Google Notebook is a way of saving snippets of text, and being able to share it.
It’s got similar features to many services…
- you could use it to save bookmarks (but there is a lack of tagging, and social tagging)
- you can not only save a bookmark, but also clip text and images from a page eg. clipmarks (again lack of comments, voting and tagging)
- add a note as an item, these items can be nested in section headings (lack of OPML)
- since you can add text, it can be a to-do list, or just a place to save notes eg. Simpy notes, TagFacts
- you can clip stuff and add your own text, and share it like blog posting
- a notebook can be focused on a specific topic, using section headings, clippings and your own text eg. squidoo
When it comes to sharing, I’d like to see an RSS feed to keep up with the latest, or subscribe to the OPML of the notebook, ie. I could “include” the notebook in my OPML directory, then I could view it in an outline form.
Maybe a notebook can be a blog itself, like an outline blogging tool.
Blog post collating
What I use it for is collating links, and clippings for blog posts
…I guess I could also draft the blog post.
You could create numerous notebooks and use each one in a different way, as listed in the above list.
Set up an account and make as many notebooks as you like, each notebook has items called “notes”, these can be grouped under section headings…drag and drop notes…make a notebook public or private…you can also search “my notebooks” or “all public notebooks”.
…this also enables a right click adding selection on your mouse.
What ever page you are on, highlight text/images and right click, this will add the clippings as a new note as a new entry in your notebook (this is added to the bottom of the list, not sure how it chooses which notebook to add it to, you might have to do a drag and drop later)
Anyway, when you right click it opens your mini notebook and shows you where it is saved, then you can edit this note from within the mini notebook eg. add some of your own text…that’s what I like about it, you don’t neccessarily have to launch to the actual Google Notebook page.
Preferred clipping method
Highlight text, then launch the “mini”, select your notebook, select your section heading, then click on “Add note”, this will add a note exactly where you want it. Then you can click edit and add some of your own text to it if you like.
NOTE: If you don’t highlight any text/images, it will just save the URL.
Before you click “Add note”, you may want to create a new section heading and then add the note here, or you may want to even add a new notebook first…the mini browser does nearly everything the homepage does (except deleting, and drag n’ drop…also when you expand a note you can only see an excerpt of the contents).
If you have heaps of notebooks and Section headings, you can click on the icon next to “Add note” which slides out a window extension of all your notebooks and section headings.
You don’t have to clip to add to your notebook, just launch your “mini”, choose a notebook, choose a section heading (add a new one of either of these if need be) and click “Add note”, then just enter some text, and your done
…I’d love to blog like this.
How I use it
I have a notebook called “Library clips” (my blog name)…whenever I get an idea for a blog post, I launch “mini” (takes a nano second) choose the “Library clips” notebook, add a section heading (eg. what this blog post will be about), click “Add note”, and add some text.
Later on I might get an idea for another blog post, so I do the same thing, add a new section heading, add a new note, add add some text.
Then I might have some more insight for the earlier blog post, so I fire it up, find the section heading, add a new note.
It’s just as good for clipping…
What I do is read through my RSS Reader, if I find something I want to blog about I fire up “mini”, make a new section heading, highlight any link or text and add a note. Then I can edit this note and add some of my own text.
Keep reading my RSS Reader and find another post about the same thing, just fire up “mini”, look for the section heading, and add a note.
As you can tell each section heading is kind of what my blog post will be about, and I can compile notes for this blog post (and other blog posts) as I go along with the greatest of ease.
When I want to publish my blog post I launch Google Notebook, find my section heading and flesh out all the notes into my blog…the reason I do this from the homepage is that you can only see excerpts of each note in the “mini”…otherwise I’d never really have to launch to the homepage.
[ADDED: dahh…I just realised that I can do it all in “mini”, just browse to a note and click edit, and you can see the note in full]
Once I’ve published my blog post, I can delete that section heading.
I guess there’s really nothing stopping me from drafting the whole post within my notebook, instead of just using it to compile scraps of text. One of the notes within a section heading could be the draft itself (probably the last note within that section heading, unless you’ve added more notes after you have started drafting).
The only drawback is that this is an online tool, but that’s what I’m after, I want to get to my drafts from any computer, otherwise I’d just use an offline blog editor eg. qumana.
What I like most is that I can do it all from a little window…if I only I could say publish this post to my blog.
Maybe a service could be developed from the way I use “mini”…a little window on your status bar where you can compile notes, draft a post, and publish to a blog, from any computer.
How it has helped
Previously, if I had an idea for a blog post I’d use notepad, or bookmark it, or start a blog draft in my blog, or a startpage, or an online word processor, or use a notes/to-do service, etc…I had no preferred way.
When I see a webpage I want to blog about, I just click the “press it” bookmarklet and this opens a new blog draft post populated with the link and title of the page I’m on…I just add some text and publish or save as draft if I want to still work on it.
If I see another webpage that I want to add/mention in that same blog post, I can’t click the “press it” bookmarklet as this doesn’t let me choose which post I want to add stuff to, it just opens up a new post.
So what I have to do is open my blog platform, choose my draft and add it…too much trouble.
So this is what I like about mini Google Notebook, when I want to add stuff to a particular blog draft, I first choose the section heading, then add a note…all within a mini window that sits on the status bar, and allows WYSIWYG editing…brilliant.
[ADDED: there’s lots of talk on it lacking tags, but for my use this really isn’t neccessary, I suppose it would be useful as a feature if you were so inclined.]