DOING MORE WITH GOOGLE
I admit it! iGoogle has taken over my life. Let me tell you why this site is my number one home page. First, we all know its power as a search engine. But, do you know how to use Google as your simple calculator? Go to Google’s cheat sheet to learn how to use the search engine for a calculator and many more functions: http://www.google.com/help/cheatsheet.html. However, beyond Google search, I use:
Google Mail (Free). This is a secondary business account in which I direct all non-critical business email such as my list serve accounts, ABA’s “Solosez”, forum discussions, e-newsletters, etc. My primary account is thereby more manageable, I can limit “out of office” responders to individuals that need to know, and my Google mail is organized by conversations. This saves me time by cutting quickly through my non-critical email. I also get Gmail on my BlackBerry.
Google Adwords (Subscription). If are not happy with your firm’s placement on search engines, consider Google Adwords (Yahoo and Microsoft offer similar programs) to increase visibility by purchasing a sponsored link. This can be a low cost way to drive traffic to your web-site. You can control the how much you spend on each click and a monthly total.
Google Alerts (Free). This free service gives you an email notification if your chosen topic is mentioned on the web (blog postings, news, etc.). This service allows you to monitor the use of your name, the firm name, a client, or a trademark term on the web and thereby keep on top of matters important to a client or your firm.
iGoogle with tabs (Free). I start with iGoogle because it gives me an integrated, customized location to control internet content important to me. My home page shows my business Gmail account, my Google Calendar, a short-cut to Wikipedia, a dictionary, a “to do” list, Google Map search, and Google Documents. I love the “tab” feature which extends my home-page in an easily configurable and usable fashion. I have three additional tabs on my iGoogle homepage. I use the tabs to control and easily review blogs of interest. Each tab has been set to receive RSS blog feeds of particular topics. For example, my first tab feeds in law office management blogs, the second tab feeds blogs on effectively using Microsoft products, and my third tab feeds Macintosh blogs for the legal community. I use this feature to keep the blogs from cluttering my email, while still retaining easy access for review.
Additional Google features will follow in my next posting.