Use Facebook (And Messenger) In A Way Most People Don’t Know

Use Facebook (And Messenger) In A Way Most People Don’t Know

Whether you’re a casual or seasoned social media user, you might not know about these Facebook tricks, productivity hacks, and amusing flourishes. Both Facebook and its ancillary communications app, Messenger, are full of small surprises that can bring new dimensions of interactivity to your social media experience. The next time you’re catching up on your news feed or chatting with your friends through Messenger, remember to try out these little feature hacks and tricks.

1. Instant photos

If you’ve accidentally triggered this on Messenger, then it can be really creepy. This app allows you to instantly shoot a photo by tapping once on the screen. This gives you the direct ability to quickly send multimedia to your contacts, by passing the shoot and review processes. However, this can be quite jarring if you send your peers an accidental selfie without understanding the feature.

2. Unfollow

Do you want to stop receiving a person’s posts in your news feed, but you’d feel uncomfortable “unfriending” them? For example, you might be tired of your aunt’s political posts, but unfriending her could cause some tension at your next family dinner. Instead, just navigate to the person’s profile and uncheck the “following” button. Then you won’t have to see their posts unless you go directly to their profile page.


3. Post analytics

Curious to see how well a Page post is doing? Navigate to the bottom of the post and click on the text that says, “# of people reached.” You’ll get access to analytics about this particular post, including how much engagement it has received. You’ll also get to see the engagement rates of the shared versions, just so you can trace the ripple effect of engagement.

4. Quick image search

Are you addicted to sending your friends internet memes? Or perhaps you want to quickly attach a photo of a product during your Messenger chat. This communications app allows you to quickly look for images using a built-in Bing search and send the results directly to your friends.

5. See how advertisers are targeting you

You know those sidebar advertisements you see on Facebook’s desktop view? You can pull back the veil and see exactly why you’ve been targeted for a particular ad. Just click the little “X” on the ad and choose “Why am I seeing this?” You’ll get a brief explanation of how these ads came to appear on your sidebar.


6. Video messaging

Remember that instant photo screen on Messenger? Well, you can also shoot video by holding your finger down on the “Send” button.

7. Gigantic “like”

This might seem a little obnoxious, but now you can reply to Messenger chats with a gigantic version of the “Like” icon. Maybe you can use it to indicate your massive approval of an idea.

8. Pinned group chats

Do you want to save an important group chat session for later? Visit the Groups tab in Messenger to pin a select group of people. This will help you quickly access the group chat so that you don’t have to individually add each recipient.


9. Go nuts with Stickers

Messenger takes emoting to an entirely new level. Send your friends those whimsical Pusheen cats or open up the Sticker Store so that you can play around with thousands of emoting stickers created by companies like Pixar, Cartoon Network, and LEGO.

10. “Other” messages

If you’re not connected with someone on Facebook and they attempt to send you a message, then their correspondence will fall into the mysterious void known as the Other folder. You can find this inbox by visiting Facebook on a computer, clicking on your messages, and selecting the “Other” tab. You can change your preferences so that it uses strict or basic filtering for your inbox.

11. Send Attachments

Who needs email anymore? When you compose new messages on Facebook from a computer browser, you can send a wide variety of attachments, such as PDFs or Word documents. Just click the little gear icon and select “Add Files.”


12. Censor tagged posts

You might not want every single post you’re tagged in to appear on your news feed. Visit the “Timeline and tagging” section of your privacy settings, and click on “Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline.” Whenever someone attempts to tag you in a post, you’ll need to manually approve it before others can view the tag.

13. Post as a Page

If you are the owner of Pages (for organizations, businesses, etc), then you can select how you post on other Pages. Just click on the small flag icon on the top right corner of your Post panel, and choose the Page you wish to represent. This can be a great way for you to build business-to-business communications.

14. Sync Calendar Events

Do you have a difficult time keeping track of Facebook events? You can sync these automatically with your mobile calendar. Just enable Calendar app access in your Facebook App settings, and you’ll be able to see Facebook events on your phone’s calendar.

15. Secret Emoji

There are tons of secret emoji that you can use in Facebook posts and comments. For example, if you feel compelled to create a great white shark, just type “(^^^). You can find several secret emoji by doing a quick Google search for key combos.

Featured photo credit: Mehfuz Hossain via

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Larry Alton

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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



    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.



      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.


      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.



          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.


            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.


            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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