Well, it has been an interesting week. We got back from a three-day weekend, President Obama took office, and Google actually began stepping back from providing applications… I learned about this from an eWeek article, but then confirmed the information released on January 14, 2009 at the Google Notebook Blog as well.
While I have not b
een a huge fan of Google Notebook, I have used it and showcased it in a presentation on Digital Notebooks at the IETC 2008 Conference last November. I know that many educators really liked using Google Notebook. Now overall for existing users it appears that Google will maintain the Notebook service as it is:
we'll continue to maintain service for those of you who've already signed up. As part of this plan, however, we will no longer support the Notebook Extension, but as always users who have already signed up will continue to have access to their data via the web interface at http://www.google.com/notebook. – Raj Krishnan, Product Manager, Google Notebook
The loss of the Notebook extension I think will be a bigger hit to users as it made it so easy to grab thoughts and ideas… Ironically, on January 12, 2009 Will Richardson blogged about his reading practices and archiving the snippets of web-based thought that challenge him:
I’m growing increasingly enamored withe Google Notebook as a way to capture the best snippets and ideas for a variety of purposes. More and more, I read with an ear for saving the most salient parts, which is really challenging me to think of my own organizational schemes in a good, but somewhat frustrating way. – Will Richardson, Weblogg-ed.com
I hope that everyone finds a new tool that meets their needs for gathering, organizing, and leveraging digital content. I would like to provide a an alternative, that to those of you who know me well will not be surprised… Zoho Notebook… I have always felt that Zoho provided a much more robust tool for gathering a plethora of different types of information be it text, audio, video, embedded, graphical and much more. Additionally, 6 days after Google’s announcement Raju Vegesna, Zoho Evangelist, posted that Zoho had altered the Zoho Notebook firefox plugin to enable an import from a users Google Notebooks into Zoho Notebook. Detailed directions are included in his post, but for some reason, the link within my Zoho Notebook in Flock did not take me to the location I needed… So, here are the instructions if you are looking to try. The add-on worked flawlessly for me within Flock:
To import with ease, you can use our add-on for Mozilla Firefox.
Install or upgrade to Zoho Notebook Helper 1.0b2
On restarting Firefox, please point your browser to chrome://zoho-notebook/content/g2z.html and follow the instructions given there.
To import your notebooks from Google Notebook into Zoho Notebook, please upload Google Notebook as Atom(.xml).
You can export your Google Notebook as Atom in Google Notebook's interface.
Step 1: Click Manage notebooks on the left hand side.
Step 2: Click export on which notebook you want to export.
Step 3: Click Atom, You will be prompted to save a file. Save that file to your disk.
Step 4: Now click Browse or Choose file button provided below, to select the saved file.
Step 5: Click Import.
I also have heard (but not confirmed) that Evernote is looking to develop a similar import tool.
On a final note, Google is stopping it’s print ads business as well… In no way is Google hurting, but this is the first time I have seen them pull back … many are speculating what else will be getting cut as well… We all know 2009 will be a difficult year for everyone, but together we can and will get through these hard times. For the last two years I have been enamored with Zoho, and hope that you will give Zoho Notebook a try.