Saturday, March 29, 2008

Personalized Google Home

My number one productivity tool is the personalized Google homepage - a personal dashboard with a variety of gadgets to meet your needs. And here is the best part: It is always right in front of you! Why? Because you use Google to search a lot. Every time you do a search, you look at the dashboard. You can't avoid it, and that makes it very valuable. This is what I do with it:

1) To-Do List - An obvious choice. I want my tasks to be always visible so I can get them done.
2) Weather - Why not? We all love a good weather report.
3) Top Stories(News) - Let's not let the world go by us without knowing it.
4) Wikipedia - Who doesn't need that?
5) How to of the day - Learn!
6) Word of the Day - Won't hurt to increase my vocabulary.
7) Google Reader - An RSS feed reader. Very handy and highly configurable.

I think it is important not to have too many items to make it feel crowded. You want it to be useful so don't stick everything on there. Maybe 7 is a good number, maybe less. The arrangements of these gadgets are also important. For example, I always put my To-Do list on the top left, because my eyes tend to look there first. I also categorize my items in three columns. When I am busy, I only check the most important column, and leave the others alone. Do what works for you!

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