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Getting Started with Google

written by: Mark Muller•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 9/17/2011

Google is so much more than just search. Google offers all kinds of applications from office tools to calendaring applications, and mapping capabilities. Before you can take advantage of any of Google's apps, however, you'll need a Google account. Learn how to create on in this article.

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    One Key for all Google Tools

    One of the most appealing aspects of Google's applications is that in most cases they're accessible to anyone who wants to give them a try. If they're not, it's usually because the application is so new that the powers that be over at Google are phasing in the number of users.

    Beginning with Gmail, Google has allowed a limited number of users to sign up for applications while they are still in beta testing. Once the limited number is reached, new users are allowed to access an application only by invitation until the beta testing on the application is complete. At that time, Google opens the application to general use.

    Whether you're one of the first users to access a new application, a user who's fortunately enough to land an invitation (because you know "in-people"), or someone coming to a program after the application has been opened to the general public, the first step is to create a Google account.

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    You Need a Google Account

    I would equate Google to a kindom full of rich wonders. The problem with kingdoms is that very often they're protected by locked doors. Google is, too. The good news is that anyone can get keys to the kingdom. The only requirement is that you register for a Google account, a process that requires a few minutes of your time and a couple simple pieces of information:

    1. Go to
    2. Click the Sign In link in the top-right corner. You'll be take to a page that displays the log-in box for those with a Google Account.
    3. To register a new Google account, click the Create an account now link located below the sign-in box.
    4. You are taken to the Create an account screen. FIll in your e-mail address, choose a password, and select your location. You must also decide if you want personalized search capabilities enabled. Such capabilities are based on your personal usage habits.
    5. Now, enter the verification word, and read and agree to the terms of service and then click "I accept. Create my account now."
    6. You should be taken to a confirmation page. Now you have to wait until your verification e-mail is delivered.
    7. Once the verification e-mail arrives, click the link included in the message. Alternatively, you can copy the link included in the message and paste it into the address bar of your Web browser. Your account is then verified, and you're now the proud owner of a Google account.

    NOTE: Be sure you read the terms of service carefully before you click the button to accept the terms of service and create a new account.

    Your Google account may not look like much, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Remember that this is your key to the kingdom. The wonders lie inside the castel walls.

    [This article is excerpted from Google Powered: Productivity with Online Tools by Jerri L. Ledford (ISBN: 978-0470109656, Wiley, Jan. 2007).