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16 Smart Google Search Tricks That Will Make Life Easier

16 Smart Google Search Tricks That Will Make Life Easier

Google Search is among the most widely used tools in the world. It’s used so often that the act of using Google Search has become its own verb. You can “Google” practically anything and the website is a popular provider. Here are some tips to search smarter so you can find what you’re really looking for.

Google Search tips and tricks

    1. Use the tabs

    When you search you have the option of narrowing your search based on the type of thing you searched for. The tabs typically show Web, Images, News, Videos, Maps, Shopping, and More. If you’re looking for a new pair of pants you should try clicking the Shopping tab. If it’s a video you’re searching for, try the Video tab. Under More, you can find some more specialized things like Flights and Apps.

     

    Google Search tips and tricks

      2. Use quotes

      Sometimes you need to search for a specific quote. In general, Google uses the words you enter into a search to scan entire documents. If you search Lifehack tips and tricks it will look for anything that has those words, but not necessarily in that order. If you use quotes, you find webpages that have those exact words in that order. This is particularly handy for things like song lyrics, as you can see in the screenshot above.

       

      Google Search tips and tricks

        3. Use hyphens

        Google does recognize some symbols to perform certain actions. For instance, if you use hyphens in a search, it tells Google to exclude that word from the search. In the screenshot above you can see that I searched for salsa recipes without tomatoes and Google gave me a bunch of recipe results that have no tomatoes. It’s simple and effective if you’re looking for something specific.

         

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        Google Search tips and tricks

          4. Use your search history

          If you’ve searched for something before and want to find it again, you can always use your own search history. This requires having a Google account–which you automatically have if you use Android’s Google Play Store, Gmail, Google+, or any other Google service. Once you have that, you can go to http://google.com/history to see all of your prior searches. This is great for finding those searches you made before without doing it all over again.

           

          Google Search tips and tricks

            5. Use a colon to search specific sites

            Sometimes you might want to search for something on a single website. Maybe you want information on favorite sports player on ESPN, or a specific article on a favorite website. There is a way to do that. By using the syntax shown in the screenshot above you can search only the website you specify when searching for a term. This is great for finding things that are in certain places without having to search everywhere for the content.

             

            Google Search Tips and Tricks

              6. Define a word

              Google Search can be your personal dictionary if you want. At any point you can always ask Google to define a word for you and generally it’ll tell you the meaning. This is great for checking spelling or for checking to make sure you’re using a word correctly. It’s also great for games like Scrabble, Boggle, or other word games where someone is using a word that may or may not exist.

               

              Google Search tips and tricks
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                7. Search a price range for an item

                If you use two periods (..) between two prices, you can search for items in that range. As you can see in the screenshot, I searched for a TV that was between $399 and $799. It won’t show TVs that cost less than $399 or more than $799. This is great for finding things in your price range when shopping for items.

                 

                Google Search tips

                  8. Use an asterisk if you don’t know the word

                  Sometimes you just can’t think of a word in a phrase you want to search for. If that’s the case, use an asterisk (*) instead of the word and Google Search will try to figure it out for you. This is fine for general applications but it’s absolutely amazing when you’re trying to search for song lyrics.

                   

                  Google Search tricks

                    9. Set a timer

                    Where is the egg timer when you need it, right? Google Search has got your back. If you search to set a timer then you can ask the search engine to set a timer for you. This is great when you have the laptop in the kitchen and you either can’t find your timer or it’s broken. I personally use this for my laundry all the time because my washer and dryer typically take about 90 minutes. I’ll toss a load in and set the timer while I do some blogging and Google will let me know when the laundry is done.

                     

                    Google Search tricks

                      10. Ask Google what the weather is

                      Another quick thing that Google is capable of doing is finding the weather for you. All you need to do is ask Google what the weather is and Google Search will use your current location to display your weather. This is handy if you need to check the weather quickly and without the hassle of loading another website.

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                      Google Search tricks

                        11. Ask Google to do math

                        Having trouble with a math problem? Don’t have time to write it down and figure it out? Google Search has you covered. All you need to do is put the math problem into the search along with the equal sign and a calculator will pop up with the answer to your problem. This is great for things like figuring out tips, doing quick problems for school, and other light uses.

                         

                        Google Search tips

                          12. Convert currencies

                          This one is pretty self explanatory and pretty easy to do. You can reference the screenshot above on how to do it and you can use Google to convert pretty much any currency out there. This is great for travelers who need an idea of how much money they’ll have at their international destination or even for quick references to see how much something is in another currency. It’s also great for people who shop internationally and need to know if they have enough to purchase something.

                           

                          Google Search tips

                            13. Search for two things at once

                            Using the word OR between two search terms you can search for both at once. This is helpful if you want to search for multiple terms at once, or if you’re not entirely sure what you need to search for. If you’re searching for multiple kinds of chocolate then why not search for both of them at once?

                             

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                            Google Search tricks

                              14. Find sports scores easily

                              If you search for your favorite team and then add the word “score” to the end, Google will put a nice card up showing you the score of the game your team is currently involved in. This is great for finding up to the minute scores on your favorite teams. If the game is over, then the search will show you the last game played by that team. It sure beats waiting to see the score on the news later!

                               

                              Google Search tips

                                15. Keep it simple

                                Google Search has had a lot of improvements over the years to fill in the context for you. If you try to search for things too specifically, then you’re not putting those improvements to good use. As the old saying goes, “less is more.” Try using simple verbiage in your searches because Google will usually know what you’re talking about.

                                 

                                Google Search tips

                                  16. Don’t worry about spelling

                                  Not all of us are masters of our various languages. Sometimes we spell a word wrong. Thankfully, Google Search can correct bad spelling for you and still help you find the terms you need. In the event that your misspelling was intentional, Google will give you the option to search for the misspelled phrase too.

                                  Google Search has been getting only better over the years. It can help you find the perfect recipe, gift, answer to your homework, and literally anything else that you can think of. Sometimes you just have to know how to type it in to get the answers you want!

                                  Featured photo credit: World Cup 2014 #21/Google Doodle Archive via google.com

                                  More by this author

                                  Joseph Hindy

                                  A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                                  Last Updated on May 14, 2019

                                  8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                                  8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                                  Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

                                  1. Zoho Notebook
                                    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
                                  2. Evernote
                                    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
                                  3. Net Notes
                                    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
                                  4. i-Lighter
                                    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
                                  5. Clipmarks
                                    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
                                  6. UberNote
                                    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
                                  7. iLeonardo
                                    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
                                  8. Zotero
                                    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

                                  I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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                                  In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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