Remember when talking to oneself drew strange looks? It’s completely normal in the age of earphones. Using your voice can make an otherwise tedious process like drafting a letter or outline much easier.
If you know how to use the secret tools in Google Search, you can do practically anything. Check out these unconventional uses for Google that go beyond simple searches.
Simple methods for accomplishing tasks without the need to download an additional app or navigate to the appropriate website.
Currency conversions: When you’re looking at a European item online, type “[price] euros to dollars” to receive a quick conversion, such as “55 euros to dollars.” The currency rate is constantly updated.
Quick definitions: To find out what a term means, type “define [word]”. So useful.
What is the correct way to say? Enter a word followed by “pronunciation.” To hear it, click the speaker icon (there’s a slow toggle if you need it). To see if you’re on the correct track, click the mic symbol that says Practice.
Set a timer or alarm: “Set a timer for 20 minutes” or “set an alarm for 9 a.m.” provide a fast kitchen timer or alarm reminder to, say, give your pet its medicine. Just don’t shut down your laptop.
Translate text: Have you come upon a delectable-looking French recipe? Enter the text into Google Translate by typing or pasting it in. It’s also a lifesaver when traveling.
See numbers written as words: Concerned about large numbers? It can happen to the best of us. Google returns “953,116,070=english” as “nine hundred fifty-three million one hundred sixteen thousand and seventy.”
Just for fun
I’m sure you’ll brighten a friend’s day by handing one of these forward.
Tilt your world: Enter “askew” and see your search results spin like a pinball machine. OK, it’s not increasing your productivity, but it’s a fun trick to play on someone.
Explore the universe: Simply enter the name of a planet followed by “Google Sky.” “Mars Google Sky” for example, allows you to explore the Martian terrain.
Movie times and locations: Do you want to see the latest blockbuster? Look up “movies near me” to find theaters, showtimes, and reviews.
Move to the beat: This one is ideal for musicians, dancers, and even fitness enthusiasts. Enter “metronome” into Google and you’ll get a customizable, graphic beat-keeper.
Take a break
These shortcuts will get the work done whether you need a vacation or just a mental break.
Blast from the past: Enter “Google snake” into your browser to play the classic phone game on your computer. Yes, it’s still entertaining.
Know sunrise or sunset times: Search “sunrise in [location]” or “sunset in [location]” to find out when the sun rises or sets on that specific date.
Relax: Do you need a little break or are you stressed? Enter “breathing exercise” into Google to find a soothing, interactive guide that teaches you when to inhale and exhale.
Find flights fast: Need to get away or plan a long-overdue family reunion? When you search for “flights from [your location] to [destination],” Google returns a list of possibilities. Additionally, clicking “Flights” allows you to immediately compare prices.
Search pro tips
These search tips make it easier and faster to find the results you desire.
Filter by date: Check that no obsolete links are blocking your search results. First, enter your term. Then, select Tools > Any time and then Custom range. A box titled Custom date range will appear, along with a calendar. You can enter the beginning and ending dates.
Exclude keywords: It’s inconvenient when you’re seeking for one thing and results for another start appearing. You can use this approach to exclude keywords that you don’t require. Put a negative sign (â€”) before the term you want to remove. Put a plus sign (+) before any word you want to emphasize.
Search for files: When looking for a spreadsheet, PDF, or other document, start your search with filetype:. For example, to search for PDFs, use filetype:pdf along with your keyword. Do you require an Excel spreadsheet? Simply enter filetype:xlsx after your keyword. Everything that is publicly available is only a few clicks away.
Advanced Search: During your initial search, look for Advanced Search by clicking Settings just below and to the right of the primary text field. There will be several search fields. You can narrow down searches in a variety of ways to find exactly what you’re looking for.
No, I want this: If you need anything specific, use quote marks around the term or phrase (e.g., “Kim Komando tech tips”).
Better site search: Not every website includes an excellent search engine. Directly search a website by inserting site: (colon) before the URL, followed by your search phrase. This is how it would look: site:komando.com Google.
Search social media: To search social media, put @ in front of a term, or # in front to search hashtags.