Save Time Tip #3: Build a Customized Search Home

Everyone needs a good starting page when opening a browser. As much as I’d like to tell you to start off every morning by visiting WritersDigest.com, that’s not actually useful or efficient. But let’s say you’re a Writer’s Digest fan, and you want to have up-to-the-minute information about what’s happening with us—without going to 5 or 10 different pages, or even without going to an RSS Reader.

Here’s my WD guru home (via iGoogle, which I highly recommend as a tool).

5 key takeaways from this:

  • Via iGoogle, I can add ANY piece of content I want IF it has an RSS feed associated with it. ANY content! You’ll notice in the above screen capture, I’ve told iGoogle to add a box for every single Writer’s Digest blog (by simply inputting into iGoogle the URL).
  • You can also add gadgets to your page, e.g., mini-windows into Facebook and Twitter, which are also above. There are thousands of gadgets—informational gadgets (weather, stocks, recipes), tool gadgets (e.g., to-do lists), game gadgets.
  • Now look to the lefthand side of the screen. See those tabs? I have a tab called “WD Guru.” I also have a customized tab for Google News, as well as my basic “home” tab, which is loaded everytime I visit www.google.com (which is my browser’s default homepage). By using this tab system, you can streamline different aspects of your personal and professional life.
  • There’s also a chat window on the left, and if I unscrolled it for you, there would be a bunch of my AIM and GoogleChat connections.
  • You can also create your own Google Gadgets (and you don’t have to be a programmer to do it). There’s no end to the cuteness.

Previous and related:
Save Time Tip #1: Become More Efficient at Online Reading
Save Time Tip #2: Write, Share, Collaborate Online (Not Via E-mail)

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