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10 Smart Ways to Use Google+ That You Have to Know

10 Smart Ways to Use Google+ That You Have to Know

Google+ is the world’s fastest growing social network. You need to have an account if you plan on using YouTube, and having a Google account also has a myriad of other benefits. Are you new to Google+? Here are some tips and tricks to help out!

1. Get the Hangouts plugin

Google Plus

    On Google+ you message people using the Hangouts messaging system. You can access it on any Google+ page and also on your Gmail inbox page if you use that. If you have Chrome, you can get the official Hangouts extension that lets you use the chat as long as Chrome is open. However, there is also a video plugin that you can get on most major browsers. Using the plugin, you can engage in video chatting with any Google+ member, perform a Hangouts-On-Air, which is kind of like an amateur live video podcast, or use any other video features of Google+. You can get it by following this link. It’s world’s better than Facebook Messenger and the video chats are more flexible than Skype. You can also download the Hangouts app on iOS and Android and they both support video chatting.

    2. Memorize this cheat sheet

    Google Plus

      When people are new to Google+, they’re not always sure how far they can go with it. Bloggers blog there, sharers share there, and jokers joke there. Using the cheat sheet posted above, you can see how to format your posts with things like bold and italic texts, images, links, and all sorts of other fun things. Using the cheat sheet, you can make beautiful posts that people will enjoy!

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      3. And this one too

      Google Plus

        This is the keyboard shortcuts list as found on Google+. If you need to see it for yourself, go to Google+ and press CTRL and the question mark (?) together and this will pop up. You can control most of the social network without touching your mouse if you prefer and it’s easier to tap the space bar to scroll down than it is to try to scroll with your mouse or laptop mouse pad.

        4. Create a poll

        Google Plus

          You can actually use the mechanics built into Google+ to make a poll. Here’s how you do it. You post the question you want answered. Then you comment on your own post with all of the options. After that, lock the comments. In the original post, tell people to +1 (Google’s version of Facebook’s “like”) the answer they choose. There you go, a poll!

          5. Share posts with empty circles to create custom bookmarks

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          Google Plus

            Have you ever found something on social media that you wanted to keep but didn’t want to share yet? On Google+, you can! Create an empty circle and do not put anyone in it. You can share posts with that empty circle only. That post will only be able to be viewed by you. It’s a great way to save a status update draft, keep fun stuff private until you’re ready to share it, and all sorts of other creative uses.

            6. Use the circle dynamic to create an RSS feed

            Google+

              There is no RSS feed built into Google+ but these days most major blogs have their own page. You can create a circle for those blogs (mine is creatively called “Blogs”) and when you go to follow your favorite blogs, put them in the blogs circle. Then, on the Google+ home page, you can choose to view just your blogs circle. You’ll see everything they post without the humdrum boredom of sifting through the posts of others to find it. Don’t forget to add Lifehack to your blogs circle!

              7. GIFs are welcome everywhere on Google+ (except the comments)

              Google+

                GIFs are fun little things. They can make you laugh and wonder all in the span of a few seconds. Google+ is a big fan of GIFs and you can post them almost anywhere. You can add them to status updates for a little extra flair, share them with your friends (can’t do that on Facebook), and you can even set one as your profile photo or your banner image. This is a fun way to add a little pizazz to an otherwise static page. Just don’t make it offensive or ridiculous because people won’t like that.

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                8. Back up your phone camera roll on Android and iOS

                Google Plus

                  When you use the Google+ mobile app you can set it to backup everything you take with your camera. These images can be found under the Photos section of your Google+ page whenever you visit. It’ll upload images and videos in almost all formats. This is a great way to backup your images. Don’t worry, nothing gets shared (unless you do it manually), only uploaded. What happens to it after that is totally up to you.

                  9. Find like-minded people using communities

                  Google+

                    Google+ communities are an awesome place to find like-minded people. There are communities for almost everything including hobbies, product brands, music, movies, people, and everything else. You can join these communities and interact with people who like the kind of things you like. My girlfriend did this when she joined a number of communities that post cute pet pictures and now regularly interacts with people who like animals. If your friends haven’t joined Google+ yet, then this is the best way to meet people who like what you like and get your main feed populated with stuff you actually want to see.

                    10. Customize your privacy

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                    Google+

                      Not only can you customize the privacy of every individual post on Google+, but you can also do it with your profile. Google+ has a very modular profile set up with your About Me, Places, Work, etc. Each one of these modules is individually editable and you can set the privacy to something different on each one. You can share what you want to share with who you want to share it with and that includes your profile information.

                       

                      With these tips and tricks, you can get your Google+ profile off to a better start and prepare to have some fun with it. They say that Facebook is for people you know and Google+ is for people you don’t know, but when you look at it feature-for-feature, Google+ is just as good in pretty much every way. Except Google+ doesn’t have Candy Crush invites and isn’t that what we all really want?

                      Featured photo credit: The Next Web via cdn1.tnwcdn.com

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                      Published on September 20, 2018

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                      Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                      In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                      Minimizing Tabs

                      Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                      Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                      Incognito Mode

                      Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                      1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                      2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                      3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                      This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                      Save Webpages as PDF Files

                      Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                      Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                      Open Recently-closed Tabs

                      Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                      One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                      The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                      Solve Mathematical Problems

                      Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                      For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                      Play Media Files

                      Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                      In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                      Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                      With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                      Stay Focus(e)d

                      Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                      Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                      With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                      This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                      Grammarly for Editing

                      Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                      You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                      Loom

                      There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                      There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                      With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                      Chrome Calendar Extension

                      No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                      Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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