As I mentioned in my earlier, I’m on a hunt to find the “one tool” or tools to help my “lifestyle management” of being able to check e-mail, facebook, twitter, and more without having tons of applications or browser windows open. The next stop is one of those oldies but goodies, iGoogle.
I believe iGoogle hit the scenes around the time Netvibes and a couple other sites of a similar nature were hitting the scene. iGoogle is designed to be “your personal Google page” and they provide a wide variety of gadgets to customize your page. For instance, here’s what a new page looks like if you let Google design it for you:
True to Google’s form there isn’t necessarily the most visual design, but the design itself is clean and very functional. You can add a wide variety of gadets, which will also read RSS feeds, similar to Netvibes. One added benefit is that there is a gadget for Google Reader, which will display the most recent items for you. Just like Netvibes, there are gadgets for nearly everything out there, from some of your favorite news sources, to your favorite diversions (LOL Cats anyone?). Probably the most notable gadgets are those that tie directly into Google applications (Gmail, Documents, etc) because they work the best with iGoogle. You can even respond and create e-mail messages directly within the GMail gadget. Unfortunately at this point Google+ doesn’t have a gadget, but I’m not sure if that is because they are moving some aspects of Google Reader (such as sharing links/posts) into Google+ instead.
Another nice feature, if you’re deep into the Google ecosystem, is that you have links across the top of the page to get to all of your main stopping points, such as Gmail, Reader, Plus, and Documents. While this doesn’t give you “everything on one page”, it does provide for simple navigation without having a lot of bookmarks. All in all iGoogle and the Google ecosystem is a simple, but solid bet. I’m sure there are tons of integration hooks out there that I haven’t discovered, since Google is known for providing APIs for a lot of things. All in all if you need something stable, and like the Google ecosystem, then you can’t go wrong with it.