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Search Google Faster: 3 Time-Saving Tips From A Search Addict

Search Google Faster: 3 Time-Saving Tips From A Search Addict
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Google is a powerful search tool, that’s for sure. Google is super fast, while having an enormous index. So far it’s the best search tool out there.

While I depend on Google for all my searching needs, I love the flexibility that it’s giving me. I search Google all the time. It’s actually easier to find my bookmarks in Google than in my browser. I even search Google to find pages from my own site that I remember creating.

1. SITE: specific search

You are probably aware of Google’s SITE: command. It lets you limit any search to one (or more) domains. I find the feature very useful for two main reasons:

  • It lets me pull results from my favorite sites. I know my niche and really good blogs in it, but Google seems to be worse at recognizing that. So, whenever it won’t show good enough results, I force it to search within my trusted domains.
  • It lets me quickly search within any site, so I never have to care to look for a third-party built-in search box on a site. (Love it or hate it, Google can follow you around the web!)

SITE: is my daily search operator. I use it at least ten times a day! It turns out pretty handy for searching official (.gov) or educational (.edu) resources, too, because you can limit your search to a top-level domain, for example: [travel safety site:.gov]

What’s more important is that it’s an absolute time saver. As a workaholic and control freak, I am telling you, this is your most powerful productivity weapon.

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2. Create “Your favorite sites” search (Firefox search plugins)

If you find yourself searching within the same sites again and again, it makes sense to create a separate search plugin to quickly access them through Google’s SITE: operator.

First, search Google (substitute “favoritesiteX.com” with your required domain, below):

SITE:favoritesite1.com OR SITE:favoritesite2.com OR favoritesite3.com {searchTerms}

Now copy the search results page URL string.

Go to this page and submit the search engine name (e.g. “my favorite sites”), paste in the Google URL string you got above, select the GET method and you are almost done. The page will require you to use a favicon for your search engine, so I use any from Google search (I am only planning to use it for my personal use after all). You can also try this generator if you get too excited.

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Create your search plugin

    Ok, yes, that’s a couple of steps, but this should only have to be done once for you to then be able to access your favorite sites search with one click of a mouse!

    Test the plugin and submit it to the repository for others to use.

    Now whenever you need to quickly search Google and see results only from your favorite sites, type your search terms in the Firefox search box and you are there!

    Step 1: Type your search terms:

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    Search boc

      Step 2: See Google results limited to your favorite sites:

      Favarote sites

        3. Never Look for a Search Box: Search ANY Site Using Google

        Helpful tool: Goog All Sites is an absolutely amazing add-on for Firefox. It sits in your Add-ons Bar at the bottom of the screen and shows a little search box. If you land on any web page and feel like searching the current site for more information on anything, simply put your search terms in the add-on search field and click “Enter”.

        The add-on will open [site:currentdomain.com YOUR SEARCH TERM] search results in a new tab. How cool! And it takes seconds! (Well, all you need to do is to type the search phrase.)

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        Step one: Type your search term and click Enter:

        Search Google

          Step 2: Get Google search results from the current site

          Get results from the current site

            Bonus tip: Here is how you can quickly find what you’ve said on Google Plus using the tool above!

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            I do realize the irony though: I claim being independent of any site search functionality while depending on Google so heavily. I have my own personal issues with Google, but they offer a great search tool—that’s something you can’t deny!

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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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