At Google, when it rains, it pours. In the wake of announcing its first round of layoffs this afternoon, Google has released several blog posts detailing the upcoming shutdown of a number of services (compiled here by Danny Sullivan). Included among the upcoming closures are: Google Notebooks, Google Catalogs, Dodgeball, Google Video, Google Mashup Editor, and future development of Jaiku (though the service will live on).While I can see why Google would want to focus on fewer projects given the change in the economy, it sucks that they choose to kill Google Notebook which is one of my favorite Google services.
From The Google Notebook Blog:
Starting next week, we plan to stop active development on Google Notebook. This means we'll no longer be adding features or offer Notebook for new users. But don't fret, we'll continue to maintain service for those of you who've already signed up. As part of this plan, however, we will no longer support the Notebook Extension, but as always users who have already signed up will continue to have access to their data via the web interface at http://www.google.com/notebook.But, with 600 comments maybe there will be enough popular support for Google to reconsider (or at least keep the current Notebook Extension kicking).
Lifehacker looks at alternatives to Notebook. I gave Evernote and Zoho Notebook a whirl. Evernote is pretty cool, (especially the text search in images) but it isn't as good as Google Notebook for seeing the contents of lots of text notes on one page. Zoho Notebook allows you to see many notes on one page, but doesn't work nearly as slickly as Google Notebook and overall I prefer Evernote over Zoho.
I will keep my fingers crossed that Google reconsiders this decision and that I won't have to migrate to either of these inferior services.
Update: This Wired How-to Wiki also looks into this and finds another service Ubernote which has an import Google Notebook feature. I tested this one out, and I think I like it better than the other two, but still isn't as good as Google Notebook.
Zoho, Evernote Open Up Google Notebook Importers