I can’t think of a single day in the last decade that I haven’t at some point used Google for something. It could be to check my emails, write a document, put a meeting in my diary or, in most cases, search for something or settle an argument. It is, like most of us, my go-to search engine, and I spend a lot of time looking stuff up and researching ideas via Google. It has pretty much taken over my life, and I guess most of you would feel the same. But, I’m entirely self-taught on Google. I learnt how to use the search engine without any instructions, but actually, there are loads of hacks and useful information out there that can make me much more efficient when using Google Search. So, having done some research here are my 20 Google Search Hacks for Personal Assistants!
20 Google Search Hacks for Personal Assistants
- When searching for something specific, try using quotes marks so that Google knows exactly what you are searching for. This will reduce the amount of guesswork Google has to do and the number of results.
- If you are looking for something locally type the search term and then ‘near me’. This will only bring up results within your location.
- Use Google Flight Tracker to find information on any flight.
- Type Temperature into Google and you will get a weather forecast for your location.
- Use a hyphen sign if you want to exclude any word from a search. For example, say you want to search for soup recipes but don’t like chicken you would enter ‘soup recipes -chicken’, and Google will exclude all recipes that include chicken.
- If you would like to search within a particular website, you can still use Google to do this. Just enter the search term followed by a colon and then the website, for example, Google Hacks:practicallyperfectpa.com
- If you like one particular website and would like to see what other sites are similar, then enter ‘related: and the name of the website’ and Google will show a list of related websites.
- If you quickly need to add up some numbers, Google Search can do the sums for you.
- You may be asked to find a specific report or presentation by your Executive. if you use Google, you can enter the search term followed by ‘filetype: pdf/ppt.’ This search will only bring up either PDFs or Powerpoint presentations.
- Use Google Search to convert any unit of weight, height, length etc. by just entering ‘unit’ into the search bar, and you will see the conversion calculator pop up.
- To track any packages merely enter your tracking number into Google Search and it will pull through your delivery supplier and the details.
- If you need to search for a specific image in a particular colour, use the image tab, and in the bottom left-hand corner, you will see a palette of colours to chose from. This will only show images in the tone that you need.
- If you want to search for two specific keywords remember to add OR (all in capitals), this will make Google only search for these two words.
- To quickly get a currency conversion, type in the first currency and the second and Google will make the conversion for you.
- If you can’t think of a word use the tilde symbol to search for synonyms. For example, if you want to look for a better word for say ‘communication’ enter ~communication, and Google will pull through a list of relevant articles and synonyms
- If you have been asked to find an old newspaper article that might not be on Google. Have a look at news.google.com/newspapers. Here you will find scanned copies of old newspaper articles.
- If you want to see who is sharing your business’s content, like your Executive’s blog post or LinkedIn article. Enter the URL in quote marks and Google will pull through results of those that have shared the URL on their websites.
- Google has a stopwatch app that can be quite helpful. Just type in Stopwatch and hit start
- if you want to find something that is trending on social media you can do a hashtag search via Google. Just enter # and the search term to get results across all social media platforms
- You can filter your Google results depending on certain parameters. Enter your search term and once you see the results look below the search bar and you will see Tools button. Press this and filter according to date and time.
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