Welcome to my blog - Read and enjoy

Thank you for visiting my Scooby1970 blogspot. I update whenever I can and when I have something interesting to share. You will also find published work of mine at Gaming Illustrated. Gaming Illustrated is where most of my work now takes place, but I will transfer some of my more popular articles from there over to this blog, in extended format.

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Enjoy the blogs, and relive my ups and downs in life, view some interesting reviews and just enjoy the site. If you are interested in learning something about some of my favourite music then click here it's the official Jan & Dean Site that has taken me and my friend from across the sea, June many years to keep updated.

:) Mark

Monday, 7 October 2013

My Google Life

Google is taking over our lives, and while some people are horrified at that thought, some of us have really embraced the whole eco-system. If a company puts together a suite of products that genuinely help you in your day to day life, then let’s make the most of it and enjoy the benefits that they offer. What’s more, Google’s products are free, so integration into your everyday life costs you nothing at all.

So, programs do I use and how are they integrated into everyday use? The list is quite long, and hopefully will give you some ideas of things you can use to keep your day to day life running smoothly.

Google Calendar
There are many calendar applications and programs around these days, however Google Calendar is available for your PC and Tablet or Phone and works a treat. I input a date I need to remember on my Samsung S3, and it syncs with my PC and iPad, so that when I go on those devices, I don’t forget anything.

The god thing is, no matter what device is used, they all sync perfectly. You can set up alarms and reminders which will let you know when you are close to the time, and you can schedule slots of times so that your life is fully organised.

I find Google Calendar a God-send and even though I do not push the program to it’s limits, it works perfectly well and I wouldn’t be without it.

Google Keep
Another useful Google program is Google Keep. It’s, at it’s most basic, a notepad where you can jot notes down at times when you need to remember things. It really is simple to use on phone, tablet and PC, and again whichever platform you use, it will sync to all platforms so that you never miss a thing.

There are useful things that you can do with Google Keep, such as set up reminders and add images, plus change the colours of the notes to highlight important ones. It’s a simple program, but one of the most useful programs you can use.

Google Docs & Google Drive
This article was written in Google’s Documents program (essentially a basic and useable version of Microsoft’s Word) , plus it offers Spreadsheets (just like Excel), Presentations (similar to Power Point) , Forms (allows you to design and send questionnaires), Drawings (a simple but powerful art program) plus it will integrate other programs such as Pixlr Express.

The beauty of Google Docs is that everything is saved on Google’s cloud service, Google Drive. So you can access your work anywhere there’s an internet connection and anywhere you have some hardware to access that connection.

The beauty of Google Docs and Google Drive cannot be underestimated, it offers a truly powerful suite of productivity programs as mentioned above, plus 15GB of web-storage that everything gets instantly backed up onto (though Google Docs themselves do not take up any of that storage). And when I say instantly, I mean just that. If you’re writing an article and your computer dies on you, then next time you go to your Google Drive, the article will be there at exactly the point that you left it. Amazing, and important!

You can upload anything you want to your Google Drive, from music and video, to photos and anything else in-between. All can be accessed from your PC or Tablet/Phone at any time, so it really does become part of your everyday life.

Google Mail
Everyone has a mail client they use, however Gmail has to be one of the best these days. What's more it organises your mail into the order that you decide it to be organised (ie Primary, Social,Updates and Forums etc) which means you can get the important mail you need while ignoring the not so important stuff.

Google Mail lets you store almost infinite emails and attachments and of course you can use Google to collect your email from other email address’ that you may have, so everything can be accessed from one place.

Google Sound Search
Just as Shazam and SoundHound have programs that listen to songs from your mobile device and discover them to tell you what they are, Google has Sound Search which works just as well and is very simple to use. This time this is a mobile only device, but one which should be on everyone’s phones.

Google Chrome
Last but not least is Google Chrome, Google’s internet browser. To give you some perspective of how good Google Chrome is, I was an ardent Mozilla Firefox fan for many years before trying Chrome. I tried it and fell in love with it instantly.  It’s fast, slick and has everything from your Google world integrated into it.

Google Chrome is synced across all your devices, so your favourites will be where you expect them to be, and available on your phone, tablet and PC. Yes, other browsers can do this, but Google Chrome seems to do it seamlessly, so much so you don’t even know it’s doing it.

Google offers more services, such as Blogger and YouTube which I also use, and of course YouTube is used by everyone on this Earth, so thats how big Google is. There are also other services that Google Offer, and as time goes by, there’s no doubt they I will be using them more. At the moment though, knowing that whatever I do on my phone will be shared with my other devices, and vice-versa makes life so much easier. In fact, if I wanted to I can share any of my Calendar reminders, or documents with one simple click to other users, thats how flexible the whole system is.

Don’t dismiss Google, because it has a lot it has a lot to offer, and of course it’s all free!