Randy Dean's Timely Tips

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Timely Tips© Volume 3, Issue 7; July 2006:A Couple New Time-Saving Tools from Google

Just about everyone is a “Googler”. I myself am a prolific Googler (although I do recommend using other search engines when doing research to get a broader set of results). Still, for simple searches and finding very specific information quickly, nothing beats Google.

Google has recently added a couple very useful enhanced features worth looking into if you Google too. One is a little program download that allows you to add Google to your Internet Explorer browser toolbar (There is also a version for Firefox users, and I’m sure Google has other browser toolbar options on the way soon). This way, whenever you are surfing the web, rather than having to jump to the Google homepage to initiate a search, you can simply type your search term/phrase into your Google toolbar feature, and initiate the search immediately. It saves you a single step, which probably saves a few seconds every time you initiate a search (more if using dial up). I probably make 10-20 Google searches a day, so I’m likely saving several minutes every day using this download feature.

Google also now offers another download, the Google Desktop program. This program actually launches a Google search bar during your PC’s start-up routine. It appears in the bottom toolbar section of your screen (when running Windows XP). Then, even if you don’t have your browser open, you can immediately initiate a Google search regardless of what program you are running. You can type your search phrase in the toolbar and go back to your Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document (or whatever you are working on), and behind the scenes, your Internet browser will launch, go to the Google site, conduct the search, and deliver the results -- all while you are still being productive. Google Desktop Download

Even a "Chance to Win" Through Your Normal Search Activities

And, if you like fun and games, there is even a version of the Google toolbar for your web browser called “Blingo” that was developed by Publisher’s Clearing House. It basically offers a “chance to win” every time you conduct a search. I’ve tried it, and it seems to work exactly like the regular Google search bar, except that below the paid search results, you also see a list of “recent winners”. (I haven’t won yet!) Hey, if you are going to be doing searches anyway, why not have a chance to win something? (Downside: they are probably collecting information on your search statistics so they can send you offers via e-mail – so if you e-mail inbox is already “junked up”, you might want to avoid this tool.)

Just a few new ways to take advantage of this new technology. Happy searching! Until next month, Stay Timely!


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