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Google continues to wow us and make our online lives better — despite its detractors This Is Why You Should Stop Using Google Search This Is Why You Should Stop Using Google Search Google has unrivaled access to your browsing habits. Giving everything to Google isn't such a good idea. Here are some excellent Google alternatives that still get the job done. Read More . Whether you’re using Google’s latest features 9 Productivity Hacks We Learned From Google 9 Productivity Hacks We Learned From Google You don't get to be one of the largest companies on the planet without knowing a few productivity hacks. We'll show you the Google productivity hacks you can adopt for yourself. Read More or learning productivity tips from the company 5 New Google Apps and Features That Will Wow You 5 New Google Apps and Features That Will Wow You Google has been on a roll lately. The Internet giant has launched more new apps and features to make life easier for its users. Let's find out some of the best ones. Read More , you interact with Google dozens of times per day.

If you use Google a lot, you should cultivate some useful habits to make your experience more pleasant. Here are some of the little Google tricks you can follow to improve your personal and professional experiences.

1. Make Time for Your Goals With Google Calendar

Are you struggling to meet goals you’ve set for yourself 5 Amazing Ways to Get Inspired and Motivated to Achieve Your Goals 5 Amazing Ways to Get Inspired and Motivated to Achieve Your Goals Get inspired. Inspiration is everywhere; you just have to look. Get motivated by looking at people around you or famous achievers. Cool Web Apps gives you five simple tools that help. Read More ? Maybe you’re trying to work on your book for an hour per day, find the time to work out, or learn a new language 6 Snappy Ways to Learn a New Language in 5 Minutes a Day 6 Snappy Ways to Learn a New Language in 5 Minutes a Day You can get a lot done in the few minutes of free time you have. Learning a new language with microlearning is one of them. Try these excellent apps and websites for microlearning. Read More . If the days end without any progress towards your goals, time blocking could be the solution Time Blocking -- The Secret Weapon For Better Focus Time Blocking -- The Secret Weapon For Better Focus Are you looking for a more efficient way to organise your work-days? Try Time Blocking. This time management tactic can help keep you on track while keeping distractions, procrastination, and unproductive multitasking at bay. Read More for you. Google Calendar can help with that.

Jump onto Google Calendar and take a zoomed-in look at your day. Schedule time for everything you have to do first. It might sound ridiculous, but add even the everyday life bits you do automatically. Block out time for sleep, breakfast, your commute, and whatever other non-negotiables your day holds. You can use the color-coding feature to help you distinguish between types of tasks.

time blocking google calendar

After this, look at the time you have remaining and figure out where you can fit time in for your goals. If you kill an hour after getting home from work before you eat dinner, is that time better spent at the gym? Or perhaps you have a block of empty time in the evenings that would be perfect for practicing your Spanish.

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It’s easy to “feel like you don’t have any time.” But when you take a hard look at where you’re spending it, it becomes a lot simpler to plan for the most efficient use of it.

2. Keep Your Account Security Tight

With so many services tied to Google (like Drive, YouTube, Photos, and more), it’s wise to make sure your account isn’t a vulnerable target. For that, you can pay a visit to the Google Account Settings page. Log in if needed, then you’ll see the variety of options available.

google account settings

A great place to start is the Security Checkup. This runs through some of the most important options related to your account. Follow the steps to make sure your recovery phone and email are current, and make sure no strange devices/apps are using your Google account. The last step checks your two-factor authentication (2FA) settings, which is the best way to add more security to your account Lock Down These Services Now With Two-Factor Authentication Lock Down These Services Now With Two-Factor Authentication Two-factor authentication is the smart way to protect your online accounts. Let's take a look at few of the services you can lock-down with better security. Read More .

With this enabled, you need a code from your phone in addition to your password to log into your account on a new device. If you don’t use 2FA, take a moment now to set it up. Head to the Sign-in & Security header, then scroll down to the Signing in to Google area. Click 2-Step Verification to add a method — we recommend using Authy.

Make sure you’re using a strong password 6 Tips For Creating An Unbreakable Password That You Can Remember 6 Tips For Creating An Unbreakable Password That You Can Remember If your passwords are not unique and unbreakable, you might as well open the front door and invite the robbers in for lunch. Read More on your account as well, and your account security will be in top shape. Read our guide to your Google Account settings What Does Google Know About You? Find Out and Manage Your Privacy and Security What Does Google Know About You? Find Out and Manage Your Privacy and Security For the first time, search giant Google is offering a way for you to check the information it has about you, how it is gathering that data, and new tools to start reclaiming your privacy. Read More to make use of the other useful tools on this page.

3. Show Friends How Google Works

Ever see someone who doesn’t know how to search for something on Google?

obvious question google

Especially on social media, you’ll regularly find people who don’t bother to Google basic information. Instead, they ask other people to find it for them. Of course, we’re not talking about recommendations, advice, or other types of requests that do better with a personal touch. But when someone asks a question that’s answered by the first result on Google, it’s frustrating for users who know better.

obvious answer google

That’s where Let Me Google That For You (LMGTFY) comes in. This simple site lets you type a query in and get a link to a little animation that shows the person how to use Google Sick of People Asking You to Google for Them? Use This Site Sick of People Asking You to Google for Them? Use This Site Google can answer anybody's questions in an instant, but some people still ask others to search the web for them. Next time that happens, here's the site you should use. Read More . It tells them to visit Google, type their question, and then click Search to find information. For convenience, the site even drops them off at the Google results page for that query.

For the extreme novice, you can also check a box to include an “internet explainer.” This adds a few bits to explain that search engines let you search the internet for information. LMGTFY was once more condescending, as it included a “Was that so hard?” message after searching. Thankfully, it’s now intended as an educational resource and you can use it to show people how to use the internet for themselves.

lmgtfy example

4. Use Etiquette When Collaborating on Google Docs

Google Docs is a dead-simple way to create awesome documents 10 Neat Ways to Create Beautiful Google Documents 10 Neat Ways to Create Beautiful Google Documents Turn your Google office suite into a word-processing powerhouse with the right Google Drive add-on. Here's some of that power to make your documents look stylish and beautiful. Read More without downloading any software. Even better, you can collaborate with others How to Easily Collaborate on Google Drive with Online Annotation How to Easily Collaborate on Google Drive with Online Annotation There are specialized annotation web apps available that integrate with Google Drive and make communicating with others about your document easier. We look at the best annotation tools for Google Drive. Read More in real-time while doing so. However, you should observe a few pieces of basic etiquette to avoid stressing others out:

  • Use the commenting and suggest edits features. If someone asks you to read through their work and suggest changes, you shouldn’t just start marking up the document like crazy. That makes it harder to track what you changed, and they might not want to take your suggestions anyway.Instead, use the commenting feature to add a note on something that they can review later. Change the Editing box in the top-right to Suggest Changes so you can type out a revision without removing their original version.
  • Be courteous when editing documents with others. In the above scenario, you’re free to work at your own pace and suggest changes to a static document. But if you have three people in a doc all working on different sections at the same time, you should be cautious not to mess up what they’re doing. Don’t enter a dozen line breaks because this will bump down the work of everyone below you. Avoid typing right next to someone else or applying formatting changes to a lot of text at once. If you need to make a change that will affect the others, use the chat at the top of the screen to get ahold of everyone.
  • Don’t share with the wrong people. Since you’re collaborating on a document, it’s probably set up with some sharing settings. Make sure you respect the document owner’s privacy if you have the option to make changes to it. Don’t share the link with anyone unless you get their approval.

If you’re having trouble collaborating in Google Docs alone, check out some of the other great free online meeting tools The 6 Best Free Online Meeting Tools to Collaborate with Your Team The 6 Best Free Online Meeting Tools to Collaborate with Your Team Small teams don't need expensive enterprise apps for collaboration. Here are six fantastic tools that you can use to manage your team's data, communication, and more. For free. Read More .

5. Use Google Calendar’s Time Zone Options

Time zones are a hassle How to Make All Your PC Times Match With an Atomic Clock Sync How to Make All Your PC Times Match With an Atomic Clock Sync How do you ensure that your computer clock is accurate? We show you how your system clock works, how to customize its settings, and what to do if it starts displaying the incorrect time. Read More when you’re traveling. If you set an event and don’t realize it’s in a different zone, you could end up missing it. Thankfully, Google Calendar makes it easy to explicitly check the time zones of events. By default, whenever you create an event, you see it in your time zone. Anyone you invite will see it in their local times zones.

google calendar time zone settings

To change the time zone for all your calendars, open Google Calendar, click the gear icon, and choose Settings. Where it says Your current time zone, simply change the drop-down to whatever zone you’re in.

You can also click Show an additional time zone to help you keep track if you often schedule events that affect people in another zone. Adding UTC here so you have a universal reference is a great idea — you’ll have to tick the Display all time zones box for it to show up.

6. Master Gmail

If you haven’t changed any of the Gmail defaults since you started using it, you’re doing email wrong. You should certainly use the best tricks for making Gmail better 13 Quick Tricks and Extensions to Become a Gmail Power User 13 Quick Tricks and Extensions to Become a Gmail Power User If you are a Gmail user, you have an endless stream of tricks and extensions to make the best of it. We'll explore some of the best of them in this article. Read More and apply its underused tweaks 10 Underused Gmail Tweaks to Add to Your Workflow Today 10 Underused Gmail Tweaks to Add to Your Workflow Today Gmail has been around for so long now. But some Gmail's features still surprise us. Let's look at ten features that can speed up your email management and your workflow. Read More , but there’s more to it than that. Don’t let email rule your life.

You should limit the amount of time you spend in it so you don’t waste precious time. Filter out 4 Smart Gmail Filters That Help You Deal with Too Much Email 4 Smart Gmail Filters That Help You Deal with Too Much Email Decluttering and organizing your Gmail inbox is a daily chore. There is a smarter way to do it. Create four basic types of filters in Gmail to sort your emails right automatically. Read More or unsubscribe from junk you don’t even read. Move tasks and appointments to other apps so opening your email doesn’t stress you out 6 Simple Tricks to Reduce Email Stress 6 Simple Tricks to Reduce Email Stress Dealing with email is the best part of my day. Said no one ever. You need all the tips you can get to manage your email inbox? We can help you out! Read More . If you dread opening your email every day, you should take a step back and see what’s important. After some hard time filtering, deleting, and pruning, your email anxiety will disappear How to Master Gmail Inbox Anxiety How to Master Gmail Inbox Anxiety So many emails, so little time. Do you feel this way when it comes to managing your Gmail inbox? We show you simple settings and helpful tools to organize and stress-proof your Gmail inbox. Read More . And that’s a healthy lifelong habit.

7. Utilize the Wealth of Tips and Tricks Available

Google has so many tips and tricks that we’ve written dozens of articles about them all. Check them out to grow your mastery of Google and build great habits:

What Google Habits Help You?

We’ve covered seven habits that will lead you to a more productive Google workflow. Whether you’re using built-in tools that you didn’t know about or helping friends learn without relying on others, these will give you a boost over others who don’t know about them. Make these routine, and there’ll be no stopping you.

Can’t commit to making good habits like these? Check out how to use micro habits How to Use Micro Habits and Spark Massive Personal Change How to Use Micro Habits and Spark Massive Personal Change Creating new habits is hard. Habits are usually built over weeks or months of repetition, and motivation is the challenge. When the going gets tough, micro-habits can be a huge help. Read More to conquer them a bit at a time.

Which of these Google tips will you start using? Are there other habits you think fellow users should cultivate? Share them with us in the comments!

Image Credit: saknakorn via Shutterstock.com

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  1. fcd76218
    August 14, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    As Brian said, the only thing I MUST do when it comes to Google, is to drop it like a bad habit.

    1. You're handing Google more data about yourself. Don't complain later about the loss of privacy on the Internet.
    2. Google may protect you from outside snoopers but who is going to protect you from Google snooping in your data?
    3. Turn your friends over to the Google data collection engine.
    4. Another Google services that extracts data about you.
    5. Why should you let Google know your travel itinerary? They already know too much about you (and everybody else).
    6. GMail is a second rate mail app in functionality. I've used better apps 20 years ago. But it does have outstanding eye candy and glitz!
    7. They are designed to suck you deeper and deeper into Google's maw.

    The price of convenience is PRIVACY.

  2. Brian
    August 14, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    The best google habit is to drop google.