However Google, as a company, has many more apps and programs that many of us use, and plenty more useful ones that some of don't know of, including:
Google Chrome (the web browser)
GMail (Google's email client
Google's online Office suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides etc)
Google Drive (online storage)
Google Keep (online notes)
Google Blogger (which I use to write post on this blog)
and many more, including YouTube
Today I thought I'd let you know how all of these can work together to keep you organized and also on occasion minimize data loss, when for example you have to reinstall Windows, or even Chrome.
All you need to get started is a Google Account and password.
If you have a gmail email address you already have an account and can simply sign in with that.
Download Google Chrome browser, if you don't already have it, and sign in with your existing Gmail address and password or create a new account.
I like to set some settings right off the bat, like making my home page Google's search engine page (www.google.com, or .ca or your country preference)
I also like to make sure the home button and and favorites bar are turned on.
All this is done in the settings - under the 3 vertical dot menu at the top left of Chrome.
I also set the home button to point to google.com for convenience.
Once you are signed in you can access any of Google's apps from the app menu which is a 9 dot icon beside your user icon (you can add a photo or customized icon to that user icon if you like)
You can customize the apps menu and add other shortcuts - that's a whole other lesson, but know it can be done.
If you use google bookmarks to create a list of your favorite sites
and Google Keep to keep important notes
and Google Drive to store files
and YouTube to subscribe to channels or save favorite videos...
...all of that data stays linked to your account.
so if you have to get a new computer, or use a different computer while away, simply log into your Google account and all your info is already there.
I especially like having access to my bookmarks when away from my home computer.
If more than one person shares your computer they can have a separate Chrome icon linked to their own account, and it will show their own photo or customized icon in the corner of the Chrome icon for easy identification.
This works if you don't sign out of Chrome when you close it.
Of course on a computer other than your own, be sure you DO sign out, and if you had to add your account to Chrome on another user's computer for temporary access, be sure to remove it when you no longer need it - especially on a public PC!
Basically, with a Google account you have a portal to the whole Google Universe of apps without having to have a separate user account and password for each one.
This is also how Chromebooks work.
A chromebook is an less expensive laptop alternative that doesn't store a lot of info on it's own drive. You simply use it to log in to the Google Universe of Apps online.
For many people the Chrome Apps cover almost all of their computing needs, and for others it's just a really helpful way to keep a lot of info available wherever they are.
You can pay a fee every year to have more Google storage, for Gmail and Google Drive and so on. There are some fairly reasonable tiers to choose from. However if you only need the basics, you can get by with all the free options.
So checkout a few of the Google apps you are less familiar with and see if you find them helpful.