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Cool Things You Can Do With Google

Cool Things You Can Do With Google
Google Tips

No one would argue the fact that Google is one of the most useful sites on the Internet. Unfortunately, most people only use about 3% of its power.

Smart Google users, on the other hand, know how to turn Google into a quick calculator, translate foreign sites, create their own customized search engine, and search for movie reviews and stock quotes with special search queries. In this article, we’ll show you how to do all of that and more.

Turn Google Into a Quick Calculator

Google enables you to perform a number of math operations including
addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and percentages.
All you have to do is use some calculator operators, which include:

  • + (addition)
  • – (subtraction)
  • * (multiplication)
  • / (division)
  • % of (percentage of)
  • ^ (raise to a power)

Here a few example queries to get you started.

Take Notes while Browsing the Web with Google Notebook.

This note taking application allows you to organize all of your online research quickly and easily. With Google Notebook, you can clip text, images, and links from web pages while browsing. Your notes and clips are saved to an online “notebook” that you can access from any computer, and may also be shared with others. So whether you’re planning a vacation or writing a school paper, Google Notebook makes it easy. To get started, go to Google Notebook’s main site.

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Translate Foreign Sites

A large portion of the web sites on the Internet are not in English. This means that you’re missing out on a big portion of the Web. Fortunately, Google has provided a solution.

First, translate the word you want to search for into the desired language. You can do this at BabelFish. Next, go to Google, enter your search query, and press enter.

On the results page, you should see a link that says, “Translate this page” to the right side of the search results. Click on that link and Google will automatically translate the page to English
for you.

I have used just this one tip to discover a number of great new sites that I never would have had access to if it weren’t for Google’s translation tools.

Looking for Movie Reviews?

Google’s got you covered. Simply go to http://www.google.com/movies and type in your favorite movie. Here’s an example of my most recent search for Shrek the Third:

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Google Movie Search

Google also has lots of specialized search portals catered to technology enthusiasts.

Are you a Mac junkie? Google will allow you to search for all things related to Mac and Apple at http://www.google.com/mac.

Search for all things Microsoft at http://www.google.com/microsoft/.

Not a Microsoft fan? Google’s got a special Linux search engine waiting for you at http://www.google.com/linux.

Forget the Weather Channel.

Who needs television when you’ve got Google? To get your local weather, simply go to www.google.com and type in weather:”areacode”. Fill in your area code and you will be given a 4-day weather forecast and today’s temperature, wind, and humidity.

Looking For a Stock Quote?

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Find it quickly at Google by typing in: “stocks:msft”. This search query will give you a quick snapshot of Microsoft’s stock performance. To find other stock information, just change the stock symbol.

Create your own Customized Google Search Engine.

Google is allowing everyone to join in the fun with Google Custom Search Engines. This Google product allows anyone to create their very own search engine.

You get to choose the sites, invite others to contribute to your search engine, and even customize the look and feel to suit your preferences.

You could make your very own customized search for jobs, videos, digital camera reviews, and more. The possibilities are endless.

Start building your own search engine at http://google.com/coop/cse/.

Hidden Google Pages

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There are also a number of hidden pages on Google that you’ve probably never seen before. Here are just a few of them:

Google Moms – A tribute to Google moms for Mother’s Day.

Google Dance 2004 , Google Dance 2005 and Google Dance 2006. Yes, it’s hard to believe, but Google has their very own dance. They’re packed with plenty of food, drinks, games, product demos, and a hotspot where you can meet the engineers.

Google Holiday Logos – About the only thing that spices up the Google homepage are their cool logos. They’ve dedicated a special
page to commemorate all of the holiday logos dating back to 1999.

Dilbert and the Google Logo – Check out the first and last Dilbert cartoon on Google.

The Future of Google

Google always has new ideas brewing in the Google Labs. Everything from Experimental Search to Google Voice Local Search. Find out what they’re up to at http://labs.google.com. Play around with their prototypes and then send in some feedback. Who knows, maybe we’ll see your ideas in the next Google tool.

Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 Essential GTD Resources, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, What They Don’t Teach You in School, and Free Yourself From the Inbox.

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Last Updated on April 8, 2019

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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  1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
  2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
  3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
  4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
  5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
  6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
  7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
  8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
  9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
  10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
  11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
  12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
  13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
  14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
  15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
  16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
  17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
  18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
  19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
  20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
  21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
  22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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