Time Saving Tips from Google

Everyone is inundated by information. We want to keep track of things and have a lot of different websites and links to follow. I use these Google tools to help organize information and have easy access through one click.

Everyone is inundated by information.  We want to keep track of things and have a lot of different websites and links to follow.   I use these tools to help organize information and have easy access through one click.  There are many great tools from Google that can make your computer life easier to manage.  It may take you a little time to get these setup but it will save you lots of time in the future.

To get started with any of these you need a google account. If you don’t have one yet go to http://www.google.com and register – or login if you already have an account.  Then click on MORE to see the list of different applications and tools that are available.

Google Home Page “iGoogle”

I use Google as my home page and have set it up to display news, links, and updates from other websites.   To add this you select “iGoogle”.   Then select a theme, and decide on what main categories you want.  If you set this in your browser to be your home page – you can easily get to this at any time by clicking on the HOME icon in your browser.   Add world time, calendar, your bookmark links, and customize it to show the latest RSS updates from your favorite blogs.  The page is very customizable and you can drag and move blocs into different locations on the page.

Google Tool Bar

The tool bar you will see along the top of your browser window.  You can select with check boxes different buttons that you want to appear on the google toolbar.  Add maps, search, google docs, google analytics and a selection of other google tools with one click access.  One thing that saves me a lot of time on the Google Toolbar  is the AUTO FILL – which fills out the basic contact information that you use when you fill out a form online.  One click saves that typing in your name and address on different forms. You are always able to edit the information after you add it to a form.

Google Desktop

This tool alone has saved me hours and hours of time.  Basically you are getting your own mini search engine that indexes the files on your own computer.  When you first install Google Desktop you select the types of files you want to index – your documents, email and specific folders.  Then when you want to find something you just click the CTRL key 2 times and a little search window comes up – you type in a few words and in just a couple of seconds it shows you the files or emails that has those words.  You don’t need to remember exactly where you put things and even when you are an organized person with organized folders and sub folders you don’t need to navigate to get to the location.

Internet Strategies and Tips:   Signup for our Email Newsletter

Google Maps

If you are anything like me you don’t leave the office without mapping your route.  I like Google Maps – it has an easy to use “Destination” link that you put your starting address – and you can add multiple locations so you can plan a long trip or multiple stops.

In addition to this you can zoom in and look at different views that give you an idea of the terrain – and on their street level view you can even see the store fronts and photos of the area.


Click on the link that says “Put your business on google maps”  and you can take advantage of this free facility to list your business or organization.  This is a great opportunity to build your profile on the Internet.

You can even add COUPONS that a person can print out or link to.

Google Desktop – find your own files

Peaceful FernsHave you ever lost a file on your own computer? Or have you even forgotten that you wrote something in the past that would be useful for a current project?   Try Google Desktop.  It’s an amazing tool that you use to “google” your own computer. 

Go to Google and download the latest version of Google Desktop. It will take just a few minutes to download it to your computer and run the install process. Then you will have to reboot your computer.   After that, the Google Desktop will take several hours to index all the files on your computer. It will create an index of the words in your Word documents, Emails, Excel sheets, Powerpoint Presentations, PDF files, HTML pages and other data files.  This indexing process will go on whenever your computer is idle. After the initial index setup you won’t notice that this is happening.

The latest Google Desktop has several options – you can choose to have a sidebar with various “widgets” to display things like the weather, special links, photos, maps, news and a wide variety of other things to select from. You can choose to have a small deskbar that lets you search your computer from the taskbar at the bottom of your browser, or have a larger floating deskbar.   There are also short cuts such as hitting CTRL key 2 times to bring up a quick text search box which is handy when you are using other applications.  A small search box also will appear on your OUTLOOK that searched your emails much faster than the Outlook search function.

 I have found Google Desktop to be a real time saver.  I have used it on both IE 6 and IE 7 on a PC notebook.