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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

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                                  40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                  40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                  Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                                  There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                                  Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                                  It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                                  Productivity apps to help you get things done

                                  1. OmniFocus

                                  This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                                  Download it here.

                                    2. Forest

                                    Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                                    Download it here.

                                      3. Things

                                      Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                                      Download it here.

                                        4. 30/30

                                        Recently covered here at Lifehack

                                        , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                                        Download it here.

                                          5. Any.Do

                                          A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                                          Download it here.

                                            6. PocketLife Calendar

                                            This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                            Download it here.

                                              7. Asana

                                              We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                              , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                              Download it here.

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                                                8. ToDoist

                                                This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  9. FlowTasks

                                                  From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    10. Calendars 5

                                                    This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                                      A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        12. Due

                                                        A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          13. Checkmark 2

                                                          I use this app

                                                          for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            14. TeuxDeux

                                                            Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              15. Wunderlist 

                                                              Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                              Download it here.

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                                                                16. Nirvana

                                                                For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  17. Priorities

                                                                  An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                                    18. Productive

                                                                    With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                                      You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        20. Streaks

                                                                        This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          21. Remember The Milk

                                                                          Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            22. Day One Journal

                                                                            When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                              23. Evernote

                                                                              Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                24. Pocket

                                                                                You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                                Download it here.

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                                                                                  25. Sync.Me

                                                                                  This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    26. Droplr

                                                                                    One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      27. Dropbox

                                                                                      Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        28. iDolly 

                                                                                        In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                                        Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          29. Soulver

                                                                                          It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                                            30. Captio

                                                                                            A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              31. Drafts

                                                                                              A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                                This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                                Download it here.

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                                                                                                  33. Doodle

                                                                                                  This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                                    I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                                      A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                        36. GoodReader

                                                                                                        This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                          37. LogMeIn

                                                                                                          Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                                            Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                                            38. 1Password

                                                                                                            There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                                              39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                              You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                              All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                                40. Truecallers

                                                                                                                Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                                  There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                                  Reference

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