Yes, we all know you can use Google to find websites, but it's good for so much more. Is your desk crowded with a dictionary, phone
book, and atlas? You can throw out all of your heaviest reference books and stop calling your local library. Use the power of Google to find up-to-date answers to your reference questions in a hurry.
Does your pocket calculator hide whenever you need it? You could use the clunky calculator built into your computer, but Google has an easier solution.
Google has an awesome calculator hidden beneath the hood. Google can calculate both basic and advanced math problems, and it can convert measurements as it calculates. You don't even need to restrict yourself to numbers. Google can understand many words and abbreviations and evaluate those expressions, too.
A desktop dictionary is cumbersome, and it's often out-of-date with modern computing terms. Google can act as your dictionary by finding dictionary definitions from a variety of online reference sites and displaying them all as search results. An extra bonus is that you never have to flip through twenty pages to find a word.
Do look at the source of the definition, since some sources are naturally more authoritative than others.
Rather than keeping track of a stack of phone books, find your phone numbers online. You can also use Google as a reverse look-up and find a name that belongs to a phone number. Every once in a while, someone delivers a new phone book to my door, but we haven't actually cracked it open in years.
Throw away your globe, unless you just like it for looks. It probably doesn't have the right name listed for all the countries, anyway. Google Earth gives you all the information of a globe and more. Manipulate the globe with your mouse as if you were spinning it with a finger. You can search for specific locations and see often very detailed satellite images. You can turn on many layers of additional information, including 3D buildings, tourist destinations, and even movies.
Rather than keep an atlas set, use Google Maps
to find destinations, get directions, and plan your vacations. Google Maps has much more current information than most atlas sets, and it is far more interactive. You can even use one of many Google Maps Mash-ups
to find even more specialized maps.
Whenever you plan a trip or need to find quick driving directions, just print them out from Google Maps and carry two or three pieces of paper, rather than an entire book.
Google Maps is available on the Web at maps.google.com.
Do you find yourself collecting expired calendars? Rather than piling up more calendars each year, schedule your life on Google Calendar. You can share your calendar with family and coworkers, so everyone is in sync, and you can even access your calendar from your phone.
Your desk and walls will never be so clean.
Google Calendar can be found on the Web at calendar.google.com.
What desk reference have you replaced with Google? Let us know your favorite Google trick by posting in the forums. Registration is free.