iGoogle You Google

This tip is provided byDiane Ebersolewith the State Bar of Michigan's Practice Management Resource Center.

Seriously. Everybody uses Google, to the point that “Googling” something has entered the lexicon as modern slang for performing an online search. But, there are far more Google tools available than just the search website Google.

If you only use Google for search, you’ll be stunned, amazed and impressed (too over the top a description?) over the amount of free and robust Google Tools available to you. Not only are these tools free and generally useful, but neither is it hard to imagine how many of these tools can be made applicable to your practice.

The College@Home Blog has a tremendous post on 57 must-have Google tools.

If you have a short attention span, some of the highlights are as follows:

GMail is Google email. There are a ton of helpful features on GMail that allow you to use the program as a primary or secondary email account. GMail has tons of storage space: unless you’re scanning and attaching to emails the collections of the Library of Congress you should be good. Conversation aggregation allows you to more easily track email threads. GMail also offers a robust search feature for finding lost or mislaid emails and email topics. GMail can also be integrated with a calendaring system, complete with reminder options.

Google allows you to create your own Google homepage. You can send to this page, for your easy access, your GMail account, your calendar and your favorite blog feeds. iGoogle is a great way (and an alternative to another Google product, the Google Reader) to organize your favorite blawgs, and to read new posts on your time, and at your leisure.

Google Maps
The website for accessing driving directions. Never visited a Registry of Deeds office and need to find the quickest route from your office? All you need is a beginning and ending address to check Google Maps. It also works great on the run as an iPhone or as a Blackberry app.