have such a tool that shuts down my computer when I am on too long..it's called an old old laptop battery! LOL

:)

Sherry said...

Oooh, thank you for the info! I'm going to check it out! :D

Bev said...

I am definitely on the computer too long, I need to learn when to shut it off! Thanks for the tips!

Buffie said...

I'm a complete Google freak and love all things Google. Although I will admit I haven't been using iGoogle as much as I should.

And to get me off the computer when I've been on too long, I have a screaming toddler and a neurotic dog that wants walks all the time.

Kate said...

I used to use iGoogle but I don't think I was taking advantage of all it could do. I might have to try it again.

I also second the first commenter: If my computer would automatically shut off, or perhaps give me a small electrical shock after I've been on it for too long, that would probably help my time management. =)

~Kate
"Which Proverbs 14:1 Woman?"
http://proverbs14-1.blogspot.com

shopannies said...

very useful tips thanks

Bahama Shores Mama said...

i REALLY have to check Igoogle out.......thanks for the nudge

Monica@DailyDwelling said...

I use iGoogle too and I really love it!!! It is the best thing I've discovered online.

angelamills said...

I just clicked on this post from igoogle! I love it!

christinnjon said...

Awesome! I didn't know a thing about this. I think yahoo has one, too?? I'll have to check but I'll definitely be building mine up to save time!

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