This morning, via Steve, I read about Google Notebook. It’s a new lightweight, free research tool from the people who want to own everything you ever think or do. Here’s the official line from the Google Mothership:
- Clip useful information.
You can add clippings of text, images and links from web pages to your Google Notebook without ever leaving your browser window.
- Organize your notes.
You can create multiple notebooks, divide them into sections, and drag-and-drop your notes to stay organized.
- Get access from anywhere.
You can access your Google Notebooks from any computer by using your Google Accounts login.
- Publish your notebook.
You can share your Google Notebook with the world by making it public.
I’ve just given it a trial run, and I’m pretty underwhelmed. It’s basically Writely with less functionality and a Firefox extension. In a richly-hyperlinked world, do we really need to grab bits of information off pages? I feel much more comfortable bookmarking the item I’m interested in (whether that be a whole page or permalink), and therefore always seeing the information in context when I need it.
I made a quick public notebook about buying pants. Like so many other Google apps, the design is functional but butt ugly (see above screenshot). I was also dismayed that I couldn’t manually insert hyperlinks into notes–I have to use the rich text editor. Speaking of which, we all know that I could use a spell checker. How about one built into Notebook?