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Google Search Tricks to Make Your Searches 10x Faster and Better

Google Search Tricks to Make Your Searches 10x Faster and Better
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Let’s face it, Google’s impressive search engine has almost all the answers that you could possibly be looking for. You think of a query or questions, and then you ‘just Google it.’

We spend on average four hours per week on Google searches. Seems implausible? Think of all the times that you don’t quite get the search result you want. You may make several different efforts at entering search phrases. Not only that, but even if you enter the correct search phrase, you may need to have scrolled through pages of listings before finding exactly what you were looking for.

Your time is precious, don’t waste it with inefficient web searches. I’m going to introduce to you several little-known Google search tricks to supercharge your online searching!

1. Use the Exact Phrase

If you’re looking for something specific, then make sure you search by using the exact phrase. For example, if you’re looking to find out Tom Cruise’s height, type in the exact phrase into the Google search bar as follows: “Top Gun” This will instantly return only articles or websites that contain that exact phrase. (Please note that the “___” is what tells Google you’re only wanting exact phrase results.)

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    2. Exclude Terms With Minus

    This second tip is actually an extension of the first one. Staying with Top Gun, let’s say your exact phrase search “Top Gun” brings up dozens of articles that mention Tom Cruise. You could trim down the results list by excluding the word Cruise.

    To do this, you need to use the minus symbol before the word you want to exclude. Here’s how it should look: “Top Gun” -Cruise

      3. Say Hello to *

      In Google searches, the asterisk (*) offers two clever tricks.

      Firstly, it can help Google find a missing word in a phrase or quote. For example, try searching for this: Whether you *that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right I’ll leave you to discover the missing word and author of this quote.

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      The second trick the asterisk can perform is to search all words starting with a specific word. For instance, if you search: inst* This will bring up not just results with the words inst in it, and also variants such as instagram, institute and instructure.

        4. Make OR Your Search Friend

        This tip is super easy to use, and is a bit like going into a coffee shop and saying: “I don’t mind which cake I have, and I’m happy with either chocolate OR lemon.” In the virtual world, if you are unsure of the best search, or would like to do a multiple search at the same time, use the OR function. Here’s an example of how it should look: Batman or Thor This search will return results for both Batman and Thor. (Some results may be separate, others may contain both searched terms.)

          5. Use Synonym Searches

          I’m sure you’ve come across times when you can’t remember the exact name of an establishment or website. Your initial searches fail to find what you’re looking for. In cases like this, you might want to try a synonym search. How does it work? Well, let’s say that you were looking for Cafe Days in Haledon, New Jersey. But wait… you’re not sure if it’s Days or Daze? The quickest way to resolve this is to type the following into the search bar: Cafe Days Haledon ~Daze Google will immediately give you the answer you’re looking for.

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            6. Search Between Two Values

            I’m guessing that you won’t have come across this search tip before. However, it’s a super useful one to know about. For example, have you ever wanted to quickly find a list of U.S. presidents between certain years? Google can make this really easy for you. All you need to do is enter the following search phrase: U.S. presidents 1950.. 2000 In this example, the phrase will quickly return results showing all the U.S. presidents that served between 1950 and 2000. Just to be clear, the “..” followed by a space is what triggers this search function.

              7. Bring up Related Sites

              I personally use this handy search function a lot. It allows you to find websites similar to other websites. This is best explained with an example. Let’s say that you love going to National Geographic’s website, but you’d also like to see what other similar websites are available. Here’s what you need to type into the Google search bar: related:nationalgeographic.com This search will instantly return a list of similar sites to National Geographic. As I mentioned earlier, a super useful function.

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                Save Time and Frustration with Lightning-Fast Google Searches

                You want to find your football team’s latest score.

                You need advice on how to make a claim on your insurance.

                You’d love to know just how high your favorite mountain is.

                The list of possible searches is endless, but by using the seven tips I recommend in this article, you’ll save yourself valuable time, energy and headache.

                Whether at work or at home, you’ll find yourself being able to pinpoint information in super-quick time. You’ll also find yourself having a new relationship with the internet. One where you are a confident and masterful commander.

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                I’m sure this article will give you everything you need to be a rapid-fire Google searcher, but if you need anymore information – just Google it!

                Featured photo credit: FirmBee via pixabay.com

                More by this author

                Leon Ho

                Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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                No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

                Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

                Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

                A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

                Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

                In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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                From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

                A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

                For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

                This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

                The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

                That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

                Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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                The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

                Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

                But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

                The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

                The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

                A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

                For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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                But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

                If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

                For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

                These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

                For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

                How to Make a Reminder Works for You

                Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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                Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

                Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

                My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

                Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

                I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

                More on Building Habits

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                Reference

                [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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