I'm sorry to say it but I've started to cave in and use Google's range of web applications to deal with day to day tasks. It all started when I finally made myself start using a calendar and I figured Google Calendar would be the best place to start. Since then I've started using the Alerts service, sending emails to the GMail account I've had for ages but never used and now I've even switched from Bloglines to Google Reader. I've also been using Google Analytics to track statistics on the DaveProxy site.

The following is a little review of each application, what I like and what I don't.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a shared calendar application, allowing users to manage their personal calendar and publish parts they would like to, to colleagues and friends. There are also other shared calendars, for example I have Barnsley's fixtures showing in my calendar. I've no complaints to make about the calendar application, it's nice and easy to use and it sends me SMS reminders, all free of charge.

Google Alerts

Whilst I haven't used the Alerts service all that much, I think it's an awesome tool. It's extremely easy tool to use, I was quite suprised to see my Boss using it, receiving alerts based on our company name. Basically you register keywords with the alerts service and tell it how often you want emailing. If any new pages turn up in the google index within that timeframe, you'll receive an email with a link to that page. Simple.


Again, I've not used gmail too much, right now I only receive my google alerts to my gmail address, but as far as webmail goes it's pretty good. I'd definitely like to see the ability to drag and drop like a RoundCube installation can, but otherwise it's more than what I need.

Google Reader

I've been using Google Reader to read and manage all my RSS feeds for about a week now after switching over from Bloglines and I have mixed feelings. Importing my feeds was easy enough, thanks partially to Bloglines being nice enough to allow me to export them. Google reader by default marks feed entries as read when you scroll past them, which seems pretty cool but two things annoy me. The first is probably a browser issue, but whenever an entry is marked as read, the number in brackets next to the feed or category link on the left changes, as it should, but this causes some of my category links to span two lines, then one line, then two lines again. It's basically a little flicker on the left hand side of the screen which is a little distracting. The second thing is, if there's only one entry in a feed or category that is less than the windows height in length, I don't scroll, so it doesn't get marked as read. Other than that, it could do with being a little faster, but I'm sure it'll be constantly improving on that front.

Google Analytics

I'm very impressed with the analytics service, it makes it very easy for me to monitor the proxy website, which AWStats isn't really appropriate, definitely worth checking out.