Here’s some background on me and Google. We go way back to April 2, 2007. That’s the day I signed up for Gmail and left Yahoo in the dust. Since then they’ve given me an imap server to use, something Yahoo charges for. All my email is stored on their glorious servers and in 1047 days I’ve only managed to use 1% of the limit allotted to me.
I use Google Voice for texting and making free phone calls to anywhere in the country. I have a dorm room with unlimited incoming calls and GV is excellent for that.
I use Google Docs for a few things here and there, but it’s just as free as my copy of iWork, so either works.
I use Google calendar for scheduling and reminders. I put in my class schedule and any appointment, it texts my GV number which forwards straight to my pay-as-you-go phone. All incoming text messages are free, so it’s like having someone watching me at all times. “Hey, class starts in 25 minutes” which means I have five minutes to get ready and go. When there are two classes back to back and leaving on time is paramount, that little buzz tells me it’s time to get up and go without having to stare at the clock.
I use Google Chrome for all my browsing (I would if it wasn’t in beta. WordPress is really buggy and keeps crashing.) With the recent addition of extensions to the Mac version, there’s no longer a reason to use any other browser. Any copy of chrome I log in to will automatically pull in my latest bookmarks from Google Docs. Of course there’s an ad-blocking extension, so Firefox no longer has that over Chrome. Up in the corner is a little twitter checker, a Wave notifier, a countdown until my next event on my calendar.
I use Google Wave for note dictation and more recently, for my databases class CSCI 466. We have a group project that requires a certain level of collaboration, and it’s perfect. Without needing everyone logged in all the time, it’s still there when anyone needs it.
In addition to all this, Google also keeps track of all my contacts. You’re free to be paranoid about giving them all your information, but I’m not. Believe me, if someone had more attractive alternatives, I’d leave. Really.