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Knee Jerk Reactions to Google’s Notebook

Wyatt • • General and Technology

Well, if you haven’t heard it from here or dugg it from here, Google has released a new application called ‘Google Notebook.’ Being the Google Fan Boy I am, I headed on over and installed it (you can find it here. These are my initial reactions to my experience.

The Notebook
First off, I like the clean interface at http://www.google.com/notebook. Then again, I’m an engineer and I appreciate simplicity over pretty icons. Adding a new note is absolute cake from the main site or from the extension/plug-in. It works pretty much just like they said. Highlight, click, you’re done. Something cool I found was that not only could I right click and image and have it posted to Google Notepad, but I could also drag and drop images off the page into the little Notebook editing box in my browser. From the backend, everything seems to be a link (which is easily editable and VERIFIABLE!!! with the hover over menu) so that means you aren’t taking up in space storing pictures or something like that. This brings up and interesting point, there’s nothing that mentions how much space you get. A lot of people are calling for the ability to store pdf, sounds, etc in their notebook. I don’t know if this will come about or not due to the possible legal issues it would cause, but it might be kind of nifty. Back to the interface. The extension doesn’t allow you to move things around like the web interface; however, when you get to the web interface, moving things around is simple drag and drop. It’s also the same way for moving things from one notebook to another. Yep, you can have as many (probably) notebooks as you want just like the calendars in Google Calendar. I’ve not found anything that allows you to add a friend’s notebook yet, but that might be down the road a little further.

Unfortunately, full functionality of the search engine won’t be enable for a few days; however, you can still search though your own notebooks to find items. As with all Google’s searching, it’s fast and accurate; however, there is one minor draw back. When you search for something, the links it provides take you to the notebook, not the item itself. Users of del.icio.us would find this just as annoying as I do as well as missing their tag information. While you can still “tag” something in Google Notebook (words with spaces in the note), it’s really focused more on allowing you to use the search capabilities more than anything. Just seemed a little odd due to Google doing such and excellent job with their labels (a.k.a., tags) in Gmail.

Overall, I really like Google Notebook; however, as an engineer, I live by the motto “If it ain’t broke, it needs more features!” So here’s my short wish list, though I’m sure it will probably grow the more I play with it.

Have you played with Google Notebook? If so, let me know what you thought of it and if you think there’s anything cool to add to it. And as per usual, the forums are always a good place to start if you’re having issues.

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