25+ Google Tips and Tricks to Help Increase Your Productivity
Think you know everything Google is capable of?
Google is so much more than just a search engine - these days, you can use it to do everything from converting currencies to tracking your physical location, all without ever leaving the confines of Google.
In this post, we'll look at a range of Google tricks, including lesser-known hacks, time-savers, Easter eggs and search shortcuts, which may help you save time and improve your productivity (or just have a laugh for a moment).
1. Use Google as a Timer and Stopwatch
You can use Google as a timer or stopwatch with a simple query.
Enter a search phrase like "set timer for 15 minutes" and you'll see Google do just that.
2. Pinpoint the Time of Sunrise and Sunset
Enter "sunrise in" or "sunset in" followed by a geographic location to find out what time you can expect the sun to rise or set.
For example: "Sunset in Los Angeles."
3. Weather Forecast
Check the weather to know if it's a good time to go out or do something outdoors.
Enter "weather in + geographic location" in Google.
For example: "Weather in New York."
4. Use Google to Calculate a Tip
Search for "tip calculator" to have Google help you with calculating exactly how much you should leave as a tip.
5. Convert Currencies
Google can help you with how much one currency is in another currency.
Type in "amount + currency A to currency B."
For example: "20 USD to JPY."
6. Books Written by Favorite Authors
If you're looking for books written by a specific author, simply type in "books written by + author name."
For example: "books written by Salman Rushdie."
You'll get a carousel showcasing their work.
You can use Google as a calculator if you don't have one lying around.
Just type in a formula and have Google calculate it for you.
8. Find the Origin of Any Word
Want to know the etymology of a word? Google can help with that, too.
Type "Etymology + word" to discover the origin of any word.
9. Use Double Quotes to Find an Exact Search Phrase
If you want to make your search more exact, you can enclose your search phrase in double quotes.
This will make Google search for results that contain only that exact phrase.
10. Results from a Specific Site
Use "query + site:website.com" to get search results only from that specified website.
For example: "marketing tips site:mobilemonkey.com."
11. Use OR Operator to Find Two Different Things At Once
Search for two different things at once with the OR operator.
For example: "Iphone OR Android."
12. Use AND Operator to Get Results Containing Two Specific Items
If you're looking for search results that contain both two of your queries, use the AND operator.
For example: "chatbot AND messenger."
13. Search by File Type
You may be searching for a particular file type on Google.
Enter "query + filetype:extension."
For example: "Truecaller filetype:apk."
14. Find Related Websites
If you're looking for websites related to a specific website, use "related:website.com."
For example: "related:facebook.com."
15. TBT: Google in 1998
Type "Google in 1998" and the search engine will automatically show you what the search engine looked like the year it was created.
16. Discover Fun Facts
Are you bored at the moment?
You can type "fun facts" or "I'm feeling curious" in Google and get some awesome trivia factoids.
17. Do a Barrel Roll
If you haven't tried this yet, get on it.
Type "do a barrel roll" into Google and watch the magic unfold.
18. Look at Old Accounts with Inactive Account Manager
Google's Inactive Account Manager lets you view accounts you may have in Google that are not being used.
You can then delete accounts you're no longer using or make them active again.
19. Adjust Your Ad Settings
Did you know that you can choose what type of ads you want to show up on your browser?
Head to ad settings and adjust the ad types you see.
20. Report a Gmail User
Unwanted or abusive emails on Gmail can be problematic.
You can report them to Google using this form and Google will deal with the problem for you.
21. Use Startpage
StartPage isn't actually a Google-owned trick, but it's still a good service to know about.
StartPage is like an incognito version of the Google search engine - your searches there are totally anonymous, and StartPage pulls results from Google itself.
Unlike the incognito version of Google, however, your IP address is not tracked or stored, giving you more security.
22. Download Search History
You can obtain a list of all the search queries you've entered throughout your history of using Google.
This is super helpful if you're trying to track down a particular webpage you visited, but can't recall the name of.
23. Make Sure Your Downloads are Safe
Google's safe browsing site status tool can check if a file you wish to download is safe.
24. Google Newspaper Archive
Google Newspaper Archive is pretty much the most comprehensive online news file there is.
You can read newspapers from 1798 to present day from all over the world.
25. Google Timeline History
You can use Google Timeline History to see where you've been at a particular date and time.
If you need to be able to track your own whereabouts, then this is a powerful tool.
26. Google Trends
Google Trends is an excellent tool for identifying the hottest topics at the moment from around the world.
Digital marketing mastermind Neil Patel considers it one of his top seven marketing tools.
Like Neil, you can use Google trends to identify topics to incorporate into your content strategy.
27. Google Password Manager
Google Password Manager is one of the most convenient features on Google.
You can have Google save passwords for your various online accounts - it makes having different passwords for different accounts easier to manage.
Just make sure your Google password itself is both secure and easy enough to recall.
A version of this post was first published on Inc.com.
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