You Should Try Pageflakes

What do you use for your internet start page?  Does it do what you need it to do? I have a great start page. It is so great that I think you need one just like it. Except not just like it because you will want it to be different.

Pageflakes is one of many variations of personalized homepages.  Maybe you have heard of iGoogle, or Netvibes? Pageflakes is another cousin. It is made up of modules called flakes (iGoogle calls them gadgets). Users pick which flakes to add to their page and how to arrange them. The personalized homepage makes the same content available wherever the user is online.

Pageflakes Screenshot

When I started using Pageflakes, one of the biggest draws was the ability to keep all my internet bookmarks in one place and accessible from both work and home using the bookmark flake. Since then I have switched to using Delicious for most of my bookmarks (that’s another post for another time, and Pageflakes has a Delicious flake). I still use a small bookmark flake for the other sites I visit every day, like the church website.

Another thing I soon grew to appreciate on Pageflakes is the ability to see multiple email in-boxes  in one place. I have a flake for my gmail and a flake for my hotmail. I can see what’s new in my inbox without having to go to each site.  The gmail flake shows subject lines of any unread emails, to read the message I click through from the flake to gmail. The hotmail flake shows all recent messages, and I can read them right in the flake.

The flake that has most influenced me to stay with Pageflakes every time I’ve tried one of the alternatives is the facebook flake. Most of the personalized homepages that are out there have some sort of facebook module available. They usually allow you to update your status and show some of your friend’s updates; other features vary. The Pageflakes version has a ton of functionality. Besides the basics it shows if you have inbox messages or friend requests or invites, and who is having a birthday. It also allows you to type in a name to find the latest update from a particular friend if they are not listed with the most recent updates. Each of these features also includes a link to the appropriate page on facebook. The one thing that is missing is new facebook notifications.  I have almost all of my notifications set to not email, so they don’t show up in that flake either. Fortunately, facebook notifications are available as a RSS feed (you can learn about that here), so I have pulled them in to the handy dandy rss feed flake.

Then there’s the delicious flake, which is where all my bookmarks are (like I said before, a post for another time, but you can check it out here if you don’t want to wait).

Finally, on my page is a great flake called sticky note, which is just a spot for any text. It is great for reminders between home and work.

To check out all these flakes, go to pageflakes.com and click on the snowflake in the upper right hand corner. Browse through the flakes with the yellow button and click ‘add to my page’ when you find a flake you like.

Unlike some of the other personal homepages, Pageflakes allows multiple tabs! A couple of my kids also use Pageflakes, so I can see their pages as tabs. At one time I set up a tab with rss feeds from some blogs I like to keep up on. I’ve also experimented with setting up a tab for work (you can see it here).

Finally, I like that you have tons of choices for colors and designs, and there are not ads.

Have you tried Pageflakes?

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