I’ve started to work with the new Google Notebook and must say that I’m quite impressed. I’ve played around with the Firefox extension notebook and haven’t made much use of it. It only gives me one more place on my computer to make a note, and I’ve got quite a few of those already. But Google Notebook is different.
For one thing it’s Web 2.0, which means it’s available to to me wherever I have a browser and an internet connection and is, of course, cross-platform too. For another, it offers a bunch of features that seem quite handy. You can take a note by highlighting a portion of text (or an image) in a web page and then clicking on the “open notebook” button; Google Notebook (hereafter GN!) opens a small window containing your selected text and a hotlink to the page you took it from. Or you can take a note by opening GN and adding a note by entering text directly.
You can: save or delete a note; edit a note (by double clicking in the note area) with a basic set of tools; create more notebooks; keep the notebook small or make it full-page size; add section headings; print a notebook; and make the notebook public (or keep it private). I’m going to make this notebook public so you can see how that works: the URL I’ve been given for it is too long to spell out here but this will get you there.
This last feature — the ability to share a notebook — could make this tool very valuable. To be sure, it’s only a simple on-off toggle, so anyone could get access to a public notebook, but I’d imagine that unless you’re putting up sensitive data chances are slim that anyone other than those you invite to look (by sending an email that GN makes available) will find it, and you won’t care.
There’s more, but this might be enough to tempt you to try it. You’ll need a Google account, of course, and to be logged in. You’ll have to install a simple extension, but after that it’s easy.