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How to Consume More Information in Less Time

How to Consume More Information in Less Time

Consuming news is a large part of our day. Think aboutit: when you aren’t consuming news and information through television, you are consuming it online. When doing so online, you are open to having news led toward one direction or another with a lot of fluff added for good measure. Clipped, at its current stage, prevents this by bringing news straight to the point (technically in three bullet points), thus changing the way you consume news. Clipped has larger plans that we will discuss a bit more later, but first, let’s go into what Clipped is and how it currently helps you.

What is Clipped?

Clipped

    Calling Clipped an application or program wouldn’t necessarily be accurate. While it is currently expressed in the form of an iPhone application, calling it an app would be as accurate as calling Google an app because it has a Google Chrome iPhone app. Clipped is more of a platform, or algorithm as Clipped says, that takes the text at hand and summarizes it into exactly three bullet points. However, how it works is a bit more than this.

    How Does it Work?

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          Currently, due to how Clipped makes use of digital news articles, Clipped takes a grammar algorithm that scans the article, grabbing the important information that recurs in the article, and incorporating it into three bullet points on the application. As more and more articles are summarized in the application, the power of Clipped increases, and its accuracy also improves. Recently, Clipped celebrated its one millionth article summarized on the application.

          When Clipped grows into other aspects (more in Clipped’s Future Plans), other means of summarization will take hold.

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          How Does it Look?

          The application is simple in design, which prevents it from being distracting and also allows you to focus more on the article at hand. When you first open Clipped, you are asked to sign up using Twitter or Facebook. When I open it even after signing in to either service, I continue to see this pop up as well (going away after a couple of seconds).

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            After signing in, you are presented with the news of the day. At the top, you have a search bar allowing you to search based on a subject, and there’s a logout button on the left side of the search bar. When clicking on a specific article, you are presented with a larger view of the related image, the title, the source, and a share button above the three bulleted text. When you click to share a Clipped article, a Facebook or Twitter prompt pops up allowing you to share.

            Clipped’s Future Plans

            You can currently find Clipped on iOS, Android, as a Bookmarklet, and on Google Chrome. However, in the near future, Clipped hopes to branch out to document issues in real life. This can include making use of OCR (Optical Character Reading) to grab the text and summarize it that way. This takes a more advanced algorithm and will be a bit more difficult to implement that what Clipped is currently working on, but this future plan will allow the service to be used in everything from legal documents to newspaper text.

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            Opinions and Suggestions

            Clipped is a great application that I have made use of since its debut in December. The ability to not only summarize news, but also discover and read news articles I normally wouldn’t have taken the time out to read has kept me informed on several issues as well.

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              There are a couple of pitfalls in Clipped, however, namely that there isn’t as much customization in terms of which articles I am able to enjoy. For example, when I search a website, not only does content from that website appear, but articles on other websites about that specific source shows up as well.

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                When searching for general topics, like Apple, search results are more successful. This is likely to change in the future, when information on Clipped becomes more varied and readily available. All in all, for such an advanced concept, this is a great start for Clipped to compete with the larger competitors in the information consumption field.

                Disclaimer: Tanay Tandon, the sole developer behind Clipped, developed the application through the Teens in Tech Incubator in Mountain View, CA. I currently work as the editorial director for Teens in Tech. All views expressed in this review of Clipped are my own, unaffected by any ulterior motive or confidential information.

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                Published on September 20, 2018

                11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                Minimizing Tabs

                Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                Incognito Mode

                Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                Save Webpages as PDF Files

                Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                Open Recently-closed Tabs

                Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                Solve Mathematical Problems

                Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                Play Media Files

                Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                Stay Focus(e)d

                Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                Grammarly for Editing

                Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                Loom

                There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                Chrome Calendar Extension

                No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                Final Thoughts

                Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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