Using Google Notebooks for Quick Research Notes

Since we don’t have electricity on our property, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the Internet while I’m in the city about ways to reduce or eliminate dependence on the electric company. Earlier in the week I visited a lot of sites but didn’t record all of the interesting web addresses. I’m not particularly fond of the Bookmark features in the browsers and I’ve used shortcut icons on the desktop before but I prefer Google Notebooks as a way to store interesting links with comments. So, I started recording many of my links using Google Notebooks. Google has a way of sharing contents with others, so here is a link to my Alternate Energy Research notebook: AlternateEnergyResources

I’m using the Firefox browser now instead of Microsoft Internet Explorer and have good results. My computer is set up to dual boot with Ubuntu Linux and Windows so Firefox is convenient when switching between operating systems. I downloaded the Google Notebook Firefox Extension from http://www.google.com/notebook/download and it really helps the note taking process. There is a “Open Notebook” icon at the bottom right corner of my browser. Another good feature is when I select text from a web page I can right click and select the “Note This (Google Notebook)” option and it creates a new item in my notebook.

This works great while connected to the grid and Internet but what about those off-grid times. Google Notebook has a “Manage Notebooks” option that displays a list of your notebooks. There is an “export” tool that lets me export the notebook with the “Document” option. That creates a Google Docs file which has an option under File->Download File As->PDF option that I like to use or select other word processing document formats. I’m using OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Word so I can save to the ODF (Open Document Format) if I choose. Now I can open any of my notebooks without being connected to the Internet. I really wish the Linux program Tomboy which is similar to Google Notebook had a synchronize feature.

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