iGoogle – My New Favorite Thing!

I have recently discovered iGoogle, and I LOVE it! What is iGoogle, you ask? It’s a personalized Google homepage! You can have everything – the latest news headlines, funny jokes, comics, your email, local weather, TV listings, etc. all in one place!

WARNING: iGoogle is addicting. Setting it up and checking out your homepage will cause you to lose lots of productivity on other tasks.

Here’s a screen shot of my personal iGoogle page:

So what’s on my page? Let’s take it from the top! (Click the photo to get a larger view.)

I chose the colored pencils theme because I love COLOR! (And I thought it was simple and cute.) I like to keep my Gmail, clock, callendar, and the local radar map at the top so I can easily see them. Right smack-dab in the middle, I have my To-Do list. I’m slightly embarrased that my current To-Do list is now being projected to the world…don’t you think To-Do lists are at least slightly personal? Oh well, now you can see that my world revolves around my dissertation defense, cakes, and my blog posts! *bashful smile*

For fun, I added the “Places to See Before You Die” gadget because I love nature and beautiful photos.

Here’s the middle of my iGoogle page:

That thing on the top left is my Google Reader (LOVE IT). You can have all the blogs you follow (admit it, you are a blog stalker) or any RSS feeds you subscribe to sent to this gadget. When a site is updated, it shows up in your Google Reader so you can read the brief synopsis or choose to visit the site to read the whole post.

I have 38 subscriptions coming into my Google Reader! Imagine checking all 38 wesites periodically throughout the day! Yikes! What a time killer! Now, I can just refer to my wonderful homepage to see what’s new. So kind of sites do I subscribe to?

TONS of cake decorating and dessert sites, including Bakerella, Baking Bites, Cake Wrecks, Confetti Cakes, and Cupcakes Take the Cake to name a few. As I discover new sugary sites, I’ll post them here so you can all enjoy them too!

For fun, I subscribe to Indexed, PostSecret, Pioneer Woman, and Stacy Clair Boyd.

To keep up with technology, media, and all that other good stuff, I get feeds from Bits, Gadgetwise, and Media Decoder.

And last, but certainly not least, I have all my friends’ blogs fed right into my feeder: Life is Beautiful, the Doughtrys, sPIGot, the Kerseys, Elise Knight Photography, and Mystery Meats & Other Treats!

Phew, I told you I have a lot of subscriptions! Ok, back to the iGoogle page. I get a daily funny picture (beware, they’re not always kid-friendly…that’s why the gadget is minimized for this post), motivational quotes, funny quotes, a feed from The Onion, PhD Comics, more weather, and my finances (aha, I rememberd to hide my personal finances before I took this screen shot!).

And don’t forget about the ends of the colored pencils at the bottom of the page!

Want to get an iGoogle page of your own? You need a Gmail account to create one, but Gmail accounts are FREE so that shouldn’t stop you! In fact, here’s a little video of a cute Google Guy showing you how to use iGoogle. If you find any cool gadgets or themes, share with the rest of us!

Need more help getting started? Here are a few tutorials:
Adding Gadgets
How to Set Up an iGoogle Page
How to use iGoogle to its Fullest Potential