Google Notebook (no, not a hardware device)

Google announced it last week, but today it’s alive.

Google Notebook is an online note taking tool that also integrates with Firefox and Internet Explorer through an extension. Basically the extension adds a right-click context menu item, “Note this”, and an icon in the status toolbar, which when clicked throws whatever you have selected into your Notebook. Or just a blank entry if nothing is selected.

This tool is going to work really well for me, replacing my attempts to do this through Backpack and my blog. I’ve often struggled with keeping little “notes” I want to remember in sync between my multiple systems. I’d pretty much settled in on Gmailing myself things, but this is going to work so much better…

[Edited to include the fact that you don’t need the extension/plugin, and that it works with IE and not just Firefox]

Ephraim, where’s the extension? I can’t seem to find out where I can download the extension from.

— Alan

If you log into your Google account, from the Google Notebook page, it does a browser detection and immediately redirects you to the appropriate browser’s plug-in/extension. At least that’s what it did for me…

That’s weird, it’s totally not doing it. And the right-click menu is not showing up any notebook entries either…

— Alan

Without the extension/plug-in, the right-click context menu addition won’t show up.

Let me dig around and see if I can find a direct link to the plug-in.

Which browser do you use?

I found out what the deal is… apparently the download is being blocked, you have to first go to:

http://google.com/notebook/download

hit Agree, then when the “this has been blocked” thing pops up you’ll have to accept stuff from the Google Labs site. Then it should work.

— Alan

Alright, I found it!

The download can be located here.

Based on some research, the feedback on this has been pretty “bleh”. But it’s a typical Google Labs first offering. You can sense the hint of integration with all the other Google services that will elevate this from second-rate to superb.

Just give it time.

Oh, and if you want to see that early feedback, here’s the ZDNet blog entry and here’s the Ars Technica article.

[EDIT] Ah, you found it while I was digging up those article links. Coolio. I never thought to tell you about the browser thing… Oops.

On another note, I’ve been messing around with it, and it does seem worth installing. I’ll give you an example. I created a Notebook called “Google Research” (and yes, you can create subnotebooks) and a “Section heading” called “Notebook” which is where I added the second link above. I had already added the ZDNet article, but was able to drag and drop (yay, AJAX!) the article to the appropriate “Notebook” section heading. Not bad. When they turn on the public search, it’s going to be pretty cool. Especially if it works like public Google calendars.

This appears to be their version of the successful Scrapbook extension ( https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/427/ ). Mixed with del.icio.us, as Ars notes.

Scrapbook is a pretty nifty extension, though.