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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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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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