As a lawyer or law student, I’ll bet you spend a lot of time switching back and forth between Outlook and other programs all day. I know I used to. I say “used to” because I know have a solution that provides seamless information flow between Outlook and my eyes, without any user interaction.
Enter Google Desktop
If you have not heard of Google Desktop, you should definitely check it out. When it first hit the market, Google’s Desktop app focused on search abilities. Google has now extended this functionality to include an awesome “sidebar” that lets you dock “gadgets” to perform different information management tasks. If you don’t believe me, check out the image of my sidebar at right.
After you have everything setup, you have a one-stop solution to:
- Manage and read email
- Monitor and add items to calendar
- Keep track of task list
- Find any file on your computer, with the keyboard
- Do just about anything else you can imagine
Piece of Cake Installation
Installing Google Desktop is as simple as going to http://desktop.google.com and downloading the programming. Google has an easy-to-use installer that will walk you through the program. Simply follow the instructions.
Once the program is installed, it will need to index your files. This process makes sure that Google Desktop can find something when you search for it. Indexing will take a while, but you can continue working while it goes on the background.
Once Google Desktop is fully installed and indexed, you can easily customize the look and function of the program. You can remove a gadget by clicking on the down arrow in gadget’s title bar and selecting “Remove.” To add a gadget, simply click on “Add+” at the top of the sidebar. A window will open allowing you to browse all the different gadgets. Find one you like and click “Add.” Google will do the rest.
How Will This Help You?
One method of being more productive is having a more efficient information flow. Google Desktop will provide that. Basically, instead of having to look this way and that (or click here and there) to access vital information, everything will be in your new “heads-up display” sidebar.
As shown in the picture of my sidebar, by clicking on image at right, Google Desktop displays my incoming email, calendar, and tasks, as well as a nifty “Scratch Pad.” The Scratch Pad is a handy application that automatically saves any text you enter into it, letting you write as much or as little as you want without opening up anything.
What are you waiting for? Go get it!
Do you have any suggestion to improve information flow with Google Desktop? Please post a comment or drop me a line to share with us.
[tags]legal andrew, google desktop, calendar, email, taskpad, scratch pad, flow[/tags]
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