Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Excellent 10 Google Tricks

10. Find a beautiful wallpaper for your desktop resolution with Google images

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to Advanced Image Search
  2. Next to “Exact size” click on “Use my desktop resolution”. Then, next to “Content types” select “Photo content.”
  3. Enter some words. If you want to find cows, enter beautiful cows :) Let’s see the results:

google found backgrounds 486x400

Notice that many of the images in the results are from wallpaper
sites. Google Images makes it very convenient to go through these types
of sites and browse them like a gallery instead of going to each
gallery site separately. Yes, I hear you say: Wow, I didn’t know Google could do this.

9. Create unlimited disposable email addresses with Gmail

Take the following example:

gmail addresses 532x400

That’s right, you can add one or more dots ANYWHERE between your
username and send messages to that ‘new’ email. All of those messages
will arrive to your old (without dots) email. Hard to explain without a
picture. But somehow Google did find a way to do it…

Sometimes you may receive a message sent to an address
that looks like yours but has a different number or arrangement of
periods. While we know it might be unnerving if you think someone
else’s mail is being routed to your account, don’t worry: both of these
addresses are yours.

Gmail doesn’t recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can
add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual
destination address; they’ll all go to your inbox, and only yours. In

  • =
  • =
  • =

All these addresses belong to the same person. You can see this if
you try to sign in with your username, but adding or removing a dot
from it. You’ll still go to your account.

Yep, this is an explanation from Google itself. Now that you understand this, let’s keep going.

8. Search videos durations using Google Video

I’ve noticed there’s not a single video site that allows you to
search videos by duration. Let’s say I want to learn Spanish and I want
comprehensive videos for that (longer than 20 minutes.) To search, I go
to Google Advanced Video Search page and select “Long” next to “Duration”. Here’s what happens:

google video duration 560x346

Now all that’s left is to get some free time and watch those…

7. Want to find an iPad alternative using Google Search?

Sure, you can write ‘iPad alternative’ in Google but that won’t give you the best results. Instead, try this:

better than google searchUsing “better than product” where product=any product will give you not only alternatives but better alternatives to a particular product. Very cool.

6. Detect any unknown language with Google Language Detector

I have a big problem:

what language is this 560x99

What’s the solution? Google language detector.

google language detect

Another good way to detect and also translate is to use Google Translate and the “Detect Language” option:

google translate 560x228

5. See what the Dutch haven been searching for recently using Google Insights

Google is the most popular search engine in almost any country in the world. Google Insights
(like the name suggests) gives you ‘insights’ of what people have been
searching for around the world. For example, Netherlands:

google insights

Hyves is a Dutch portal and social network. Weer seems to be a weather portal.

4. When did Google become more popular than Microsoft? Google Trends has the answer

google trends 560x364

Google Trends
helps you discover the trends on various topics and see what people
have been searching for over time. In this case, you can see when
people started searching for Google more than Microsoft in early 2005.

3. Hate opening PDF files? Google Docs is the solution

So you’ve been searching on Google for a particular topic and found a PDF file:

google pdf quick view 560x372

Instead of opening the file in Adobe Reader (which is a painful
process), you can click on “Quick View” and open the file in Google
Docs! It takes seconds to open and it’s way more flexible. If you
choose later, you can always save the file as PDF by choosing the
export option in Google Docs.

2. Scan and Read your RSS feeds like email messages in Google Reader

You probably know how easy it is to open and read
email messages in Gmail thanks to the list view. Well, you can do the
same in Google Reader:

google reader 560x310

The default view in Google Reader is ‘expanded’ which makes the
items pretty difficult to scan and read. If you change the view from
expanded to ‘list’, then it becomes WAY easier to SCAN items and pick
what you like.

1. Google can tell you the answer to life and the universe

googles answer to life 560x106

I wish it was so simple :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Excellent Tools a Freelancer must have

1. Toggl

is a great time tracking tool that helps you keep track of your time
during projects. It is mostly a web app, however it has a downloadable
desktop app that allows you to use their time clock easily without
having their website up and running. And the best part? It is free!

2. Dropbox

allows you to share files with others who also have Dropbox. I use it
for one of my clients and it makes life alot easier than uploading the
files and sending a link. Dropbox has a desktop application that puts a
folder on your computer, so it acts just like your “My Documents”
folder, and automatically syncs for you.

3. TweetDeck

is an application that helps you manage your social life. Everything
from Twitter to Facebook and everything in between, it helps you stay
up to date in real-time.

4. OpenOffice

great, free alternative to Microsoft Office, OpenOffice handles
everything from documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It will even
open, edit, and save Microsoft Office documents!

5. Klok

is a nice application to help keep track of the time you spend on
client work. Klok costs $15.99 for one license and requires Adobe Air
to power it. I tried out Klok before they switched to a paid version,
and I must say, the interface is very nice!

6. Mozilla Firefox

is indeed one of the best free browsers out there. Fast, tabbed, and
ready to take on IE, using Firefox will make you ditch IE in a

7. Mozilla Thunderbird

you love Firefox, then you will love it’s baby sister Thunderbird.
Flying high above, Thunderbird is a free alternative to Microsoft
Outlook, and it isn’t too bad functionality-wise either.

8. Skype

messaging, video chatting, and much more, Skype helps you stay
connected. Featuring a nice compact desktop app, most things you can do
with Skype are not only amazing, but some are free too!

9. Adobe Creative Suite 5

think this may be a given for the majority of us freelancers, however,
the Adobe Creative Suite does exist for Windows. It includes such
programs as Photoshop, Acrobat, Illustrator, and many more depending on
which suite you purchase.

10. Intuit Quickbooks

great tool to help you manage your business, Quickbooks has everything
from invoicing to financial record keeping. They have several different
products to chose from, and offer a free trial as well.

11. Evernote

notes, manage your paperflow, and keep an inspiration journal with
Evernote. A companion to manage all of those notes and napkin drawings
right on your desktop. Evernote also features apps for your phone for
on-the-go note management.

12. Avast!

(and when you least expect it), viruses can hit your computer and cause
great frustration and lost of time to take care of. Avast! is a great
anti-virus solution to help keep your computer healthy. They even offer
a free version if you want to try it out.

13. Google Talk

all the Google lovers, Google Talk is the desktop equivalent to Google
Chat found in Gmail. Chat with friends, family, and even clients and
prospects with Google Talk, without ever having to open a browser.
Another great feature of Google Talk is an email alert that alerts you
when you get an email, which I find very handy!

14. Safari

most popular browser for Apple comes to Windows! Safari is an excellent
browser with a little Mac love. Great addition to your list of
browsers, especially for all the web developers and web designers who
need to test their sites in all browsers.

15. SugarSync

convenient way to access your files from anywhere and to backup your
files, SugarSync is an online backup service that features a desktop
download to ease in management and phone apps to allow for access of
your files anywhere.

16. Seesmic

all of your tweets and retweets using Seesmic for Windows. A desktop
app that gives you Twitter at your fingertips, all without firing up
your browser.

17. Microsoft Office

Office features such apps as Word (word processing), Excel
(spreadsheets), and PowerPoint (presentations) and all of your basics
to manage and run your business and increase your productivity.

18. Moneydance

your money dance with Moneydance. A personal finance manager,
Moneydance makes it easy to manage your money and stay on budget.

19. 1Password

forget another password with 1Password. Now in public Beta for Windows,
1Password is an all-in-one app for password management.

20. McAfee

is one of the leading anti-virus apps for Windows machines. With
features like real-time scanning and up to three computer licenses,
McAfee can help keep your computer safe from attacks and viruses.

21. Adobe Reader

leading and free PDF reader, Adobe Reader allows you to view and print
PDF documents. Adobe Reader also allows you to view PDFs in your
browser as well, which is very convenient.

22. Microsoft Outlook

Outlook (now part of the Office suite) is a nice email client that
helps you stay on top of your overflowing inbox. Stay organized, find
messages easier, and reply quicker are many advantages to Microsoft

23. F.lux

new app for me (and I plan to try it out), F.lux is made to help
monitor the brightest of your screen depending on the time of day. Set
how bright you want your computer to be depending on your usage, and
save your eyes!

24. Windows Live Messenger

Windows Live users, there is an instant messaging app just for you!
Windows Live Messenger lets you keep up with your contacts and chat
with them in the convenience of a desktop app.

25. Postbox

is a new email client that claims to be fast and great looking. Save
time for more important things by efficiently working through your
email with speed with Postbox.

26. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

app was a life-saver recently when viruses hit my computer hard. One of
the best free scanners out there, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will scan
your computer for viruses and malware that sometimes other anti-virus
programs won’t catch. After the scan, it will print you a report of
what it found and take care of all the dirty work in getting rid of any

27. BubblesHQ

interesting app to surely solve some productivity issues, BubblesHQ
takes any website and makes it a convenient desktop app. I used it with
much ease for managing my Gmail inbox and online CRM, and it was very
nice not having to have a browser open all the time.

28. Tick

simple application to help you keep track of your time, Tick is there
to help you account for all of your billable hours. Tick stores all of
your information online so you never lose your time spent!

29. iTunes

that just because you had a Windows machine you couldn’t get all the
loveliness that is iTunes? Think again. iTunes has a Windows app so
that you can listen to your favorite jams and rock out while you are
working on client work.

30. Kaspersky

great anti-virus software, Kaspersky will keep your computer free of
viruses and infections so that you can focus on your freelancing work.
They feature a free trial to test drive their software as well.

31. Yahoo! Messenger

Messenger is one of the most popular and widely-used instant messaging
apps in use today. Chat with friends and family, video chat with
prospects, and check your friends’ statuses all inside the convenient
desktop application.

32. Active@ File Recovery

has happened to all of us I am sure, something happens and we lose our
files, be it on our hard drives, portable hard drives, CDs/DVDs, or
jump drives. Active@ File Recovery is an app that lets you recover your
files so you can get back to work again.

33. LogMeIn

able to manage and backup your computer from anywhere. LogMeIn is a
great app and service that lets you access your Windows from anywhere
in the world with an internet connection.

34. IncrediMail

fun with your email! IncrediMail is a fun email client that lets you
manage your email with flair. Add backgrounds, sounds, and emoticons to
your emails with the IncrediMail app.

35. Carbonite

lose an important file again because of your computer crashing.
Carbonite is a great online application that also features a desktop
app to help you manage your files and store them safely online.

36. Norton

is an anti-virus software to keep your computer safe from viruses. Keep
your computer safe from trojans and malware with Norton’s desktop

37. AOL Instant Messenger

Instant Messenger (AIM for short) is one of the longest-standing
instant messaging apps out there. Chat with all of your buddies, and
now use your Facebook account as a login and chat with your Facebook
friends though AIM as well.

38. Picasa

from Google is a web album application to manage your photos. Download
the app and enjoy the organization and quick picture-editing features
that Picasa brings.

39. Mozy

all of your files safe and backed up with the online app Mozy. Mozy
also features a desktop application to make it even easier to do those
backups you should be doing.

40. SmartFTP

you need a simple FTP client, SmartFTP steps up to the plate. For
whatever needs you have to upload files to your server, SmartFTP is a
great free app to help you upload and download files on your server.

41. GoToMyPC

is an application that allows for remote access to your PC and your
files. With many ways to use GoToMyPC, you will never be without your
files or programs ever again!

42. Quicken

great financial management app from Intuit, Quicken allows for you to
manage every facet of your personal finances and freelance finances in
an easy to use application. Quicken allows for budgeting, setting
financial goals, and keeping on top of your debt obligations all in one
easy to use app.

43. Twhirl

your social media life with Twhirl. Everything from Twitter to Facebook
to Friendfeed, Twhirl makes it easy to stay on top of your social media
in an application that fits right on your desktop, using Adobe Air to
power it.

44. AVG Anti-Virus

is a wonderful free anti-virus software to protect your PC. Even though
their free version is great, they offer paid versions as well for added

45. PDF Creator

those that don’t want to invest in expensive PDF software, PDF Creator
is a great open-source program that allows for the creation of PDFs.
Create PDFs to your heart is content for all of your business’ needs.

46. IDrive

being asked “Did you back it up?” when something goes wrong? Well
IDrive created its app to help ease the stress of losing important
files by helping you back up your files safely.

47. FileZilla

open-source FTP client, FileZilla is great if you need a simple FTP
solution. Upload files to your server, or set up a FTP client for one
of your clients with an easy to use application for Windows.

48. Pidgin

an all-in-one instant messenger? Well Pidgin (like the bird) is to the
rescue! Pidgin is an universal instant messaging app that will allow
you to log in to all of your accounts, and manage them all of them from
one place.

49. CintaNotes

is a personal note keeper. Keep all of your notes organized with this
free desktop application and get rid of your post-it notes! CintaNotes
features fast searching and the ability to run it on your flash drive,
so you can take it anywhere!

50. Chrome

but certainly not least, Google Chrome. One of the newest additions to
the browser market, Chrome is a fast and lightweight browser that
features tabs and theming, and best of all, it is free!

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