Google is a recognized name, and it’s a recognized name for a lot of reasons, not the least of which are some of the neat things the search engine does that are unique to Google. In business, it’s the annoying details that eat up time that are the most bothersome. However, if you know a few easy ways to get accurate details quickly and efficiently, those annoying details don’t have to be all that annoying. Here are eight quick fixes that will minimize the annoyance factor.
1. Looking for the exact meaning of a word or phrase? Type the word “define” and the word or phrase you’re looking for, and Google will kick back all the dictionary definitions first.
2. Have you come across a foreign word in a text, and you aren’t sure (based on context) what the author is trying to say because of that foreign word? Let’s say the word is vis-a-vis. You would type in: translate vis-a-vis to English. Voila! Mystery solved!
3. Wondering if it’s too early or too late to call someone in another time zone? Type this into the search bar: ‘time in’ followed by the city in which the other person lives. You’ll get an instant — and correct — answer to your query.
4. Let’s say you’re speaking to a business associate in another country, and pricing comes up in the discussion. You’re used to one form of currency, and your business associate is used to another form of currency. Let’s say the difference is American dollars and Canadian dollars. Just type this into your search bar: USD in CDN dollars.
5. You read something online at the Chicago Tribune website or the Toronto Star website or some other website, but you forgot to bookmark it. Have no fear. You can find that article again without scouring pages and pages of information that’s only eating up valuable time. Type the word ‘site:’ followed by the website URL where you were reading the article, followed by specific search terms. Let’s say you vaguely remember reading something about Woody Allen in the Chicago Tribune recently (there was an article published on July 23, 2014). You would type the following into the search bar — site:chicagotribune.com woody allen.
6. Perhaps you remember only a portion of something important, but not the rest, and you feel the need to track the information down without investing hours in the search. Use asterisks for the missing aspects of your search. Perhaps you’re a stamp collector who is wondering about American stamps with yellow (because yellow is a said to be a significant but elusive U.S. stamp color according to collectors) and other colors. This would be the search parameters: U.S. stamps with yellow with * and *
7. You’re picking someone up at the airport, and you’d hate to get there early only to find out the flight is delayed. Don’t fret. Just type in the name of the airline along with the flight number and everything you need to know about that flight will pop up for you … including if it hasn’t left the tarmac yet!
8. You’re at a restaurant with three friends (one of them may even be the person you picked up from the airport). Everyone is chipping in an equal amount to pay the bill, including the gratuity. The bill comes to $136.75. Rather than lose time figuring out how much everyone pays, let Google help you out. One search term typed into your search bar yields a handy calculator that asks what the tip percentage is and how many people are sharing the bill. In less than 5 seconds, everyone knows what their share is! Here’s that search term … calculate:tip $136.75.
Technology isn’t the enemy of busy and productive people; time wasters are your enemy. Don’t find yourself spinning your wheels in the mud when there are simple, accurate answers at the ready. All you have to remember is how to find them.