Here are this week’s 5 Life Pro Tips.
1. How to get the most out of Google/search engines
For Google searches, the ones I use the most are OR and NOT (AND was included in this, but now I believe that Google recognizes any space as an AND function). These always need to be entered in all caps, otherwise Google doesn’t recognize them as operators.
OR would be used when you want to search for multiple variations on something, essentially, and brings back all the searches it finds. Imagine you’re looking for motorbikes from all over, but you know they’re referred to motorbikes and motorcycles in different places. An example of a search you’d use would be
motorbike OR motorcycle
This will return all the pages it finds that used either the word motorbike or motorcycle within their text. I believe that you can also use the character |, making it motorbike|motorcycle, but I think both works equally well.
NOT is how you would get rid of search results that you know aren’t at all useful to you. You can use the minus sign (-) as opposed to writing NOT. Place this at the end of your search string.
To continue the example from earlier; you’re searching for a motorbike, but for whatever reason, it keeps bringing up results for some knock-off brand, we’ll make one up and call it Kavasaci. You absolutely don’t want this at all, so your search string would look like this:
motorbike OR motorcycle -Kavasaci
Make sure there’s no space between the minus sign and the word you want to remove. This will remove all the search results that mention this particular brand.
We all know that many sites have an absolutely awful internal search engine(like ours), which is either basic as hell, is too confusing to figure out, or just doesn’t work whatsoever. You can combat this by using site:, followed by the URL of the site you want to search for, without the www. For example
What this is pretty much doing is telling Google to search this very specific website, ignoring every other site.
” “. Quotation marks are extremely useful in Google searches, because it tells the search engine to search for the exact word order and phrase within them.
As mentioned earlier, Google recognizes a space as AND (which will return any site that mentions all of the keywords within it). Let’s take this example: You’re trying to look for a song that you heard on the radio, but you only gleamed maybe one line and the DJ refuses to name the song. If you were to type the lyric into Google like this
mama just killed a man
It might return a load of results that happened to contain all of these words – maybe a sentence like, ‘mama just went to the shop. Back then I would have killed for a cup of tea. I saw someone coming towards me and I realized it was a man’
To combat this, you’d use quotation marks around the exact phrase you know that you want to find:
“mama just killed a man”
And there we have it, a very basic view on how to use Google and other search engines, to find very specific things when it is required.
02. Adjust your growing pets’ collar regularly
You should be able to fit at least two fingers underneath. For those of you who will say this is not a LPT and common sense when looking after a pet, I somewhat agree, although what prompted me to post was when I saw friend’s puppy on Christmas with a collar that looked incredibly tight.
03. Start 2016 off with an empty jar…
Fill it with notes of good things that happen. On 2017’s New Year’s Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year. A ‘happy jar’ will make you remember and notice good things more easily.
04. Fill the Room with Ambient light with a torch
If you attach a strong flashlight to a full water bottle you can create a lantern.
05. When packing up your Xmas lights…
Forget the loop. Use the zigzag. I’ve been using this technique for the last 5+ years since learning it from a lighting store and never had a tangle. I’ve used my larger, C9 lights that were outside to demonstrate, but I do the same thing with my smaller tree lights. Instead of looping the lights together, or wrapping them around something, use a zigzag-like pattern by holding the base of the first light, then taking every other light and holding them together. By the end, you’ll have a bundle with the lights alternating; 1, 3, 5, etc. facing up and 2, 4, 6, etc. facing down. Use a twisty tie or something to tie them together and put them back in the box.
This method takes up a lot less space than wrapping them around something, minimizes the potential for tangles and, when you need them next year, you simply take one end and they will all unravel in order. Future you will be thankful.