a google of reasons

I've said here before that I try to be nobody's fangirl. That's including software and web sites. That's especially including software and web sites. They're like bad boyfriends — as soon as you decide they're perfect, you discover this nasty side to them that's a complete turn-off.

I do, however, use an awful lot of Google's on-line tools. I even switched to Chrome as my default web browser, away from Firefox. Here's a list of all the tools I use. Some of them I use every day, some only a few times a year, but they're all in regular rotation:

That's fifteen things, and all of them except for one involve cloud computing, which I am on the record as being sceptical of. I had no idea that I'd joined the Google universe that completely. I like to think I check things out and choose the best tool for the job, not just the one that Google makes.

But you know? By and large these tools are the best ones I've found out there. My usual criteria list is:

  • Can be used on Windows, Ubuntu Linux, Mac OS, or Maemo ('cos I use all of these)
  • Has the feature set I want
  • Is preferably free, or at least has a usable free version
  • Is stable "enough" (Note: I don't believe any software is completely stable)
  • Is easy enough to use that I can recommend it to someone without spending the rest of my life helping them with it
  • Does not require users to buy into the entire universe just because they want to check out one thing (I'm looking at you, Facebook!)
At first I had an idea that I could review all the Google tools I use as one of my blog series, like I did with document processing or basic Linux applications. But fifteen... that's over five weeks, and those tool/application posts take more time to put together than the average post.

So I'm going to start posting a Google tool entry every Friday instead. Let me know what you think.