Tool belt

There’s more to Google than just searching the web, even though that’s what the company is best known for. We previously wrote about seven of Google’s Gmail Labs features that can improve your messaging productivity. In addition to email, Google has a long (and growing) list of services, most of which are free, that you can use to become a lot more productive in areas such as health record management and investment portfolio management.

  1. Google Finance: If you need to keep track of your portfolio, consider using Google Finance. The site not only offers you the latest stock information and portfolio tracking tools but also keeps you updated about the latest information related to your portfolio, all in one place.
  2. Google Quick Search Box: Google started with the concept of a launch bar — a tool that you can use to quickly launch files and applications with keyboard shortcuts — and then added to it. Not only does Google Quick Search Box allow you to search your computer and open files quickly, but it also allows you to make quick calculations, search the web and even access Twitter, all without clicking around or remembering lots of shortcuts.
  3. Google Video Chat: As long as you’re already using Gmail, you can type, talk and even see other people within your email. While Gmail’s instant message tool has been around for a while the addition of voice and video chats are relatively new.
  4. GOOG-411: If you need information about local businesses while you’re away from your computer, you can call Google at 1-800-GOOG-411. It’s free and offers you a way to find specific businesses.
  5. Google Books: Need to get information on a specific book, like seeing an excerpt from the book? Google Books offers that information, as well as where you can buy it and help finding the book in question in a library.
  6. Google Health: Managing your medical records is a lot easier with Google Health. You can add records from doctors, hospitals and pharmacies, as well as share them with doctors, caregivers and family members.
  7. Google Earth: Google Earth takes geographic information to the next level. Not only can you see satellite images of the whole planet, but you can build, share and explore rich information such as tours of an area or pinpointing data.
  8. Google Groups: Managing a group of people? You can share information without having to deal with a stack of emails through a Google Group. In addition to sending messages, you can also share files or create discussions.
  9. Google News: You can keep up-to-date with the latest news from the AP and other sources on Google News, but you can also search news in a number of categories — and restrict your searches to specific countries you’re interested in.
  10. Google Special Searches: You can search within special topics on Google, getting information limited to public services, universities, the U.S. government and specific technologies. You can also search Patents, Products, and Scholarly Papers.

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