Open your computer's browser. What do you see? In other words, what is the "home page?" For too many people, it's whatever it was the day the computer came out of the box. More than likely, it's not very useful.
What if the browser opened to a page showing your calendar, to-do list, new emails, a weather report, news stories, information on current movies, and links to your favorite tools? That would be useful. It's called a "personalized start page."
For the last five years, I have used igHome. What makes it a good choice? Read on.
At the top of the screen is a search window, allowing a Google search right from the home page. Prefer, Yahoo or Bing? Make the change in the "Profile."
Across the top of the window is a black bar featuring 12 buttons. In the "Profile," the user gets to decide the name for each button and the URL each one will open. The body of the page contains "gadgets" of the user's choosing.
My black bar links are set to the following: Google Calendar, Toodledo, Evernote, Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Drive, Google News, Google Bookmarks, Feedly, Google Maps, Google Photos, and Advanced Google Search. Every time I open my browser, I am one click away from each of those 12 common sites.
The body of the my igHome page includes miniature views of my most important tools: Google Calendar, Toodledo and Gmail. Imagine being able to open your browser and see what's on your calendar, your top tasks, and new email messages as soon as you connect to the Internet!
Getting started with igHome
igHome is free and the setup takes only minutes. Go to igHome.com. Click the big blue button that says, “sign in to personalize." Create a new account.
Next, click the cog in the upper-right corner. The two main things to do here are choose a search engine and choose the black bar links. More than likely, what you want in the black bar will change over time. That's OK. Return to the Profile to make a change.
Here is where the fun begins. Click the big blue "Add Gadgets" button. Enter a subject in the search window and see whether the gadget you want exists. For example, enter "Google Calendar."
On the left-hand side of the screen, view the list of categories. Clicking on a category name reveals a list of suggested gadgets.
The page can have the weather forecast, news, a calculator, language translator, or the performance of your stock portfolio, just to name a few. If you don't find a gadget you want, create your own.
The whole idea behind a homepage is it needs to be the site that displays when the browser opens. So, the last step is designating igHome as the home page. Scroll to the bottom and find the "how to set your homepage" instructions.
Come over to my blog to see an expanded version of this article. It contains diagrams to give you a visual before you begin. Go to FrankBuck.org and click on the “Blog” button. There’s you’ll also see how you can access your personalized homepage from anywhere.
Make your homepage something that helps you every day. igHome may just be the answer.
Frank Buck is the author of Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders and was named to "Global Gurus Top 30" for 2017 in the time management category. He speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach Dr. Buck through his website: FrankBuck.org. Follow him on Twitter @DrFrankBuck.