Various Things Google

I’ve left Firefox. It was using up a massive amount of RAM (Firefox 6) and had slowed to a crawl. I started looking at my add-ons to see what might be slowing it down as I did with previous iterations of Firefox. And then I stopped. I thought, “Using a web browser shouldn’t be this hard.” I had tried Chrome before, but I had Firefox set up exactly as I wanted with the add-ons that I wanted. Then the scales tipped. I didn’t have many add-ons left that worked, and Chrome had many more add-ons available. I’ve been happily, and speedily, cruising the web with Chrome. Now, in all fairness, Firefox 7 is supposed to be faster than 6, so I just did the download, and its speed certainly appears to be on par with Chrome’s. But I’m a little gun-shy. Chrome, for now, is my primary browser.

And I’m not the only one. New data shows that Chrome’s global market share has grown 9 percentage points since January. It’s expected to slip into the second spot behind Internet Explorer by the end of the year. “As of Wednesday [9/28/2011], Chrome’s global average user share for September [2011] was 23.6%, while Firefox’s stood at 26.8%. IE, meanwhile, was at 41.7%” (Computer World, 9/29/11).

Speaking of market share, according to ComShare Android continues to eat it up jumping 5.6 percentage points between May and August. My original Motorola Droid is starting to feel like a Commodore 64 in comparison to the newest products on the market. I was considering moving to the Droid Bionic on Verizon’s 4G network, but with the Droid Prime rumored to be available in November, I think I’ll wait.

And the last Google product on my mind is Gmail. In an earlier blog post I suggested that you unplug yourself from your email. That advice still holds, but with one more addition. IBM Research found that filing email in folders may be a waste of time. If you use your email’s search function, it takes an average of 17 seconds to find an email. If you dig through your folders to find it, it takes an average of 58 seconds to find it. (See this LifeHacker blog post for the summary and a link to a pdf of the original study.)

When Gmail was first introduced a number of people panicked. “No folders?! How can I find what I need if there are no folders?!” You search your email for it.

I don’t know that I’ll be able to let my Outlook folders go. When I’m looking for a particular email message, I usually just use Xobni to search for it. But I am inspired. Perhaps I will get rid of my folders as they currently exist, but create new ones that are specific to tasks. For example, I already have a “grade these” folder for the assignments my students submit electronically. There’s no reason I can’t create new folders that serve a similar purpose.

How do you manage your email? Does it work for you?

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1 thought on “Various Things Google

  1. I use Chrome mainly because of AdBlock.

    My work e-mail management in Outlook/Exchange consists of:
    1. Hundreds (yes, hundreds) of rules to automatically file emails into various folders. This gets rid of all “alias” or “blast” mail from my inbox.
    2. Conditional formatting within folders – larger font for mails sent only to me, different colors where I am directly on the TO line, and a few other more specific ones.
    3. Flagging to keep track of random bits of information that I might need later or would like to come back at some point down the line, but not immediately.
    4. Mark as Unread – for emails that I should act on this week.
    5. Very aggressive automatic deletion policies on everything but my Inbox.

    As for personal mail, I use Hotmail and love it. Gmail does have slightly better search, but there are many, many cool features recently released in Hotmail. I’m talking folders, categories with auto-categorization, excellent spam filtering, an advanced rule system, super fast performance, outstanding Office365 and Windows 8 integration, SkyDrive, photo mails, and so much more! There’s even an Android app now! If you don’t want to give up your gmail address, just suck it in over POP to your hotmail account!

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