Getting started with iGoogle
A great space to keep it all in one place
Google offers many free tools, and one of my favorites the iGoogle page. This is a free "tool" that is both fun to use and a powerful way to keep up to date on things that interest me and stay organized. (Something I can always use help with!)
Initial customization of your page
Click on the topics that interest you. These are very easy to delete or add to later on, so don't worry too much about picking the "right" ones.
Select a theme. Like the topics, very easy to change later on, and many more options once you are signed up.
Choose your location. You don't need to add your zip code, but if you do, sections will be updated for local times and conditions. For example, the weather section will be for your local area. Additionally, many of the themes update with different graphics throughout the day, depending on the local time.
Finally, click on the see your page button.
You will then be brought to your new temporary page. You can customize the page by grabbing the top of each module, called a gadget, and drag-drop where you want it on the page.
Customizing your iGoogle page
You can delete gadgets that you aren't interested in and add more by clicking on the "Add stuff" link on the right at the base of the header image.
This is also where you can choose a new theme (page header, color scheme) by clicking on the "Select theme" link.
The "Add a tab" link allows you to generate a new tab. The label you give this tab will generate "stuff" (gadgets) based on that name if you check the box. Google will then load your new tab with gadgets that you may like. You can always delete them if they are not what you want.
Choosing themes and gadgets
Have fun! There are many to choose from. Some are fabulous, some not as fabulous. If I am looking for a particular tool or gadget for my page, I will add 2 or 3 different ones to see what one works the best and what user interface is the best for me. I then delete the extras.
Each tab page can have its own theme and own gadgets.
The themes vary widely on how well they work with the layout, the color scheme, etc. Two of my favorites were two of the original Google themes, Aja Tiger and Tea House. I was happily surprised to see the adorable characters doing different tasks throughout the day (related to my time zone).
One thing to note: if you select a theme or a gadget, it will automatically add to the tab you had open when you went to add the new element.
If you added a gadget to the wrong tab, you can simply drag-drop them to the correct tab. For themes, you will need to load the tab you want the theme on and click "select theme" for that page.
Below are a couple (of the many) "views" of the Tea House fox throughout the day.
Fox in the morning, Fox at dinner
Do you iGoogle?
I hope that this hub has been helpful as an introduction to this fun desktop tool/personal web page. Please post your own iGoogle tips or questions in the comments. Thanks!