Google Notebook

Google Notebook Screenshot

Google have just released their Google Notebook application. It installs as a Firefox extension (Windows and Linux only – no Mac support yet, but I’d guess they’re working on it). Once installed, you just get a little ‘Open Notebook’ icon in the status bar at the bottom of your window. Clicking it brings up a little floating window in the botton right corner. Click the title bar of it, and it shrinks right down, taking up very little space.

Highlight a chunk of text on a web site, and click the ‘Add Note’ button, and the text you selected will become a new note in your notebook. You can create more little notebooks, and click a button to pop out a list of them to switch between.

For any writer or researcher who gathers most of their material on the web, and only needs access to it when they’re online, I can see it being quite a handy little solution. As a little replacement for something like OneNote, I imagine a few people will love it – especially for free, and with nothing to install. If anything, it’s probably closer to a cut down version of EverNote, which is also free, but saves you having to download and install it.

For those on dial-up connections, like me, it’s not such a great idea. Use is slow, as everything has to be done over the Internet, and if you spend any time without an Internet connection, you can’t refer to your notes at all.

If all of your writing is done at home, with a broadband connection, it’s certainly worth a try. If you’re likely to need to get to your notes when you don’t have an Internet connection, though, don’t keep them here. If you want your notes living on your computer instead, have a look at EverNote.