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Cool Things You Can Do With Google

Cool Things You Can Do With Google
Google Tips

No one would argue the fact that Google is one of the most useful sites on the Internet. Unfortunately, most people only use about 3% of its power.

Smart Google users, on the other hand, know how to turn Google into a quick calculator, translate foreign sites, create their own customized search engine, and search for movie reviews and stock quotes with special search queries. In this article, we’ll show you how to do all of that and more.

Turn Google Into a Quick Calculator

Google enables you to perform a number of math operations including
addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and percentages.
All you have to do is use some calculator operators, which include:

  • + (addition)
  • – (subtraction)
  • * (multiplication)
  • / (division)
  • % of (percentage of)
  • ^ (raise to a power)

Here a few example queries to get you started.

Take Notes while Browsing the Web with Google Notebook.

This note taking application allows you to organize all of your online research quickly and easily. With Google Notebook, you can clip text, images, and links from web pages while browsing. Your notes and clips are saved to an online “notebook” that you can access from any computer, and may also be shared with others. So whether you’re planning a vacation or writing a school paper, Google Notebook makes it easy. To get started, go to Google Notebook’s main site.

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Translate Foreign Sites

A large portion of the web sites on the Internet are not in English. This means that you’re missing out on a big portion of the Web. Fortunately, Google has provided a solution.

First, translate the word you want to search for into the desired language. You can do this at BabelFish. Next, go to Google, enter your search query, and press enter.

On the results page, you should see a link that says, “Translate this page” to the right side of the search results. Click on that link and Google will automatically translate the page to English
for you.

I have used just this one tip to discover a number of great new sites that I never would have had access to if it weren’t for Google’s translation tools.

Looking for Movie Reviews?

Google’s got you covered. Simply go to http://www.google.com/movies and type in your favorite movie. Here’s an example of my most recent search for Shrek the Third:

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Google Movie Search

Google also has lots of specialized search portals catered to technology enthusiasts.

Are you a Mac junkie? Google will allow you to search for all things related to Mac and Apple at http://www.google.com/mac.

Search for all things Microsoft at http://www.google.com/microsoft/.

Not a Microsoft fan? Google’s got a special Linux search engine waiting for you at http://www.google.com/linux.

Forget the Weather Channel.

Who needs television when you’ve got Google? To get your local weather, simply go to www.google.com and type in weather:”areacode”. Fill in your area code and you will be given a 4-day weather forecast and today’s temperature, wind, and humidity.

Looking For a Stock Quote?

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Find it quickly at Google by typing in: “stocks:msft”. This search query will give you a quick snapshot of Microsoft’s stock performance. To find other stock information, just change the stock symbol.

Create your own Customized Google Search Engine.

Google is allowing everyone to join in the fun with Google Custom Search Engines. This Google product allows anyone to create their very own search engine.

You get to choose the sites, invite others to contribute to your search engine, and even customize the look and feel to suit your preferences.

You could make your very own customized search for jobs, videos, digital camera reviews, and more. The possibilities are endless.

Start building your own search engine at http://google.com/coop/cse/.

Hidden Google Pages

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There are also a number of hidden pages on Google that you’ve probably never seen before. Here are just a few of them:

Google Moms – A tribute to Google moms for Mother’s Day.

Google Dance 2004 , Google Dance 2005 and Google Dance 2006. Yes, it’s hard to believe, but Google has their very own dance. They’re packed with plenty of food, drinks, games, product demos, and a hotspot where you can meet the engineers.

Google Holiday Logos – About the only thing that spices up the Google homepage are their cool logos. They’ve dedicated a special
page to commemorate all of the holiday logos dating back to 1999.

Dilbert and the Google Logo – Check out the first and last Dilbert cartoon on Google.

The Future of Google

Google always has new ideas brewing in the Google Labs. Everything from Experimental Search to Google Voice Local Search. Find out what they’re up to at http://labs.google.com. Play around with their prototypes and then send in some feedback. Who knows, maybe we’ll see your ideas in the next Google tool.

Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 Essential GTD Resources, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, What They Don’t Teach You in School, and Free Yourself From the Inbox.

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why We Procrastinate After All?

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

Is Procrastination Bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How Bad Procrastination Can Be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article: 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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Procrastination, a Technical Failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Learn more about how to fix your procrastination problem here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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