Before Jake proposed, I loved my Gmail account. I would tell everyone about how they needed to get out of whatever tired email account they had because Gmail rocked. Then, as we started talking guest lists, booking appointments with vendors and reading mass amounts of wedding blogs, I realized that my love for Google went beyond their near perfect email system and large database of images. I don't actually mean to pick favorites, but I can't find any similar programs out there that work as well. Here are the highlights!
I started stockpiling bookmarks in my browser once I began to discover all the great sources for wedding inspiration on the internets. I could get into a super geeky explanation of RSS feeds, but all you really need to know is that most of your favorite blogs and websites have them. If you read sites that frequently update their content, Google can pull (via the "feed") the latest from the site and dump it into your Reader. Its all in one place. Of course Weddingbee is in my reader, but so are Chicago Tribune news headlines and Wonkette. It can keep the inspiration coming and keep you up to date on world events at the same time. There is also a way to "download" everything in your reader so that you can catch up without internet access. This is great if you have a long plane ride ahead of you and you want to catch up with your celebrity gossip blogs.
Google Docs are very similar to Microsoft Word applications (and you can copy and paste from one into the other), but everything is online. There are applications for spreadsheets, text (Word) documents and presentations (Power Point). You can share your documents with friends and work on the same doc simultaneously. This means that, as long as you have internet access and a computer, you have access to all your files. This also means that you, your fiance, your parents and his parents can all have access to the guest list and seating charts. You won't need 25 versions of the same list floating around while you try to collect correct spellings of names and mailing addresses. This is assuming that all of these individuals are somewhat tech savvy, but lucky for me this hasn't been a problem.
Google CalendarThis is my favorite. Its also a little reminiscent of a Microsoft program (Outlook), but is again a little more transportable. Jake and I each have a Google Calendar and we share access with each other. This means that I can look at his calendar before scheduling cake tasting appointments and I can double check to make sure that said appointment is actually on his calendar. I sent him a scheduling request for our wedding last night- it was kind of exciting! This has been incredibly helpful in keeping my life organized since I have never had a healthy relationship with a day planner. I set it up so that Google sends me a text message 15 minutes before any appointment. Since I can save all the important info in the appointment (addresses, phone numbers, etc), it also keeps me from getting too lost en route.
I hope this helps anyone trying to keep their head on straight (in wedding planning or otherwise)!