Brandi Bleak

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Google Features You Should Be Using

The ChatBrandi BleakComment

What I really like about all of these features is the ability to do everything in one place. Although I love trying and using new apps, the simplicity of the Google browser has so many options built in you may never need to leave that search bar.

Set a Timer

Type in "set a timer for [x] minutes" and then get to work. I use this often to limit my social media time or to really focus on a task without interruptions. There's something about a countdown that makes you want to work faster! I actually set a 15 minute timer to finish this blog post - so, lets see how it works. You can also make this full screen, which could be useful for timing a speech, for example. It also works in reverse if you prefer the stop watch option.

Search for Flights

This one is new to me, since I always use one of the common ones like Expedia or Travelocity. What I like about the ability to search right from Google is that it uses your location for quicker search and suggestions upcoming dates, for example, an upcoming Thursday to Sunday trip. Then, select where you would like to travel and you're all set. The calendar shows prices differences on varying days, if you're plans are flexible. There's also an option to view a map of your route, which shows prices for flying into other cities for comparison. I didn't feel like there were as many options available, but they did offer me the same low prices I was able to find on my typical search sites. 

Build with Legos!

You can do practically anything on your computer, so why not build something with virtual Legos?This works with Chrome & Firefox browsers and is actually pretty fun! You can change the colors of the Lego bricks or choose from extras like doors or windows to add to your creation. Visit the site here or download the extension.

Google Translate

Simply type in Translate into the search bar and two boxes will appear. Type in what you would like translated and select from one of more than 100 languages listed to get your results. If you're traveling, try downloading the app. It allows you to scan printed words and then translates them instantly! That seems incredibly useful at a restaurant or for street signs walking around town.

Google Does Math

From equations to conversion, it's there when you simply don't want to use your 7th grade math skills. When cooking, try using Google to help, "convert ten ounces to cups." When shopping for the best deal try, "What is 15% of $67?" That works at a restaurant too when you may have had too many glasses of wine to know the perfect amount to tip, "Whats 20% of $83?"

 

Google like a Boss

  • Be specific. Use keywords strategically and on purpose. You can leave out extra words to complete the sentence.
  • Google can answer many questions. Try searching nutrition facts like, "How many calories are in a Jimmy Johns turkey sub?" or "How long does it take to get to Dayton, Ohio?" The answers are 514 calories and 13 hours and 31 minutes, respectively.
  • Use quotation marks to search exact phrases. Otherwise, it will search those keywords, in any order with an article. Sometimes that matters!
  • If you keep getting searches that include a word you do not want to be a part of the search, use the minus symbol. Add it before any words you don't want to appear in your search. For example, use "kittens -sale" to only show searches about new kittens, not sites that sell them. 
  • Use .. to search a date range. Add two periods between a date range to only search within those dates. For example, a search for images of Beyonce brings up completely different images when a year is included. This seems helpful when narrowing down a search.

You know I love me some Beyonce, so let's take a look at search results that only differ by years.

"Beyonce 2001 .. 2002"

"Beyonce 2001 .. 2002"

"Beyonce 2015 .. 2016"

"Beyonce 2015 .. 2016"

And finally... 

Google Yourself

If not for entertainment purposes only, see what happens when others may Google you. You may find you need to update sites that have outdated information or set privacy different to not allow certain profiles to appear. 

 

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