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Google Web History for Bookmarking & Monitoring

Google Web History for Bookmarking & Monitoring

I’ve become quite interested in Google’s new Web History feature.

What it does is essentially record every site you visit and is enabled through the Google Toolbar for Firefox. So it’s like your browser’s History, but online and reaching as far back as when you enabled it.

Google was already basically tracking what I was doing since I had Google’s PageRank feature enabled in the toolbar, so I’m not too worried about that. If I do want Web History to stop recording, I can Pause it and also Remove Items from the history at any time.

Google has also implemented a StumpleUpon-style suggestion feature called Trends which I’m not too interested in and also provides stats of sites most visited etc.

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Google Web History for Bookmarking & Monitoring

    Bookmarking

    If you look at your Web History list, you are able to Star items as you would in Gmail or Google Reader. This puts them into your Google Bookmarks where you can tag and provide a description for each item.

    Now, I’m not a Google Bookmarks user – I’ve been using Del.icio.us for a number of years – however, this is swaying me to move everything over to Google.

    Why? Because I’m lazy.

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    Manually bookmarking everything I like or want to read later is almost a chore. It’s at least 3 mouse clicks! Web History makes it one – excluding tagging etc.

    I like this because I can go about my surfing and daily activities, and then at the end of the day, peruse my Web History, then Star and Label what I want to add to Google Bookmarks.

    It’s kind of the GTD way to bookmark.

    However, I don’t like how Google Bookmarks displays Labels on the side – a Tag Cloud would be nice. Plus I don’t like how after I imported all my Del.icio.us bookmarks to Google they all come under the same day[today] instead of keeping their respective bookmarked dates.

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    But I can search Bookmarks and my Web History from any computer now.

    Monitoring

    This is for those with kids who want to make sure they’re surfing safely.

    Google Web History provides an RSS feed for everything that comes through there. Monitoring what your children are doing [through Firefox] is as simple as subscribing to the feed in your favorite feed reader.

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    It’s easily subverted if your kids know about it, but for all intents and purposes, it works. Web History will run independently from different Google Accounts, so if your kids do use Gmail and login, the History will still be updated.

    Productivity

    Also it might be beneficial to be able to see exactly how much time you spend on certain pages and work. Would you procrastinate less if you were being watched?

    Improvements?

    • Integration with my browser’s History.
    • Bookmark tag cloud.
    • Trends Suggestions based on a network and sites browsed, rather than just on searches

    Web History – [Google]

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    Craig Childs

    Craig is an editor and web developer who writes about happiness and motivation at Lifehack

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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