Creating the Ultimate Personal Hub and Nerve Center

Last week I was reading Steve Rubel’s turning Gmail into your personal hub and nerve center. If you haven’t read them I suggest that you do they are actually very helpful and insightful ways of thinking and using many of the tools available to you today. The problem is however many of his solutions include third party apps and workarounds that they qualify as bubble gum and duct tape for an online Rube Goldberg experiment. What’s really missing is the seamless integration of different parts.

Gmail is an excellent tool, I use it myself, despite the threat of it’s borg like nature, and freaky and creepy advertising. When my book keeper asks for a receipt I forgot to print for $65.37 two months ago typing [65.37] into Gmail search and getting the email receipt back in one second is amazingly useful and powerful. However using any of the Google bookmarking tools is woefully inadequate compared to delicious. While I love delicious it lacks the ability to permanently archive a copy of the page like furl.net does, so if the page “disappears” or falls victim to linkrot, I don’t lose the data. None of the bookmarking services have good search functionality. Delicious lets you search across your notes, but you really need the ability to search the actual page/archived page contents to take a giant leap forward in use fullness.

I’m also a big user of Google Reader and love the new search feature. While it’s not Google fault, but if everyone who published RSS feeds published full instead of partial, it would really increase the usefulness of the tool. An additional problem is none of these services “talk” or share data with one another. So I have to remember did I bookmark that in delicious or read it Google reader? Even if I were using all Google or all Yahoo services there’s simply no way to search through everything at the same time.

Google Desktop comes close it allows you to search your computer and any network drives you’ve specified, your emails (if you can figure out how configure your firewall). However it doesn’t search your Google reader feeds or any of the bookmarking services.

What we really need is tighter integration of these already existing services. I should be able to type my keywords into a search box and get results from my calendar, email, rss, bookmarks, flickr photos and even news services. Now if this sounds a bit like personalized search you missed something. I didn’t include pages from the web at large in that list. Google desktop has an option that lets you include/not include web results which is really how it should be.

So hey Matt Cutts if Google were to offer something like that it just might be enough to get me to stop using delicious and flickr. Hey Tim Mayer if Yahoo were to offer something like that it just might be enough to get me to stop using GMail and Google reader. Hey Jason Calacanis you get the data layering/normalization trend that’s going on, how about getting something in the works, many of these applications have API’s. I really hope this idea gets printed or mailed around and crosses a few desks today …

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