As a Professional Organizer I strive to simplify (or as I call it, “simplifize”) your life, whether at home or at work. I have lots of “tools in my toolkit” in order to do that. But one tool that all of us are familiar with is Google. Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last 10 years then you’ve probably come to rely on this amazing search engine to help you find information of all kinds. But there are some REALLY HELPFUL things that Google can do for you that you may not be aware of!
No doubt, you’re already used to going to Google’s homepage at google.com to type in terms you’re searching for. Heck, “google” is actually a verb now! But did you know that that same little search bar has magical powers to help you Get Simplifized!? Here are just a few other things you can do with the Google Search bar:
Give music a test drive: Looking for the latest tunes from Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, or Glen Campbell (whoa, that’s quite a leap)? Just type the name in the search bar and not only will you get some links but you’ll also get a few tracks to ‘test drive”:
Current Weather Conditions: This tool displays current weather conditions and forecasts for most US and worldwide cities. Here’s all you have to do: type “weather” followed by the city and state, US zip code, or city and country. Here’s an example for San Antonio, TX:
Google Converts Units of Measure: Google’s conversion tool can convert between many different units of measurement of height, weight, volume and many others. Simply enter your desired conversion into the search box and we’ll do the rest. This tool is perfect in the kitchen when you need to convert for recipes. So, to convert from cups to tablespoons I simply type in X cups in tablespoons. Here’s what it looks like:
But don’t stop here…you can use this tool to convert all sorts of things from currency, and distance, to measurements in time (although I have to admit I could easilty convert years to days but still have no idea what 4 score and seven years equals…so sorry Abe).
It’s as Easy as 1 + 1: Yep, the Google search bar also has a built-in calculator function, simply enter the calculation you’d like done into the search box. To add use the “+” sign, to subtract use the (you guessed it) “-“ sign, use “*” to multiply, and “/” to divide. So, here’s a quick example where I multiply 17 by 37:
Google Is a Dictionary: Remember back in the day when you had to dig out a smelly old book if you wanted a definition, correct spelling, or a synonym? To check your spelling, simply make a good guess, and Google’s spell checking software will automatically check whether your query uses the most common spelling of a given word. If it thinks you’re likely to generate better results with an alternative spelling, it will ask “Did you mean: (more common spelling)?”
To see a definition for a word or phrase, simply type the word “define” then a space, then the word(s) you want defined. To see a list of different definitions from various online sources, you can type “define:” followed by a word or phrase.
To look up a common definition and also see we uses of the word, simply type in what is followed by your word:
OK…I said “Top 5 Tips”…but here are some more quick ways to Get Simplifized!
Movie Info: Just type in “movies” and your “area code” (e.g. movies 90210)
Area Codes: Just type the three-digit US area code, hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button and Google gives you the area code service area.
Track Flight Status and Airport Conditions (awesome): For arriving and departing U.S. flights, type in the name of the airline and the flight number into the search box. Check delays at a specific airport by typing in the name of the city or three-letter airport code followed by the word “airport”.
Track Packages: Type in the tracking number for your UPS, Fedex or USPS package directly into the search box. Google returns results that include quick links to easily track the status of your shipment.
OK, folks…I could go on and on. That said, I’ll bet you learned something from this post that will help you Get Simplifized! Am I right? Oh, and did I mention all of this is FREE!!! I’m a fan of Google all the way. In future posts I’ll be sharing some additional Google tips. For now, try some of these tips out! For more info and Google tips check out http://www.google.com/help/features.html