Yahoo unwraps a Search Pad

Despite the real possibility that your desk actually is composed of nothing but sticky notes and scraps of random paper, Yahoo's testing a new tool that could help you dismiss some of the daily data debris.

The search engine's testing a Search Pad, an online app that the company envisions as your virtual scratch pad, or maybe your virtual monitor bezel -- if you're the sort that sticks notes and printouts all around your monitor in hopes of not losing track of sites in your delicious list, bookmarks, or tab forest. (Apparently keeping 75 tabs open at once is not an effective research strategy. Or so I've heard claimed.)

A video on the Yahoo Search Blog (linked above) has the basics. You can manually build a collection if you like, or if Yahoo notices that you appear to be doing some sort of research, it'll ask if you'd care to start a pad. The Search Pad can keep track of the pages you find and store clippings or additional notes; it's all editable, and pads can be saved and mailed to others.

It's not the first search-oriented idea-catcher out there; Google's defunct Notebook project did much the same things. If you miss that functionality, or if you suspect that there's a better way to record your research efforts than scribbled notes and random printouts, keep an eye on Yahoo's site for the upcoming rollout.

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