Friday, May 15, 2009

Two Tech Tools for Technophobes

With the thousands of projects, home renovations, ideas for blog posts, inspiration tear-sheets, recipes, and crafts I have going at any one time in my big ole head (and little apartment), most of the time I end up feeling... let's just say, less than organized. To keep from having big sloppy piles of paper everywhere (and don't get me wrong, I still have big sloppy piles of paper in some places), I try to keep almost everything on my computer. And to keep from having a big jumbled mess of files on my computer, I use a few different tools. Two of the best are Google Notebook and Dropbox. I've found that the problem with writing about technology and the Internet is that, if you know more than I do about computers, I probably sound like a rube trying to describe these services, and if you know less than I do (Hi, Mom and Dad!), it still might sound complicated. Either way, one of us ends up embarrassing ourselves. But both of these technological innovations have improved my life immeasurably, so I have decided to brave my technophobia and share them with you.

Google Notebook is basically a scrapbook on your computer. Google puts an icon in the bottom of your browser window (see the notebook icon, pointed out by my red arrow?) and you can just click it when you come across something you want to save. Here, I am saving the link to this pretty picture of beach umbrellas. You can save websites, photos, or even just "clippings"- a quote that speaks to you, say - into your various notebooks, and attach your own little notes to it. I have notebooks for everything, from frequently-referenced recipes, to cute shoes I might buy (but need to think about), to a file of inspiration for my future roof deck. It's sort of like "bookmarks", but much, much, better.

Dropbox is a service that was recommended to me by my friend and technophile, Vinny. It's essentially like having an external hard-drive for free, on the Internet. So you can easily save things (think photos, music, and other large files) and reference them without having them take up space on your computer's hard drive. Here I am (in the photo above), saving the beach umbrella photo to my photo file in my Dropbox. You also receive a "public" folder, which gives you the ability to create a link to download any file in your Dropbox (a great way to share things with friends- it's how I can post downloadable pdf's on this site). And, if you want to access those files, all you have to do is click on the pic of the box on the menu (pointed out here by the red arrow).

There- See, that wasn't so bad, was it? For my next trick, I will attempt to explain the Amygdala to a room full of brain surgeons.

1 comment:

tiana16 said...

oh my goodness, this is perfect! My Bookmarks Section of my browser is a TOTAL mess and I have like 10 different little notebooks of ideas floating about!