“Google it” is a phrase now ingrained into our daily lives. With over 900 million people using Gmail and 11.9 billion monthly searches, Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL)‘s dominance in online search is unquestioned. Even though you probably use it everyday, here are 13 Google tricks that can provide some added convenience or entertainment.

1. Keep your timing in check

Ready. Set. Go! Type “set timer to 13 minutes and 13 seconds” and the clock immediately starts to wind down. This is a quick solution if you’re waiting to make an important phone call or pick the kids up from school in a few minutes. The timer is especially useful if you don’t have your smartphone handy to check the time or use the built-in stopwatch.

2. Seamlessly search your favorite sites

By using the “site:keyword” search, Google will only give results for that website. For example, simply enter the phrase “ FIFA” and you will get only articles on the CNBC website that are about FIFA.

3. Check flight status

Is my flight on time? First I’ll have to head to the airline’s website, search for my origin city and destination city or plug in my flight number and then I’ll be able to scroll for my flight status. Or … skip that entire process by typing my flight number into Google to see if there’s yet another delay.

4. Decide what’s for dinner

For those who are counting calories or just can’t decide what to eat, Google can help you make an informed decision. Simply type in “hot dog vs. pizza,” for instance, and the search engine will provide a complete nutritional breakdown.

5. Get instant weather forecasts

Similarly, you can get the weather forecast of any city just by typing the city followed by the word forecast. This feature makes it easy to prep for that last minute vacation, without the hassle of going to a weather site, searching the ZIP code and then selecting the specific time-range you’re looking for, you can now find all the necessary forecast information in one simple step.

6. Play an old game, in a new way

Dying for a blast from the past? Type “Atari Breakout” into Google Images and your newest Internet distraction will suddenly appear.

7. Streamline your search

Narrow down your search results by isolating what you don’t want to see. If you type a minus sign (-) before a word, Google will exclude it from the search completely. This makes weeding through your first page of search results much more comprehensive and accurate, the first time around.

8. Convert like a pro

Kilometers, miles, yards-you name it and Google will convert it. Plug in the metric you’re looking to convert and Google will do all the calculations. Even readjust the data after your initial search.

9. See the screen a bit differently

While this tip isn’t necessarily practical-it’s definitely interesting. Tilt your screen by searching the word “tilt.” This is one of many fun additions built in by Google engineers.

10. Monitor the sun

Expand your worldly view by checking on the exact times for sunrise and sunset-anywhere, at any time.

11. Calculate your tab

Quickly type “tip calculator” into Google and in seconds, calculating the exact tip for your meal, based upon a personalized percentage and the number of people dining. While there are apps that can provide a similar service, utilizing the search engine might just save an extra step (or extra 99 cents in the app store).

12. Search for specific images

Have you ever seen a picture of an enticing meal on Pinterest that frustratingly gives no link to a recipe? Or you found an amazing image floating around Facebook but need to give attribution to repost? By using Google’s Reverse Image Search, users can drag the image into the search bar. This will locate the original source of the image, thus, providing any necessary information.

13. Flip a virtual coin

Toss difficult decisions out the window. Press the microphone icon (or type) on Google’s search bar, and say “flip a coin” or “heads or tails.” This feature lets Google flip a coin for you when you don’t have one on hand.

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Remember when Gmail unveiled the new inbox tabs layout? Marketers freaked out. Suddenly marketing emails were relegated to an off-the-beaten-path folder where lots of people thought they would rot forever.

Well, Google’s ready to tug on our marketing heartstrings again. Two days ago, they started rolling out a brand new mobile and web app called Inbox. Though it’s definitely not as drastic as the initial layout change, since the rollout has been slow, marketers have been wondering what makes Inbox different and how it will affect their day-to-day jobs.

To help us all get to the bottom of this new release, we requested access and spent a few hours playing around with the new tool. We’ll walk you through the basics of the new app, give you our take on what this means for marketers, and offer a few tips for those of us deciding to jump on this trend.

How to Get ‘Inbox’

I know what you care about most: how you can get access, too.

Inbox is available for personal Gmail accounts (not those using Google Apps) on iPhone (iOS 7 and up), Android (4.1 and up), and Chrome.

Want to request access? Email and they’ll put you on the waiting list.

While you’re waiting, you might as well hang out for a few — we’ll walk you through the major features of Inbox and give you our take on what this could mean for email marketers.

How Inbox Works

It’s really similar to your Gmail inbox — the functionality and terminology (especially on mobile) are just a bit different. If you don’t want the deep dive, here’s a chart by Google comparing the common similarities between the two:


But I’m going to guess since you’re here, you want the deep dive. Here we go:

The Inbox

Ahh, the inbox. It’s designed to be a productivity hub, giving you access to your most important emails, to-do’s, and reminders all in one space. Your goal? Get through each item and mark it “Done.”

It contains all of the following features, which we’ll describe in more detail below:

  • Bundles
  • Pins
  • Sweep
  • Reminders
  • Snooze
  • Misc.

(You can click the links above to jump the individual sections.)



Bundles are basically “accordion folders” for certain categories in your inbox. They group all emails in the label under one line in your inbox, and you can click to expand the label without leaving your inbox. Conceptually, it’s very similar to how the Priority Inbox works, except the notifications don’t appear in the tabs themselves — they’re a line item within the inbox.

Here’s what it looks like when condensed:


Here’s what it looks like when expanded:


By default, when new emails within the bundle arrive to your inbox, the bundle moves to the top of your inbox.

Types of Labels Within Bundles

There are a few types of labels that are automatically bundled for you. To see them, head over to the menu drop-down on the left of the app.

Note: You can always unbundle these by heading over to your settings.


(* = Not necessarily automatically included in your inbox.)

  • Promo: All marketing emails.
  • Social: Emails from social networks.
  • Updates: Notifications, alerts, and confirmations from accounts.
  • Finance: Finance emails such as bills or payments.
  • Purchases: Transactional emails related to purchases like receipts and shipping notifications.
  • Travel: Anything related to your travels — like flight confirmations and hotel reservations.
  • Forums: Emails from discussion groups and mailing lists.
  • Low Priority*: Messages that aren’t likely to be important. Often they’re Social, Forum, and Promo emails — but not always. This will not be bundled by default unless you have Priority Inbox or Important First Inbox on.
  • Custom Labels*: Will still appear in the sidebar, but can be bundled in the inbox, too.


Pins help you bookmark emails. If you want to save an email for view later, you can pin an email to the inbox or a label.


To view it later, just click on the pin button in the top navigation, and all of your pinned emails will appear:



Within each email, you have the opportunity to mark it as “Done.”


You can also do this to Bundles in your inbox — when you want to mark all the messages within a Bundle as done, you can “Sweep” it.


The cool thing about Sweep is that after you Sweep a Bundle, the pinned items within the Bundle are still available in your Pins — so it’s easy to access the important conversations later. You can also thumb through your “Done” folder if you want to see all the emails that have been marked as done.


Gmail’s always had an option to create a to-do list of sorts using Tasks, but Reminders basically takes that to the next level — they appear right within your inbox:


Like the other features, you can access Reminders at any time in its own folder via the left-hand menu.


Not every reminder or email you create in Inbox will need your immediate attention — that’s where Snooze comes in. Just like your alarm clock, you have set the reminder or email to alert you about themselves at a later date. As far as when “later” is, Google gives you several Snooze options:

  • Snooze to a specific time
  • Snooze to someday: If you know you may want to get to an email later, but not sure when, you can choose to snooze your email until ‘Someday.’ Basically, the email will remain in your Snooze folder until you manually remove it.
  • Snooze until you arrive somewhere: This is a mobile-only feature, but it allows you to enable location tracking via Inbox to resurface the email when you’ve arrive at Home or Work.

Other Cool Features to Note

Besides the main headliners, Google Inbox has a few other features that Gmail doesn’t:

Images automatically appear in the inbox.

Like so:


Live updates for flights and shipping information will automatically appear as well. 

Like this:


Whew! Lots of features to cover. Now onto the more important stuff: what you should do about it.

Is This a Good or Bad Thing for Marketers?

Let me guess: You’re probably a little underwhelmed right now. You were told there was this brand new inbox — by Google nonetheless — so you expected lots of bells and whistles. What you got was a bunch of features repackaged from Gmail into a productivity-centric design.

I completely agree with you — except for on one really really important thing. Inbox could give marketers the leg up they’ve wanted ever since Gmail Tabs rolled out.

Gmail Tabs makes it incredibly easy to ignore the Promotions tab — it’s allll the way over to the right of your inbox, and if you decided you never wanted to get Promotional emails again, you could easily not click on that tab.

Inbox, on the other hand, integrates the Promotional emails you receive right in your inbox. Sure, they’re in one big group, so if you want to access them, you’ll have to open the Bundle. And if you want to remove the Bundle from your inbox, you can easily do that, too. But, right out of the box, Promotions are way more top-of-mind than before — which hopefully will make it easier for good marketing emails to reach the people they’ve lost visibility with in Gmail’s Tabs.

(Of course, first it has to get out of a gated release, and more people need to adopt the new app.)

None of that is in your control, of course, so there’s no reason for you to spend time worrying about the what-ifs of this situation. Instead, I’d suggest focusing on trying to understand this inbox — if it ever rolls out more widely, you’ll be the early adopter reaping the benefits of a thorough understanding.

Tips to Master Google’s New Inbox

While it’s still very early to start changing up your email marketing strategy around Inbox, there are a few things to keep in mind for the future if you want your emails to get noticed.

Make sure you’ve set your sender image. 

Notice how much more sender images matter in the screenshot below — if you’re competing in an already crowded inbox, you need to do anything you can to optimize your emails for opens and clicks.

Though Google hasn’t come out with specific Inbox instructions, they have documentation on how to set this up in Gmail (and I assume the process is the same for Inbox). Gmail automatically pulls in the logo used on your company’s Google+ Page in the Promo Bundle — as long as you have the Google+ Related Pages Widget enabled. Want to test this for your emails? You can follow the instructions on Google’s support page.


Once it’s fully rolled out, instruct your contacts on how to continue to receive updates from you. 

Just like you might have done with the previous Gmail inbox update, you might want to let your Gmail contacts know how they can continue to hear from you if they have Inbox. Send them an email with instructions on it all, and make sure you’ve promoted the message via other social channels, as it’s possible that their inbox is on email overload with the new layout.

This new app seems like it could be pretty cool opportunity for marketers — for now, we’ve just got to sit tight, wait for our invite, and get to know it.

Have you started using Inbox? What other tips do you have for marketers?


Top 10 Instant Messaging Apps

By TechnoDuce

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Some apps are time wasters and others are all about helping you stay productive. Below are a few apps that can actually pay for your next latte, help you refinish your kitchen cabinets and supplement your income.

Mobee (available on iOS\Android)
Mobee is creating an army of mystery shoppers, offering you money for being a watchdog for big store chains and brands. 


Download the app, create an account, then open up the map and see what missions are happening in your area. Earn anything from 150 to 3000 points per mission (or $1.50 to $30).

Snap by Groupon (available on iPhone/Android/Web)
Snap by Groupon helps you save on groceries without having to clip those pesky coupons.


First, browse the list of available rebates in their app — some are for specific brands (ie. “Glad garbage bags”), and some are generic (ie. “any loaf of bread” or “bananas”). After your trip to the grocery store, use the app to take a picture of your receipt and Snap will scan it for applicable items and offer your rebates that match what you’ve already bought.

When you’ve racked up $20 in cash back, you can cash out via Paypal or Square.

SlideJoy (available on Android)
Your phone lock screen is the holy grail for advertisers. How many times a day do we check our phones?


Slidejoy helps advertisers reach you, and will give you cash for turning your phone into a billboard. Install this app, create a profile and immediately start seeing ads pop up on your home screen.

You’re making about $5-10 per month (depending on how many times you check your phone).

Task Rabbit (available on iPhone/Android/Web)
Task Rabbit is about connecting people to others in their community who provide services that save time, like running errands, or putting together your Ikea furniture.

It’s also a fabulous way to supplement your income in your spare time, since the base pay is more than double minimum wage and can reach up to $34 per hour for simple home repairs and moving help.

Applying to be a “Tasker” takes about two weeks and includes a background and criminal record check. TaskRabbit is available in 19 cities, and growing.

Viggle (available on iOS/Android/Windows)
Viggle wants to eavesdrop on you, specifically what TV shows you’re watching and what music you’re listening to.


They’ll pay you in points that can be redeemed for gift cards, music downloads and electronics to return the favor. Just tune in to your favorite show and hit the big “V” button on the app. It will then listen to the dialogue and identify the show — and that’s when you start racking up points (even if you close the app).

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Are you using Google Hangouts on Air?

Do you want your Twitter and Facebook followers to join in?

By sharing the YouTube link of your Google Hangout to Twitter and Facebook, you can stream the live event to reach more viewers.

In this article you’ll discover how to stream your next Google Hangout On Air to your Facebook and Twitter followers.

Why Google Hangouts On Air?

Google Hangouts On Air are live video broadcasts that stream simultaneously on Google+ and YouTube. Through the magic of Google, YouTube automatically records your live video and saves it to your YouTube channel after the event.

streaming google hangouts on air

Because Hangouts are tied to YouTube, you can broadcast (or replay) your Hangout event anywhere you can embed a YouTube video. Read on to find out how you can stream your live event to Facebook and Twitter.

Set Up the Hangout On Air

Before you can embed your Hangout in Facebook or Twitter, you need to set it up.

Log into Google+ and go to the Google Hangouts On Air page. If you have multiple Google accounts, make sure you’re signed into the correct one. This is important because your audience can see the name associated with the account during your Hangout.

The main Google Hangouts On Air page shows you all of the other Hangouts currently going on. This is a great place to find inspiration or tips for your own event.

google hoa homepage

At the top of the page, click Hangouts On Air and then click Start a Google Hangout On Air. When you see the pop-up window, type in the details for your Hangout and click Share.

Be sure to name and describe your Hangout exactly as you want it to appear on YouTube. It’s a good idea to include keywords related to your topic, hosts, guests, company or industry.

You also have the option to choose when the broadcast will start and who can see it. However, since you want your YouTube, Facebook and Twitter audiences to have access, make sure you include Public in the Audience box.

google hoa description as youtube metadata

So far, so good! Everything is ready, so click the Start button to activate the video and your computer’s camera. Then invite any other hosts or speakers as guests.

speaker as hoa guest

I’ve had trouble with the Invite feature when the people I’m inviting haven’t been active on Google+ for a while. If you run into the same issue, just email them separately with the URL for the Hangout. When they sign into Google+, they can use that URL to easily find the event.

When speakers arrive, you’re able to talk with them immediately, but your conversations won’t be broadcast or recorded until you click Start Broadcast.

Don’t click it yet, though! You’ll need to embed the video into your other social platforms before the live Hangout starts. Google automatically posts the video to your Google+ account and YouTube channel, but you have to add the feed manually for Facebook and Twitter.

Embed Hangout On Air Events in Facebook and Twitter

Leave the live Hangout On Air tab open and go back to your Google+ tab. Click the Preview button to convert the preview window into a YouTube video. Then click the YouTube logo to see your Hangout on YouTube.

view hoa on youtube

On the YouTube page, you’ll see a screen like the one below. Don’t worry that it’s black or that you can’t see yourself or any of the speakers. Since you haven’t started the broadcast yet, there’s nothing to see.

view ready to start on on youtube

To embed your live Hangout feed in Facebook and Twitter, you need the YouTube sharing link. Click Share and copy the link.

hoa youtube share link

Head over to your Facebook page, write an update and paste in the link. The link will generate a preview, but it won’t be active until your Hangout starts. You can either post the update immediately or use a scheduling tool. Either way, my suggestion is to make the post live at the same time the broadcast goes live.

hoa livestream post on facebook

The embedding process works the same on Twitter. Go to your Twitter account and paste the link into a new tweet and include additional information that tells your audience what’s going on.

You may even want to post a string of teaser tweets that explain what your Hangout is about, who’s speaking, other places people can watch and how it works on Twitter. Build up a little excitement and provide some instruction at the same time.

hoa livestream post on twitter

When you have your Facebook and Twitter posts ready, it’s time to start the show! Head back over to the Google Hangout On Air tab and start your broadcast.

It’s important to note that there’s about a seven-second delay from when someone speaks to when the audience hears it on their end. Keep this in mind if you plan on responding to the comments on each platform in real time.


Google Hangouts On Air is a fun way to host everything from general Q&A sessions to webinars to product launches. And because Hangouts On Air is integrated with YouTube, you can embed your live broadcast (as well as the saved one) just about anywhere—Facebook and Twitter included.

Want to reach even more of your audience? Use Facebook ads and promoted tweets to get your Hangout in front of more people and increase engagement.

Have someone monitor each channel that’s broadcasting your Hangout. It’s important to respond to comments, shares and other interactions during and after the event because Hangout can significantly increase your engagement and audience across all of your accounts.

What do you think? Have you tried streaming Google Hangouts On Air through other social channels? Do you have a webinar or event coming up where you can try this out? Let us know! Leave your comments and questions below.