Life can throw a lot of challenges your way, so why not look for ways to make it simpler? If you’re constantly looking for quick tips to save time or money, avoid frustration, or even bring yourself a little joy, then this list is for you. Here are seven life hacks you can take advantage of from your computer.
1. Use the Google search bar for so much more than searching.
Next time you need to convert quarts to gallons (or some other unit of measurement), just type the amount you want converted into the Google search. You can do the same thing for currency conversions. And it doesn’t stop there. Try typing in any of these terms: calculator, flip a coin, roll a die, timer, stopwatch, or tip calculator. It’s kind of amazing. And if you get bored, try typing google pacman.
2. Search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode for better rates.
If you browse for flights one day and come back the next day to look again, chances are you’ll see higher prices. But you don’t necessarily have to pay them! In Google Chrome or Safari, use Command + Shift + N (on Mac) or Control + Shift + N (on PC). In Firefox or Internet Explorer, use Command + Shift + P (on Mac) or Control + Shift + P (on PC). This will open a private browsing mode so that those airline sites can’t tell that you’ve been there before. They will then show the lowest prices available.
3. Use a text to speech converter to make your words come alive.
You can make anything you type into a spoken word by using one of these handy tools. Many have the ability to change the spoken accent if you’re looking for a different flavor in the voice. This is a great tool if you need a voiceover for a YouTube video and you don’t want to use your own voice. Or perhaps you want to just convert a written article into an mp3 so that you can listen to it instead of reading it.
4. Use Chrome to read PDFs.
Maybe you don’t have a PDF reader, or maybe you just don’t feel like opening another application while you’re working. Either way, it’s super simple to drag a PDF file into your browser window and read it from there.
5. Speed up your computer by cleaning your desktop.
If you have a mac, and it’s not running as fast as you’d like, try clearing your desktop. Organizing your files into folders and/or moving them onto an external drive doesn’t just make it easier to find what you need. It also will likely fix a computer that’s running more slowly than usual.
6. Use Google Alerts to keep up with a topic.
You can sign up to receive a daily Google Alert on any word or phrase, and you will receive an email whenever there is new content published online with that word or phrase included. This is great for businesses to monitor keywords or receive mentions of their brand. It’s also great to just receive new information about a topic in which you’re interested.
7. Reopen a browser tab.
If you close out a browser tab by accident, it’s not lost for good. Press Command + Shift + T (on Mac) or Control + Shift + T (on PC) and the tab reopens.