Friday, May 02, 2008

Google Documents

OK, I have to love on Google just a little bit. Even though gmail has been loading very slowly lately and taking its time to send emails. Even though Google Talk has been randomly turning off and on the last couple week. Even though Google Calendar doesn't sync updated events from Outlook, but everything else giving me a false sense of security. Even though Google Desktop is such a memory hog I decided to take it off my computer.

Is this going anywhere? Eventually.

Despite some problems which I see as serious flaws, Google does do most thing right, and some things flat out excite me. I think my two favorite (not what I use the most though, interestingly) are Google Notebook and Google Reader. I really like the way they help me aggregate everything I see on the web. It's just so cool to find something neat and save it to Google Notebook. Often times I end up using Google Notebook for making lists which I then share with others, such as birthday wish lists. It's dynamic and therefore I love it. I also like Google Reader because it brings the content I care about to me. My latest habit has been to subscribe to site's blogs where I either use or might potentially use their products. It's so much fun to read about a new update to Twitter and then go try it out instead of waiting until I stumble upon it.

Actually, I've yet to hit my point. Sorry for the delay.

Lately I have been more and more impressed with Google Documents. Every time they come out with something new I get VERY excited. Probably too excited... Here's an example: they came out with offline access and I couldn't wait to try it out and yes, it is that cool. What's also cool is that Google reads my mind. Actually they do because I recently filled out a survey for them and they added 2 of my 3 requests plus a whole bunch of others I didn't even know I needed. My first gripe was that printing something off looked like garbage. I said I didn't like the fact that there was a URL at the bottom of each page. Well, now you can print it off as a PDF, which gets rid of the URL. Very nice. I also said I wanted more control over the format of the page. I made it clear that in Word I could move text around, add bars of color and insert pictures where ever I wanted. Google went ahead and added that feature too (though it's not as easy as Word, but that's OK). Now all they have to do is figure out how to collapse the top part of the browser so I can see more of my work. Currently I have a Code Monkey plug-in in Firefox doing it for me so I guess I can wait a little longer.

Google has added a whole bunch of other features which I'm excited to check out - embedded video into presentations is one. I must be a total office geek because these features are really exciting to me. It's been a long time since I opened up Microsoft Office and it'd be nice if it stays that way.

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