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10 Google Spreadsheet Tricks & Tips You Probably Didn’t Know

10 Google Spreadsheet Tricks & Tips You Probably Didn’t Know

Google Docs has been the free alternative to Microsoft Office for the longest time now. This is due in part to how the Google document suite allows individuals to create Google word documents, presentations, and spreadsheets for free and all on the web. However, there are still individuals looking for more ways to extend the power of Google Docs, and more notably Google Sheets, in their every day business and personal tasks. Today, we will take a look at ten Google Spreadsheet tricks and tips that will get you creating spreadsheet docs that will blow everyone by surprise.

1. The Power of the =IMAGE Function

docs_01

    It is of course a known fact that you are able to add images through a file upload in Google Sheets. However, a faster way to add images to your Google Sheets is through a formula of =image(“url”). In the parenthesis, put the link of the image from online in quotation marks. It’s a fairly easy formula to make use of and it can possibly save you a ton of upload time in the process.

    2. Make Use of Templates

    docs_02

      You can make use of a ton of templates in Microsoft Office, and the same is true for Google Sheets. There are a ton for you to make use of and they are a great way for you to get a jump start in what ever form of word processing you are doing in Google Docs and specifically in Google Sheets. All you have to do in Google Docs is click “Create New”, from there select “From Template” and browse away.

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      3. From the Cloud, to Hard Drive

      docs_03

        Keeping documents in the cloud can be great for accessing your documents on the go. However, it isn’t always best when you are trying to access them while offline. Maybe you want to have a file form of your Google Docs work, if so, this is the tip for you. In Google Docs, select by checking off the documents you are looking to backup. Under “Actions”, select “Download” and in a .zip file, your files are ready to go. It is important to note that you have a 2GB limit.

        4. List All Keyboard Shortcuts

        docs_04

          Keyboard shortcuts are the ultimate way to stay productive. However, what better way to find out all of the keyboard shortcuts at your disposal than by making use of a keyboard shortcut. Command + “forward slash” (Mac) or “Control” + “Forward Slash” (Windows) brings up the ultimate list of shortcuts that will allow you to get things done in a snap.

          5. Stay Focused in Full Screen

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          docs_05

            It can be easy to find yourself distracted by the other things that are going on around you. When you find yourself in a focused environment however, you aren’t exactly out of distraction danger. You then encounter the distractions of your computer screen. Google Docs has a solution for that. Under the “View” tab, select “Full Screen” and you are off to an environment that will allow you to crank out an amazing spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

            6. Conditional Formatting

            docs_06

              Conditional formatting is a key feature in any spreadsheet program. This is no different in Google Sheets. Today, we will focus on making use of conditional formatting to colour the cells in your document. Just as conditional formatting is used to make large tasks approachable, making use of the colouring tools in conditional formatting allows you to see a large amount of data as more approachable for you to tackle.

              If you are doing inventory and want to visually see what items are below a set quantity, you can highlight the entire cell(s) you are looking to work with, click the arrow to the right of your column header and click “conditional formatting”. When open, you can set your parameters, choose the colours for each parameter, and then click “save rules”.

              7. Get Related Terms – Magically

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              docs_07

                If you are like me, you may find yourself making use of mind maps a lot to stay creative and to even cure those tip-of-the-tongue moments. Google Sheets is also there to help you out in such situations as well. Using a Google Labs add-on known as Google Sets, simply type two related terms in your cell. From there, highlight the entire cell while clicking “option” on a Mac or “Ctrl” on Windows. Terms begin to “magically” appear.

                8. Accessing More Currencies

                docs_08

                  If you are working in finance or simply need to make a spreadsheet involving some money, this is the tip for you. If you need to access currency other than the US Dollar, simply highlight the cells, click the “123” button in the toolbar, and scroll to “More Currencies”. Click the currency you want and you’re done. Google Docs just became a bit more travelled!

                  9. Insert Google Sheets into Docs

                  docs_09

                    If you are an avid Google Docs user, you will find that your word documents will need to be placed in Google Sheets and vice versa. Doing this, however, is much easier and seamless than you think. With Charts, in the Google Chrome store, you are able to insert Google Sheets charts in Google Docs by opening the add-on “Charts” in your add-on menu, click “Load Data”, select, drag what data you’ll be using, and select “Insert”.

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                    10. Gathering Data Easier

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                      If you are performing a project or need to make use of a survey to then gather information from for you spreadsheet, Google Forms its what you need. Easily sharable and even with the ability to be embedded on your website by going to “Forms” then “Create a Form”. From there, you can have individuals fill out their respective responses. Once your trials have ended, your data is added to the top of the spreadsheet for you to make use of.

                      I hope that you are able to take the tips and tricks learned today and make some fantastic Google spreadsheets. Let us know in the comments below which trick you’ll make use of the most.

                      Featured photo credit: Xcluesiv via xcluesiv.com

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                      40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                      40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                      Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                      There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                      Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                      It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                      Productivity apps to help you get things done

                      1. OmniFocus

                      This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                      Download it here.

                        2. Forest

                        Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                        Download it here.

                          3. Things

                          Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                          Download it here.

                            4. 30/30

                            Recently covered here at Lifehack

                            , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                            Download it here.

                              5. Any.Do

                              A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                              Download it here.

                                6. PocketLife Calendar

                                This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                Download it here.

                                  7. Asana

                                  We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                  , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                  Download it here.

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                                    8. ToDoist

                                    This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                    Download it here.

                                      9. FlowTasks

                                      From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                      Download it here.

                                        10. Calendars 5

                                        This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                        Download it here.

                                          11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                          A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                          Download it here.

                                            12. Due

                                            A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                            Download it here.

                                              13. Checkmark 2

                                              I use this app

                                              for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                              Download it here.

                                                14. TeuxDeux

                                                Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  15. Wunderlist 

                                                  Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                  Download it here.

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                                                    16. Nirvana

                                                    For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      17. Priorities

                                                      An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                        18. Productive

                                                        With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                          You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            20. Streaks

                                                            This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              21. Remember The Milk

                                                              Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                22. Day One Journal

                                                                When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                  23. Evernote

                                                                  Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    24. Pocket

                                                                    You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                    Download it here.

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                                                                      25. Sync.Me

                                                                      This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        26. Droplr

                                                                        One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          27. Dropbox

                                                                          Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            28. iDolly 

                                                                            In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                            Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              29. Soulver

                                                                              It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                                30. Captio

                                                                                A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  31. Drafts

                                                                                  A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                    This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                    Download it here.

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                                                                                      33. Doodle

                                                                                      This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                        I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                          A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            36. GoodReader

                                                                                            This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              37. LogMeIn

                                                                                              Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                                38. 1Password

                                                                                                There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                  You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                  All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    40. Truecallers

                                                                                                    Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                      Reference

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