Saturday, February 9, 2008

Thing 13: Online Productivity Tools

I was familiar with some of these productivity tools but I didn't know that they were "productivity tools". I have been using iWon as my homepage for years. I have switched now to iGoogle. It let me add so much more content. One thing I really like is that I can check my Gmail right from my home page. Before I had it in a link (as iWon did let me have a list of links). After adding the links gadget, I transferred over my old links to iGoogle. One thing I like is that I can categorize links. One thing I don't like is that I can't have the links open in a new window.

I customized iGoogle by adding all kinds of fun things. I added Quotes of the Day, Google Calendar, WeatherBug weather, a to-do list, AskAWord, MapQuest Driving Directions, sports links for my favorite sports, and many more things.

The one thing I had at iWon and couldn't find at iGoogle was a listing of my TV schedule. I noted that My Yahoo had that as an option.

While I am planning to use this tool at home, I can see that it would be possible to design a home page for use in a library. Our school used to have an internal Start page with common links. It gave all computers a common look when Internet Explorer was opened but went away with our new website program. However, designing and installing one on even the 100+ computers in my two media centers is too daunting a task to take up now.

As a part of our switch to a new website, I was introduced to CutePDF and I have been telling everyone I know about it. It is very useful in adding content (that cannot be changed and is viewable by most people) to our web pages.

I was pleased to find out about Zamzar. I had just recently learned about Media Convert. We frequently have students who have worked on something at home and can't open it at school. Now I will have two things to try with those kids. While I haven't yet needed to try either, I did find that Zamzar has the cleaner look of the two.

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