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Last Updated on January 3, 2018

15 Awesome Things You Didn’t Know Siri Can Do For You

15 Awesome Things You Didn’t Know Siri Can Do For You

In the world today, our portable devices are increasingly sophisticated. Among the more impressive current features is voice command technology. iPhone users are likely familiar with Siri, the Apple voice command platform, but many remain oblivious to some of Siri’s best features. Luckily, all it takes are a few key phrases to master the incredible things Siri can do for you.

Raise To Speak

Typically, a user activates Siri by pressing and holding the Home button on the iPhone. If you’re a fan of simplicity, you can toggle a feature called “Raise to Speak”. Visit Settings>General Settings>Siri, then slide the Raise to Speak button to the on position. Instead of bothering with the button, you can now put your iPhone to your ear and Siri is automatically activated. If your phone is locked, you need to hit the button once to wake up the screen so Raise to Speak will work. Additionally, this feature is deactivated when you’re in a call.

Post To Twitter Or Facebook

Another great thing Siri can do for you is post to social media accounts. Make your day easier by simply saying “Post to [Twitter or Facebook]. Siri then asks what you’d like to say. Dictate your post, then send when Siri confirms your message. Keeping in touch has never been easier, but so far, Siri only recognizes commands for Twitter and Facebook.

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    Search For Tweets

    In addition to tweeting for you, Siri can search Twitter too. Simply ask “Search Twitter for [subject or person]”. Siri immediately responds with a list of relevant tweets, from users across the site. Another trick Siri can do to make your day more efficient.

    Change It

    Sometimes Siri can misunderstand you, especially when dictating long messages. Should Siri read back your message and the wording is wrong, just say “Change it”. Siri will immediately go back to the previous prompt so you can reenter your message. This is a helpful thing Siri can do for you, eliminating the need to edit a message by turning Siri off, then asking to email or text the contact again.

    Siri Can Do Math

    Not only can Siri solve quick math questions, Siri is surprisingly effective with complex problems as well. Ask Siri to solve problems by saying “What is [math question]”. You can also use this feature to help calculate a tip in no time at all. Not only will Siri tell you how much to tip, but also the total cost of your bill with the tip added. Lastly, Siri can do quick decisions on the go. Simply ask Siri to roll a dice or flip a coin for an instant result.

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      Save Directly to Evernote

      If you’re an Evernote user, you can save new Evernote documents without even unlocking your phone. Simply add your unique Evernote mail-to address into your contacts (found in your Evernote account details). Next time you’re hands are busy and you need to remember something, ask Siri to send an email to Evernote (or whatever you named the contact). Dictate your email then send, and your details are instantly saved as a new document on your Evernote account.

      Location Based Reminders

      Sure Siri can set alarms and reminders, but did you know that Siri can set reminders based on where you are? One of the cooler things Siri can do for you, location based reminders mean you’re never too busy to stay on task. First, make sure Location Services are enabled for Reminders under Settings>Privacy>Location Services. Then, add the locations you need to your contacts. Tell Siri “[Contact] is my home”. Repeat for work, school or any other frequent location. Now Siri can do reminders for when you leave or arrive somewhere. For example, tell Siri “Remind me to call John when I leave work” to have the reminder go off when you’re done with your day.

      Convert Measurements

      Similar to Siri’s math abilities, Siri can be an effective unit converter. Ask Siri any unit amount and the unit you’d like to convert it to for a quick solution. Not only will Siri give you the result of your conversion, but a short list of additional conversions as well. Having Siri do your conversions is much faster than looking up units the conventional way, plus gives you related information you may need anyways.

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        Remember Relationships

        If you’re tired of dictating a contact’s full name every time you want to message or call them, Siri can remember who they are by relationships. Under Settings>General Settings>Siri, make sure you’re own contact information is entered. Then, activate Siri and say the name you’d like to connect a relationship to. For example “Pete Morris is my dad”, or “Jane Sommers is my boss”. Siri will ask you if you want the relationship saved – select yes. In the future, you can ask Siri to contact your wife, mother, friend or boss without using their name.

        Pronounce Names Correctly

        One of Siri’s other features is learning how to say a name. If Siri butchers a friends name, or chronically can’t find a contact when your pronunciation differs from the system’s, don’t panic. Decide which contact you would like to change the pronunciation of, then ask Siri for their phone number. When Siri replies with the contact’s number, simple say “That’s not how you pronounce [name]”. Siri will then give a few pronunciation options, and you can choose which one to use in the future.

        Search Emails

        Another great thing Siri can do for you is save time when looking for an email or note. For example, ask Siri to “Find email with my new schedule”, or “Find email with Friday’s Documents in the subject line”. You can also use this command to have Siri find emails from certain contacts, or search your notes.

        Check Dates

        Along with a math and conversion whiz, Siri is a master of dates and holidays. Ask Siri when a holiday happens for a quick answer that includes the day of the week. You can also ask how many days until a certain date, if you don’t like counting on your fingers.

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          Make Reservations

          Siri uses Yelp when you ask for details for a certain restaurant, but is also capable of connecting to OpenTable. This is a huge advantage, because OpenTable allows you to book reservations directly. Tell Siri to make a reservation at your preferred restaurant to easily access OpenTable. For example, say “Make a reservation for tonight at 8pm at Vic’s” to hear what’s available on the restaurants OpenTable page. Siri uses your location to help determine which restaurant you’re looking for, so mention the city if the restaurant you need a reservation with is not nearby.

          Easily Access Settings

          Tired of thumbing through your seemingly endless settings panel? Siri can do better. To save time, simply ask Siri to open specific settings. Siri can open the vast majority of your settings options with simple commands. For example, you can say “Open wallpapers and brightness”, or “Open mail settings”. Similarly, ask Siri to open an application, and your phone immediately switches to that screen.

          Find Airplanes Above You

          You can easily check the status of a flight by asking Siri and including the flight number. However, another fun thing Siri can do is give information on planes above you right now. An especially fun activity with kids, simply ask what flights are above you right now to see a complete list of visible planes. Siri gives the flight numbers as well, if you’d like to find out where these flights are headed.

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            Featured photo credit: Kārlis Dambrāns via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on August 15, 2018

            25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

            25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

            Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

            Or even better:

            What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

            You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

            Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

            How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

            The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

            In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

            • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
            • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
            • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

            As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

            Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

            Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

            But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

            his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

            5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

            Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

            But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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            1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
            2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
            3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
            4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
            5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

            Who can use Excel shortcuts?

            There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

            • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
            • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
            • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
            • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

            Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

            With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

            25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

            Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

            1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

            If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

            2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

            If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

            If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

            3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

            Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

            =sum(

            …and then press F3.

            When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

            4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

            Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

            =match(

            …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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            When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

            But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

            5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

            If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

            • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
            • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
            • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
            • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
            • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

            6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

            By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

            The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

            For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

            A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

            7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

            When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

            8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

            When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

            9. Use filtering

            Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

            It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

            To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

            10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

            Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

            Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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            To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

            11. See formula results with F9

            If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

            Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

            12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

            If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

            13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

            Here’s how to use EDATE:

            =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

            =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

            14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

            Here’s how to use EMONTH:

            =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

            =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

            15. Remove spaces with TRIM

            TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

            16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

            In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

            17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

            When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

            And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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            18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

            If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

            19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

            Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

            You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

            20. Use data validation

            This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

            • Create dependent drop-down lists;
            • Create drop-down lists;
            • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

            21. Use conditional formatting

            It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

            22. Use formula auditing

            This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

            The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

            23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

            Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

            It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

            24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

            INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

            25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

            OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

            The bottom line

            As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

            That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

            If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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