I have been trying out some new features with Google. I used to use the iGoogle home page because you had the ability to see all your favorite sites all in one place. I don't remember why I stopped using it. Probably because I didn't have anything useful on my home page. Today, however, I decided to go back to it. And one of the things I found that I could add to my home page is Blogger. And when you add it, it places a small box on your home page where you can add a post. It's really very convenient and will probably make it easier for me to update this blog. That may not seem like a GOOD thing to you, but it is to ME!
What motivated me to utilize iGoogle as my home page again was the Google Calendar. I'm forgetful. I don't remember things if I don't put it in my phone, or write it down. And if I write it down, I have an 80% chance of losing the paper I wrote it down on! With school approaching, and physical therapy and dentist appointments, there is a lot to try to remember. When I had my Treo 700wx, the calendar feature was pretty good but it always annoyed me to enter things in to my phone and then set reminders. When I got my Samsung Instinct, the calendar there was much worse than that on the Treo 700wx. So, when a friend was telling us a couple weeks ago about the Google Calendar, I started contemplating whether or not I wanted to take the time to check it out.
Let's say (HYOPTHETICALLY OF COURSE!) that you are by nature a forgetful person. You are by nature not good with dates and times. Let's say you have children in school and we'll also say (HYPOTHETICALLY) that these children fortunately have a key (FINALLY) and are able to let themselves into their own house when they get home from school, if hypothetically necessary. It isn't an ideal situation, especially when your oldest hypothetical child is only 8 years old. However, in case of emergencies, it's a must. Being the scatter-brained, not-100%-responsible hypothetical parent, you can't keep track of when the kids have half days and when they don't. And let's face it, these hypothetical kids have hypothetical half days more than they have full days of school! So, prior to using an actual calendar, you accidentally forget (or hypothetically you have NO CLUE) that there is a half day of school. And your child has to hypothetically call you at work and tell you that he (or SHE) is home from school and forgot to tell you there was a half day, at which point you have to get in the car and make the 30 minute drive home praying that nothing bad happens to them during that time. See how a calendar would come in handy? I DO!
And if I don't SEE it in front of me, chances are I am not going to remember it! A reminder on my phone is too easy to dismiss if I am in the middle of something when the reminder goes off. iGoogle allows you to add different boxes to customize your homepage. And adding Google Calendar is one of the options. So now, when I open up Google Chrome in the morning (which happens every morning without FAIL), I will SEE right in front of me what is on the calendar for that day. In addition, because of the ability to add more than one calendar, I can see what each member of my family has going on that day. Everyone gets their own calendar, with their own entries, and you can see right away if something overlaps, or if there is a conflict. If you use different social networking sites, most of them you can add to your iGoogle home page. So, I've got Twitter (though I RARELY use this), Facebook, Gmail, and Blogger all on my home page. And I can do anything I normally do right from my iGoogle home page. Want to update my Twitter status or 'tweet'? Done on the home page. Want to update my Facebook status without being drawn into all the crazy addicting Facebook apps during work? Done on the home page. Want to use my 15 minute break to post a blog in the middle of the day? Again, done on the home page. Although, with Blogger, I would suggest saving the draft before you leave the page or you will wind up annoyed because your post has disappeared and you didn't save it!!
This is what my iGoogle home page looks like. I put the calendar in the top left so I see it first thing.
Here is what my calendar for this week looks like (see below). The colors on the left hand side are my individual calendars. And the tasks or dates on the calendar are color coded to match the person tied to that particular 'event'. I've got PT, then Kaleb and I both have dentist appointments, and then Kris and I (HOPEFULLY) are playing Bridge Thursday night. I have even added the St. Louis Regional Bridge Tournament (taking place next week) on my calendar, though I am unlikely to forget about that! Now if only I could magically have a FREE babysitter whenever necessary for any event on my calendar that warranted a babysitter (like the Bridge Tournament)!