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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

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!

            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 January 21, 2020

            What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

            What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

            Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

            Can I Be Creative?

            The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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            How Creativity Works

            Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

            What Really Is Creativity?

            Creativity Needs an Intention

            Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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            Creativity Is a Skill

            At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

            Start Connecting the Dots

            Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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