Beginning with GMail

The link below is to a tutorial that looks at starting out with GMail – a beginner’s guide to Google’s free email service/application. 

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Productivity Apps

I clearly have far too many Productivity and To Do List type apps that I have used or am still using. I like to try out apps and I have to say that these productivity type apps are among the most frustrating for me. Some appear useful and I try them out, only to find that they develop no further and their usefulness is very limited. There are others that I like, then they fail and are shout down or sell to another company (who then closes them down). It is very difficult to find a truly great app that suits my own very specific needs.

I have been going through the ones I have used or still had accounts with and discovered that a good number of them simply no longer exist. Now that can be annoying!

Still, I have settled for various apps that I use on a more-or-less daily basis, so I expect I’ll be closing several more accounts very soon and sticking with those that have their usefulness in my own little world of value. These will often serve a specific function, while not meeting every single function I would like them to serve. Yet, that doesn’t upset too much.

In truth I find myself often returning to Google and the various apps they have available. Google Calendar is a very powerful web app which has become even more useful when using the iPhone app associated with it. I have about four calendars that serve various purposes. Using all the bells and whistles that come with the calendar app has made this a great tool for me.

Using Google Calendar along with apps like the new Lift app on the iPhone, and several others just about covers my needs in productivity apps these days. Still, my inability to say no to a new app I come across will probably always have me trying out more new ones.


Tea Gardens: This is Where I Live

Lions Lookout Park - Tea GardensIt seems to be raining all the time here. It isn’t of course, but it does sometimes feel that way. This coming week is supposed to be dry and above average temperatures for winter. So far this winter it has been quite cold (for here) – easily the coldest winter in the five years I’ve been living around here. So it will be great to have warmer weather. It has also been wet – very wet. But it has been that way for the last two years – very wet! It hasn’t actually flooded on a wide scale around here, unlike almost every other place in eastern Australia. Many places have flooded on several occasions in recent times – some almost a dozen times. But not here, thankfully.

Today has been a nice day given the weather in recent weeks, months and even years. There has been no rain. Sure, it’s quite windy, but there’s no rain so the wind is fine. Rather pleasant considering the recent past. This week sounds like it will be a very good week, weather wise anyway.

Lions Lookout - Tea GardensSo where is this place? It is Tea Gardens – the place where I live on the east coast of Australia. It’s about an hour’s drive north of Newcastle in the state of New South Wales. I have developed a Google Map showing the location of Tea Gardens and of the Lions Lookout just out of town. Sadly I can’t embed the map in wordpress, which is a bit disappointing. Click on the link below and it will take you to the map, which you can zoom in and out on, etc. Over time I’ll add a few other icons and things to the map to show other places that will come up in my posts about the area in which I live.

To view the map click below:
Tea Gardens Map

I was going to go for a bit of a bushwalk up to Yaccaba Headland, but given the wind I decided to put it off until next weekend – maybe. Soon anyway. There will be a post about that whenever I get to doing it anyway. Hopefully soon. I’ve plotted Yaccaba Headland on the map linked to above as well.

So instead of the bushwalk, on a day like today, I thought I’d spend a little while out in the Great Outdoors anyway. So up I went to the Lions Lookout just out of Tea Gardens, on the hill overlooking town and snapped a few photos of the view and the park at the lookout.

View from Lions Lookout - Tea Gardens

ABOVE: The view from Lions Lookout


Delicious is a bookmarking/favorite web application, in that it saves and archives the URLs that you like. Of course you can save your bookmarks/favorites in your browser, which I do with Google Chrome (Bookmarks). I use Google Bookmarks for mine, as well as Delicious (which I use for my public bookmark sharing web application). I also use Wonderpage (see ) to visually show my Delicious bookmarks as thumbnails of the page.

Why do I use both Google Bookmarks and Yahoo’s Delicious (currently owned by Yahoo anyhow). Well there are a number of reasons. Firstly I prefer to use the Cloud for most of my Internet tasks, which will generally always allow me access to my data no matter what computer I use and/or wherever I am. Using both also allows me to have a readily available backup – which is always wise I think. Of course I also like to allow visitors to my Blogs, websites and so on, to have access to sites that I think are fairly useful and valuable.

Anyhow, have a look at Delicious – it is in my opinion the best bookmarking application in the Cloud.

Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang for Gmail is a Firefox and Chrome plugin for Gmail. It allows a Gmail user to take control of when they send/receive emails. It is currently available by invitation only – however you can apply for an invitation.

See more at:

Google Books

Google Books have often had a lot of bad press. The bad press has been largely over issues relating to copyright and similar issues. However, as a concept I find the Google Books project to be a tremendous idea, especially making available so many books that are no longer in publication. I have found Google Books to be a tremendously important resource.

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The Fridge

If you’re interested in setting up a group/community/social network, perhaps you might like to check out ‘The Fridge.’ The Fridge is a place where you can set up a free group/community/social network. There are plenty of places these days for setting up a group and/or a social network. You could of course try Google Groups, and/or Yahoo Groups. If you are happy to pay there are other possibilities including Ning. The Fridge is not a site I had even heard of until a few days ago, but it could be worth a look or worth experimenting with for a while.

A member of a Fridge group gets a personal profile, which has a wall similar to Facebook. You can also post a photo for your profile. It really is a very simple social network providing a very basic service. It really seems to be a way of having very basic communication with other members of the group. You can post a picture with a post. So basically it provides a secure and private place for communicating. I guess email really accomplishes the same thing to some degree.

Have a look at: