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15 Amazingly Useful Google Services You Should Know About

15 Amazingly Useful Google Services You Should Know About

As one of the most innovative tech companies in the world, Google have a very special place in my heart. They’ve created a huge number of products and services that make all of our lives easier, beginning with their famous web search engine. Everyone’s heard of Gmail and Google Maps, but it may surprise you to find out just how many Google services exist that you probably don’t know about.

As the co-founder of a busy tech company with offices across the globe, I think anything that increases productivity – and reduces frustration – is worth talking about. In this post, you’ll learn about 15 lesser-known Google services that can help you out with everything from building your business to tracking down loved ones when crisis hits.

Google Scholar

A personal favorite of mine, Google Scholar is a great way to keep up to date with academic research and progress in science and technology. Easily and quickly search across masses of scholarly literature from one place.

GoogleScholarLIfehack

    Google Keep

    This Google service is light on features, but great for keeping you super organized and on top of things. Set the time, use geo-tagging so you always know where you are (or should be), and change the color for personalized reminders throughout the week.

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      Google Inbox

      The newest addition to Google’s ever-expanding suite of services, Google Inbox gives you a refreshing minimal interface and shows you what’s most important in your inbox – without even having to open the message. Everything from flight status updates, reservation details to pictures and attachments from family and friends is organized for you. Try it out for yourself by emailing [email protected] for an invite.

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        Trendalyzer

        Also known as Gapminder, this Google service helps you easily put together interactive bubble charts that animate your statistics. Fun, easy and colorful, it’s a great way to make your figures and presentations stand out.

        GoogleTrendalyzerLifehack

          Google Business View

          Give prospective or current clients (or your parents!) a full 360° view of your office to fully integrate them into the spirit and culture of your company. Just make sure the ping pong tournament is in another part of the building.

          GoogleBusinessViewLifehack

            Google Correlate

            Everyone knows correlation is not causation. But this Google service lets you look at searches run on their engine that correlate with real-world data. For example, check out a user’s search below on which words are the most Googled during winter. The possibilities are endless.

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              Google Goggles

              Now you really can search everything. Snap a picture and let Google crawl its database. If it finds the image in there, it will do what it does best: give you useful information.

              GoogleGogglesLifehack

                Google Sites

                Plain and simple: a streamlined way to build a website from scratch – or from pre-existing templates. Build one for your growing company, for your family, or for just because. It’s that easy.

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                  Google Fusion Tables

                  Who doesn’t want to get more out of the data they’re working with? Google Fusion Tables gives you new ways to gather and look at your data, including merging it with other sources and easily sharing for seamless collaboration.

                  GoogleFusionTablesLifehack

                    Google Classroom

                    Though this one is only relevant to those working in education, Google Classroom is a great tool (without ads!) to help teachers organize assignments, communicate announcements to students, and give quick feedback.

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                      Google Crisis Response

                      Hopefully you won’t have to use this one – but if disaster strikes, there’s no better tool to make information about response efforts and developing news easily available. The service partners with government agencies, relief efforts and more to bring helpful information and resources to the right places.

                      GoogleCrisisresponseLifehack

                        Google Person Finder

                        This service helps people reconnect with loved ones after a disaster hits and chaos has descended.

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                          Google Art Project

                          For this service, Google collaborated with art institutions all over the world to give people a chance to see brilliant art from the comfort of their homes. If nothing else, you’ll definitely feel more cultured!

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                          GoogleArtProjectLIfehack

                            FieldTripper

                            Who doesn’t enjoy the odd field trip? This app serves up location-based information to you as you move around a new (or old!) city with tidbits of information about your surroundings. Expect everything from what old movies were filmed to architecture factoids.

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                              Google Shopper

                              Packed with features that show you everything from what the barcode on an item means, daily and nearby deals to the ability to search for an item by voice, Google Shopper makes it easy to shop in a much smarter and more efficient way.

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                                What are your favorites? Sound off in the comments!

                                Featured photo credit: Kristina Alexanderson via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                Joe’s Goals

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                                  Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                  Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                  Daytum

                                    Daytum

                                    is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                    Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                    Excel or Numbers

                                      If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                      What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                      Evernote

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                                        I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                        Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                        Access or Bento

                                          If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                          Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                          You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                          Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                          All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                          Conclusion

                                          I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                          What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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