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Hidden Google Tips You Probably Don’t Know

Hidden Google Tips You Probably Don’t Know

There are very few companies or products that actually enter the language as both a noun and a verb. Everyone knows what Google is, and chances are that we’ve all used it as a verb as well; after all, it’s really common to say, ”I need to Google something,” instead of, “I need to look for something on the Internet.” As much as Yahoo, AOL and Bing would love to have their names used in the same way, it simply hasn’t happened, and unless something catastrophic happens to Google, it never will.

As an anonymous Internet user once famously said, “I accidentally used AOL.com to search for something today. I feel like everyone who worked there probably high-fived each other and felt hopeful about the future.” It’s undeniable that Google is the dominant force when it comes to Internet search engines. They are the biggest, which leads to their search results being amazingly in-depth, which arguably also makes them the best.

As we know, Google can be used to search for absolutely anything in the online world, but it can do a few more things that might surprise you. So, without further adieu, let’s look at some of the coolest things you might not know that Google can do for you.

1. Google Yourself Thin

    The so-called secret of many major weight loss companies is simple calorie control, and while this is a valid means of losing weight, the information is now readily available to anyone who wants to look. If you Google a particular food, whether it’s a raw vegetable or even something like fried chicken, Google helpfully provides a comprehensive list of nutritional information alongside the list, with information from the US Department of Agriculture. It even determines your location, and gives the information in grams or ounces, depending on the unit of measurement in your country.

    2. Navigating With Google

      Google Maps are generally the go-to when it comes to looking up directions, whether before we leave home or on a Smartphone when we’re already on our way. Unlike some of their competitors (Bing Maps), Google displays minor landmarks and points of navigation such as train stations, which makes getting around easier. Many companies have unfortunately moved towards using Bing Maps on their website to display their location, although a quick copy + paste into Google Maps will give you more detailed information.

      3. Google Auto Translate on Chrome

      Google Auto Translate on Chrome

        Online word-for-word translation isn’t an exact science, since it’s not able to really detect context or pick up on many slang and informal words. Google Translate is perhaps the most comprehensive, and yet if you’ve ever translated something from a foreign language to your native language, you’ll know it’s not perfect.

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        The translation feature does allow you to understand practically everything in the converted text, although it’s always been slightly annoying to have to copy and paste the original text into the translation box. Google Chrome will automatically detect if a website is in a language other than yours, and will ask if you want the text translated directly on the page. It makes navigating foreign websites a breeze!

        4. Google Doodle

        Google Doodle

          Quite often when using Google to search, you’ll notice that the logo has been given a redesign. This is known as a Google Doodle, and is done to commemorate a historical occasion, whether minor or major. So it’s basically like a small fun history lesson, and previous subjects have included recognition of what would have been French singer Edith Piaf’s 95th Birthday, and of course, the homage to Pac Man on its 30th anniversary.

          5. Google “I’m Feeling Lucky”

          I’m Feeling Lucky

            Google is rather confident that your search results will be exactly what you were looking for. They’re so confident in fact, that their search function allows you to jump straight to the first and most likely closest match (by selecting “I’m Feeling Lucky”), which means you don’t even need to see the list of search results. This only works when Google Instant is deactivated, and costs the Internet giant millions of dollars each year, since the user doesn’t see the full search results and subsequent advertising that can be displayed on this page.

            6. Google and Public Transport

            Google and Public Transport

              Yes, Google Maps are great and comprehensive, and yet they can help you to plan a journey beyond just showing you where to go. When you’re looking for directions from Point A to Point B, Google Maps can also access public transport information and tell you exactly how to travel from one place to another, giving you the public transport information which includes the timetable, duration of trip, and even which train or bus to catch. This is particularly helpful when you’re in another country.

              7. Google News Alert

              Google News Alert

                Since print media is dying a slow death (courtesy of the Internet), the vast majority of newspapers and magazine makes their content available online, and mostly for free. Google News curates the available information for you, and if you’ve requested an email alert about a particular subject, you’ll learn the moment any new content is written about the subject in question, whether it’s the conflict in Syria or an obscure celebrity. Google even asks you if you want to create an email alert for news towards the bottom of your search results.

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                8. Google Phone Synch

                Google Phone Synch

                  Google allows storage of your Smartphone’s phone number and email database, which then means you can recover the information if the phone is lost or stolen, or when you upgrade to a new phone. This avoids the need to find a way to get in touch with your contacts to get their digits once again; you can simply send the information directly to your new device.

                  9. Define a Word with Google

                   Define a Word with Google

                    If you need to look up the meaning of a word, there’s no need to actually open a new browser window and look up an online dictionary. Simply type “define,” followed by the word in question, and Google finds a comprehensive definition for you.

                    10. Collaborate with Google Docs

                    Collaborate with Google Docs

                      Rather than emailing a document back and forth when a number of people need to work on it, Google Docs allows it to be stored centrally, and anyone with authorization can access it and make changes. While this is hardly revolutionary in this day and age, when Google Docs are used alongside Google Chat, it allows a real time discussion about the document as everyone works on it.

                      11. Adjust Reading Level with Google

                      Adjust Reading Level with Google

                        This tool is particularly handy with web-based research, particularly for children doing their homework. While the top results of a search might contain the relevant information, they might also present the information within an overly complex academic way. For children (and adults) who want to get to grips with a topic at beginners or intermediate level, Google allows you to filter searches based upon reading level.

                        12. See Weird Things with Google Streetview

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                        Google Streetview

                          Google Streetview is sensational, allowing you to take a virtual tour of many of the worlds streets. You can explore a holiday destination, or even see the house you grew up in. When the Google cars were cruising the streets, taking multiple shots for the 360-degree photos to be constructed, they managed to catch people in a variety of unflattering poses, which have of course now gone online for the world to see.

                          13. Find Something Local

                          Find Something Local

                            If you need to find a certain service or business within your local area, you don’t need to look particularly hard. Just enter the topic of your search, followed by your postcode, and Google will provide you with a list of the most popular. It’s handy when you’ve just moved to a new area, or if you’re on vacation and don’t know where to look.

                            14. Currency Conversion

                            Currency Conversion

                              Google offers an up-to-the-minute currency conversion tool, without the need to look up a specialist site. Just type in the amount and currency type, followed by the currency you wish to convert to, and the Auto Complete function will even automatically provide a list of the most popular end currencies. The search result also shows you how the currencies have been performing in relation to each other over the previous years.

                              15. Find Something “Better Than” Something Else

                              Better Than

                                When you’re in the market for a new tool or toy (or both), you of course want to do as much research as possible, and this research is quick and easy, simply by entering the words “better than.” Type the name of the product you’re considering, followed by “better than.” As with the currency conversion tool, Google’s Auto Complete will then provide you with a list of the most popular competitors, and the search results are the most popular comparison sites.

                                16. Google Trends for Quick and Easy Data

                                Google Trends

                                  Google Trends is an interesting snapshot of what the world has been searching for online, although this doesn’t include adult websites. At a glance, Google Trends shows you the most trending (searched for) subjects, but is also a useful research tool, as it allows a user to gain more in-depth knowledge about a wide range of topics—all presented in easily digestible graphs.

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                                  17. Do a Barrel Roll

                                  Barrel Roll

                                    This one does exactly as the name suggests. Simply type, “do a barrel roll” into Google, click search, and the browser window performs a 360-degree roll before returning to normal. This function is just a fun and quirky thing that the world’s most loved search engine can do, and is handy for making friends think that their computer is broken.

                                    18. Research More Accurately with Google

                                    Research More Accurately

                                      The Internet tends to be a bit cluttered, but that’s part of the appeal. If you need to do a serious research project for college or work, there’s an easy way to sort through the nonsense and return only the most relevant legitimate information. Simply enter “site:edu,” followed by intitle (and then type the subject of your search. This limits the results to sites with a .edu domain name, namely colleges, universities and educational institutes.

                                      19. Google Gravity

                                      Google Gravity

                                        Much like the Barrel Roll, this is brilliant for fooling friends into thinking there’s something seriously wrong with their computer. Just enter Google Gravity into the search field, and select “I’m Feeling Lucky” (see #5). Watch in amusement/horror as the Google logo and search box then come crashing to the bottom of the screen, but not to worry—it still works as a search engine when lying in pieces on the floor.

                                        20. The Future and Google

                                        The Future

                                          One of Google’s major stakes in the future is wearable technology that allows the user greater interaction with, and immersion into the vast range of Google services on offer. Google Glass is a wearable eyepiece that basically looks like a regular pair of glasses, although there’s a huge difference. Google Glass projects information onto the inner lens, meaning users will be able to browse the web, access Google Maps while walking down the street, and even see what their friends are seeing, if they’ve synched the devices and the other user has granted access. As Google Glass become more and more sophisticated, the potential usage is mind boggling—you might be able to use Google Translate to have a real-world interaction in a foreign country, complete with subtitles!

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                                          Simon Andras

                                          Simon is an entrepreneur who blogs about lifestyle.

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                                          Last Updated on July 29, 2020

                                          19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                                          19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                                          Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

                                          There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

                                          This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day:

                                          1. Todoist

                                            Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

                                            Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

                                            If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

                                            Download: Todoist

                                            2. 1Password

                                              You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

                                              1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

                                              You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

                                              Download: 1Password

                                              3. Bear

                                                Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

                                                It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

                                                Download: Bear

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                                                4. Hazel

                                                  Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                                                  For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                                                  Download: noodlesoft

                                                  5. Alfred

                                                    Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                                                    For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                                                    It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                                                    Download: Alfred

                                                    6. TextExpander

                                                      TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                                                      For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                                                      An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                                                      Download: TextExpander

                                                      7. Backblaze

                                                        If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                                                        Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                                                        Download: Backblaze

                                                        8. Keyboard Maestro

                                                          Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                                                          Download: Keyboard Maestro

                                                          9. Snagit

                                                            There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                                                            Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                                                            10. Bartender

                                                              Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                                                              If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                                                              Download: Bartender

                                                              11. Otter

                                                              Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                                                              Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                                                              Download: Otter

                                                              12. Flux

                                                                Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                                                                Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

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                                                                Download: Flux

                                                                13. PDFpen

                                                                If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                                                                PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                                                                Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                                                                14. OmniFocus

                                                                  OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                                                  It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                                                  A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                                                  Download: OmniFocus

                                                                  15. Franz

                                                                    It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                                                    Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                                                    Download: Franz

                                                                    16. MindNode

                                                                      If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                                                      The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                                                      Download: MindNode

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                                                                      17. Focus

                                                                        The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

                                                                        This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                                                        Download: Focus

                                                                        18. CleanMyMac

                                                                          Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                                                          Download: CleanMyMac

                                                                          19. Grammarly

                                                                            A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                                                            This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                                                            A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                                                            Download: Grammarly

                                                                            The Bottom Line

                                                                            These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                                                            Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

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                                                                            Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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