Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Google Front Page: Don't Forget to Customize

When I discovered that Google added another feature to the custom Google front pages I realized that even with all these custom settings and tools still so many people are not using Google's front page to its full potential.

How To Personalize Google

All you need is a google account (You have one if you use Gmail) and an internet connection. Then instead of going to http://www.google.com go to http://www.google.com/ig .

If you haven't already log'd into Gmail or any other Google related site you can by clicking the login link at the top right hand corner. After entering your password you'll be brought back to the personal Google Front Page and a few selected gadgets will be displayed below the Google Search field.

Pick Your Gadgets

Google has made it easy to pick the simple gadgets that you want on your front page. If you don't like what they've selected, simply click the close 'x' and the gadget will be removed from your site.

To the top right there will be an Add Stuff link that will display a number of interesting, entertaining, and productive Gadgets that you can add to your Google Front Page. You'll also links around on other people's websites about how to add their custom Gadgets to your website to bring you the Personal information you want.

Newest Features

New features to the Google Personal Front Page include a tab option, where you can add a number of different tabs that you can label and add a number of other gadgets too. Google will also offer to help you populate a new tab based on a topic of your choosing.

Today, Google also added Themes to their front page. A new link will appear on the right side of the page next to the Add Stuff link and will allow you to pick from 1 of 7 themes. These themes include interesting features and will update with the time of day for your location. Just another way to give Google Search a Personal Touch.

Great Gadgets

I've added and removed a number of gadgets from my front page. Overall I like to keep things simple but four gadgets I have kept are:

1. Gmail - I love seeing a brief snapshot of my inbox and can quickly decide if its something I need to look at or it can wait until I have more free time
2. Weather - I like to see what the overall weather will be like for the next few days. I still go to Weather.com for when I'm looking for more information
3. Google Talk - I mentioned this new feature previously. I love being able to sent a quick note to any of my contacts from any web browser, and being able to see who is available right when I load up my webpage.
4. Rememberthemilk.com To Do List - this is a great tool, that lets me manage the number of things I need to do and stay on top of everything right from my front page.

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