I wrote the following for students because it’s too exhausting to keep track of the forgetful kids’ passwords. This way, they can keep track of passwords and links from a central location. (I encourage the forgetful kids to write passwords down, which security guru Bruce Schneier says is ok.)

If I was setting up a comfortable place to work, I would arrange my desk a certain way, gather pencils & pens & paper, and possibly even grab a Coke. This document describes how to set up something similar for your online work: a web workspace that gets you working quickly.

Your Mantra: is my friend

Our goal is to have a web workspace whether at home or at school. iGoogle to the rescue!

  1. Set your browser’s home page to your iGoogle page. At home or at school, this page will be your web workspace dashboard.
  2. Add the Bookmarks widget to your iGoogle page.
  3. Add the Google Docs widget to your iGoogle page.
  4. Create a Google Spreadsheet called “Web 2.0 Accounts” or similar.
  5. Fill in all your usernames and passwords in this spreadsheet. If you forget the logon info to a website, consult the spreadsheet. Add to the spreadsheet any time you make a new account.
  6. Add the flickr widget to your iGoogle page. (there are several, choose the one by chinson).
    • On your iGoogle page, click the down arrow to “Edit settings”. Change the username and set it to display “Latest”.

How I Made My Web Workspace

Watch the video on ScreenCast.com. Here’s a screen grab of the workspace:

Ideas for advanced readers:

  • Use iGoogle’s tabs to your benefit: set one up for each context in which you need to work. The above example was created in a tab for just one class I teach. I have others.
  • Use tags when you use Google Bookmarks. Did you know that you can make the Google Bookmarks widget display select tags? I made a “ww” tag, which stands for web workspace.
  • Leave the email widget off your web workspace page. It’s an interrupter that takes your attention away from the project at hand.