Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Save Web Content For Good Inside Your Personal Google Notebook

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Saving content from the web, clipping snippets of text or full images that you may re-use to inspire the design your next campaign or to prepare the research essay you are working on is increasingly becoming a popular and much needed activity for any communication professional working online.

The ability to easily archive Web clips and bookmarks on the fly is one of the most important assets for online researchers, web publishers and many communication professionals who heavily utilize the Internet to find, collect and organize in their own way, valuable information they find online or even on their own desktop.


Twenty days ago, Google officially announced Google Notebook at Google Press Day, May 10, 2006 and went live on May 16, 2006.

Here's what Google had to say about their new product release:

"Google Notebook makes web research of all kinds-from planning a vacation to researching a school paper to buying a car-easier and more efficient by enabling you to clip and gather information even while you're browsing the web. And since Google Notebook lives in your browser, you won't be left with a scattered collection of notes, Word documents, and browser bookmarks to sort through; all your web findings will be gathering into one organized, easy accessible location that you can access from any computer."
(Source: Google Notebook Overview)

Google Notebook shows many similarities to Jeteye,, Backpack and with many of the other web clipping and research support tools that have been launched in the last two years. What these services allow you to do is the ability to archive links, text and images you may find while working on the Internet. All of this information is catalogued into your very own virtual Google Notebook.

Like with many of these other popular services, you can also organize your saved items into different subheadings so that they may be easily referenced. You may also save clippings of your favorite images and store them for future use. To get a clear picture of their similarities, take a look at this comparison chart.

Using Google Notebook, you can access your notes and web clips from any computer in the world simply by logging into your Google account. Google Notebook allows you to save, revisit, and organize all of the important content that you find on the web as well as information that you may collect from your personal desktop.

Best of all, Google has made this tool easy to use for anyone even with only very basic computer skills.

How to Get Started:

Want to try Google Notebook out for yourself? You will need a Google account and either Firefox 1.5+ or Internet Explorer 6.

To download the extension, go to Google Notebook's main site. Once you have downloaded the extension, Google Notebook places an icon in the lower right-hand corner of the browser. Click on this icon any time you want to open up your mini Google Notebook.



You can instantly add snippets of content to your Google Notebook by right-clicking on the desired content and selecting "Note this" from the menu. Your information is instantly transferred to your virtual notebook. Once you have created an item and added it to your notebook, you can easily edit your notes at any time.

Adding notes, images, and other resources to your notepad is simply a matter of copying and pasting.

To add notes from your desktop, simply click on "Add note" at the top of the interface. From there you can copy and paste content into the text box that appears.


Much like events in Google Calendar, Notebooks can be made public or private. You can search your own notebooks as well as public notebooks at the Google Notebook Search.

According to the FAQ, it takes two days for your notebooks to get indexed, allowing other people to find your notebook when they are searching the Google Notebook database.

Organizing Your Content:

Using Google Notebook, you will have the ability to create as many notebooks as you like, giving each one a descriptive name. You can also move items from one notebook to another simply by dragging them.

For those who like to stay organized, Google Notebook enables you to add subject headings within your notebook. For example, if you have a notebook labeled "Summer Vacation", you could have the following sub-headings: airline tickets, popular restaurants, hot tourist spots, and hotel information to further subdivide and keep tightly categorized all of the info you will find.


Full-Page Mode:

You can also view your notebook in full-page mode, which gives you a number of additional options. In full-page mode there are a number of important new features that suddenly become available to you. These are:

1) print your notebook for future reference

2) email your notebook to friends and family

3) search the contents of all your notebooks as well as all any "public" notebooks shared by other users.


Possible Uses for Google Notebook:

Google Notebook can be used for a great number of research activities. Here are a few examples to get you going:

Planning a trip: Are you looking to plan an exotic vacation? You can use Google Notebook to organize all of your information. Take note of airlines, hotels, dining options, and hot spots to visit.

Online Shopping: Create your very own wish list and compare prices as you shop online.

Online Research: I have used Google Notebook to research this very article, taking snippets of important information from a number of web sites. You could use Google Notebook to write notes for a blog post, article, or paper.

Want to know what others are doing with Google Notebook? Head on over to Google Notebook Search.


Google Notebook Future:

What plans does Google Notebook have for the future?

Google has created a discussion group to allow users to post comments and suggestions for Google Notebook. Many users have already begun to make suggestions for additional features.

Some of their suggestions posted in the discussion group include the addition of labels, the ability to add icons to each link, tagging, footnotes, and integration with other Google services.

Many people are also wondering if this could this be the next social bookmarking service.

It will certainly be interesting to see which direction Google Notebook takes. So far, it has many similarities to Web 2.0 and a number of other social bookmarking services.

Will we some day be able to synchronize all of our Google services with PDA's, cellphones and other mobile devices? Only time will tell.

To try Google Notebook, visit their official home page. While you are there you can read an overview of Google Notebook as well as frequently asked questions.

Critical Comments And Related Reviews for Google Notebook:

Not everyone is positive about Google's new tool. Michael Arrington of TechCrunch has noted the lack of tagging. He writes:

"it is natural to be able to tag a piece of content to make searching easier in the future - it is unclear why Google does not support this proven model for describing bookmarks."

Michael believes that Google Notebook will have some level of success simply because it is associated with Google, but that it does not bring any significant value to the end-user.

Steve Rubel of MicroPersuasion is disappointed in the fact that Google Notebook requires a browser extension when it could have been integrated into the Google toolbar. Interesting thought indeed.

To develop your own opinion on Google Notebook, you can install Google Notebook on your own computer and start experimenting. The user interface is very easy to learn.

See also:

A Closer Look at Google Notebook - Chris Sherman - May 17, 2006

Google Notebook - who should be worried? - Marc Orchant
Google Notebook is Live - Wendy Boswell

Google Notebook Goes Live - David Utter - May 16, 2006
Google Notebook Launches: Ho-Hum - Michael Arrington - May 16, 2006

Google Notebook FAQ

A Notebook by Rye Brye - Rye Brye

Robin Good and Kim Roach - [ Read more ]
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posted by on Tuesday, May 30 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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