Cool Things You Can Do With Google Search, Besides Search

NOTE: These are the show notes & resources presented in episode #8 of Your Technology Tutor. This program is available in the iTunes Store and can also be heard via the player at the bottom of this page.

Your Technology Tutor Program
Show Notes – Episode #8
Topic: Cool Things You Can Do With Google Search, Besides Search

Today I want to cover some cool, fun and very useful/helpful things you can do inside Google Search besides using it for a web search.

Links presented in the program:

Here are some of the additional tasks you can perform right in the Google Search page:

* Spell checker – simply enter the word you want to check in the search bar. It will provide you with search results if spelled correctly. If it says ‘Did you mean…. Then you have an incorrect spelling and should consider using the one they presented.

* Word Definitions – use ‘Define’ plus any word and you will be presented with a quick/short dictionary type definition of your word.

* Package Tracking – You can track packages by typing the tracking number for your UPS, Fedex or USPS package directly into the search bar. You will then see a link titled something like “Track FedEx package xxxx-xxxx-xxxx?”  Click on the link and you will be taken to the FedEx tracking page for that package number/s

* Airline Flight Updates – just enter in the name of the airline and the flight number and you will be presented with a quick status update of that flight, for that day.

* If you are looking to book a flight, you might consider using Google Flight to help you identify flights to consider for a particular route and date.

* Calculator – Google search will not only perform simple and complex math calculations but will also create a graph with the appropriate equation.

* Fill in the blank questions Sometimes the best way to ask a question is to get Google to ‘fill in the blank’ by adding an asterisk (*) at the part of the sentence or question that you want finished into the Google search box. In the program I used this one for an example “Thomas Edison invented *”

* Unit Converter = “convert 1 pint to cup”

* Current currency Conversions = 1 USD to Euro

* Finding the time of any location – Enter the word time pus name of city. For the program I entered: “time Paris, France”
I also showed how you can easily see the current time for all USA time zones by entering “US current time” which then shows all 7 time zones in the United States.

* Finding the weather of any location – Type weather and the location = ‘Weather Paris France’ gives you the current weather (you can switch between Farenheit & Celcius) and if you scroll down a little you see the 8 day forecast for that locale.

* For movie Show Times in your area, enter ‘Movies’ plus zip code – this will then display a list of most popular films playing in that area. You can also get the specific times for a movie in your area like the following:
‘show times Jurassic Park 3D’

* To find the Sunrise and Sunset times for that particular day, enter ‘sunrise’ followed by city name

* To find a local business- enter category of business followed by city or zip code and you will be provided listing of local business, map, reviews and contact information.

* To track favorite sports team, just enter the team name in the Search Bar. This is enabled for many leagues including the National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball.

* Quick translate – if you want just a quick, short translation you can do this in the Search bar… for example type ‘Translate Birthday to German’ provides me with the German word ‘Geburtstag’

This week’s Cool Find is a website where you create really cool looking word clouds, think of it like a graphic created only with words…. it is called Wordle. You click over to Wordle at and click on the ‘Create’ button.  You then enter a bunch of words and click GO. You will be presented with a graphic made up of the words you entered.

In the podcast I talked about my favorite editing options – under Layout there are options for re-arranging how the words appear.  I often use ‘Mostly Horizontal’ but you can also choose ‘Any which way’, ‘Half and Half’, Horizontal or Vertical (only.

Also I mentioned the choices under the Color menu – you can choose multiple color schemes with either a white or black background.