all hail Google

I know I’m only supposed to post on Friday, but I am so frustrated trying to work between two systems–Mac and Windows–that don’t play nice, I just have to offer a working alternative.

If you don’t have a Google account for mail and calendar and documents and spreadsheets and chat and blogs, I insist that you get one.

  • Google mail is a better choice for an alternative mail (maybe you have Hotmail for that). First, you don’t have to deal with Microsoft’s paranoia. Second, you can send mail from Gmail that appears to come from any of other email account, even your institutional email. You can import your address book into Gmail, too.
  • A Google calendar is easy to use and can be shared with anyone you choose. I can send meeting invitations from my Mac and recipients on Windows can receive and accept them. And since it’s not dependent on software, you can access the calendar anywhere on the web.
  • You simply must try Google documents and spreadsheets, not just for creating documents, but especially for collaboration. Google keeps track of shared revisions so your entire team can see a draft at any stage of work. Many schools promote Google Docs and Spreadsheets as an alternative to Wikis.
  • Google Talk is a good alternative to any chat application you might be using. You can see it on your Gmail page, embed it on your personal site, as I have, or open the gadget on your desktop.
  • Google now owns Blogger, so with one login, you can be connected to your blogs, your chat, your shared documents, your calendars, and your email.

I guess that soon Google will own the Web; well, maybe not, and maybe we won’t like it when they do, but they certainly are creating a terrifically useful set of apps that make working and playing convenient and fun.

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Categories: technology

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