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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 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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