An awesome tool called LMGTFY or Let Me Google That For You

LMGTFY is an abbreviation for Let Me Google That For You. A few years back some cool guys launched a service called lmgtfy.com with a thought.

LMGTFY is for all those people who find it more convenient to bother you with their question rather than google it for themselves.

LMGTFY

The idea is simple but fun. If someone asks you a question and you want to answer in a fun way but also letting them know that they should have just Google it themselves. Head over to lmgtfy.com and type your search query and click on Google Search or I’m Feeling Lucky button. Instead of the results page you get a link with an option to copy, shorten or preview it. The preview will show you what exactly the people with whom you will share the link will see. It plays a short demo showing the query text typed into the search box automatically and button you chose to press during link creation is pressed. Next you are taken to actual Google search result page. Along with a basic Google search the service also supports other vertical searches like Image, Video, Maps and many more. They also launched support for Wikipedia last year.

Let Me Google That For You
Let Me Google That For You
Use LMGTFY to educate others

Since its launch, then, many people started using it for this very purpose. You find lmgtfy links on many discussion threads. Apart from this, I believe this awesome service can be used for educational purpose as well. The web is filled with many hacks about how to use Google search efficiently. However, most people still use it in its basic and simplest form, i.e. to type questions or keywords into the search box. Below are examples of my top 5 favorite Google search tips explained using lmgtfy.

Let me know what would you do with this service?

Easy alternative to broken Google search set timer feature

Last year, Google introduced a feature to set the timer using search box just by typing something like “set timer for 5 minutes”. I personally found it very useful and started using it. But after some days it stopped working. Since then its being ON and OFF. It works for me on google.co.in but it does not work for me on google.com. Anyway, while many are waiting for this to work again, you can use this simple alternative to get your clock ticking.

Set timer using Google Search
Set timer using Google Search
Easy alternative to broken Google search set timer feature

e.ggtimer.com is a simple and useful service for the timer. However, what makes it really useful is the fact that it allows you to set the timer through URL parameters. So, if you type a URL like http://e.ggtimer.com/5minutes will set the timer for 5 minutes. But we can do better.

Let us make this easier and more efficient by adding it as a search engine.

webstruck
  • Type chrome://settings/searchEngines in Chrome address bar OR right click in Chrome address bar and select Edit search engines…
  • Scroll up to “Other search engines” and add a new search engine.
  • Enter To Set Timer For as the name of your search engine, timer as keyword (or any unique keyword of your choice) and URL as http://e.ggtimer.com/%s
  • Press ENTER and click Done.
Add e.ggtimer.com as search engine
Add e.ggtimer.com as search engine

Now, go to your Chrome address bar, enter your keyword “timer”, hit the TAB key and enter time value e.g. 5minutes or 20seconds or 1hour5minute30second. If you just enter a number say, 20, it will default to seconds. It also displays the timer count down on the tab title which makes it much more useful. Once the time is up, it beeps and pops up a message.

e.ggtimer.com search engine in action
e.ggtimer.com search engine in action

The service also offers some more fun and interesting timers. For e.g. instead of any time value, if you just use pomodoro, it will open a preset timer of 25 minutes with short breaks and long breaks as described in the Pomodoro Technique. Quite a useful timer if you follow this technique for your tasks. There are also fun presets like morning to get your blood pumping and brushteeth, a 2 minute timer for healthy teeth. If you are into fitness and follow tabata, there is a timer called tabata too.

You can make it work easily for Firefox by the techniques described in my earlier post.

Reduce memory consumption easily with chrome extension managers

We all know that Chrome is a great browser. This is exactly why many a times we expect more out of it. If the browser itself does not fulfill the need, we try to find extensions. It’s very easy to overload your Chrome with all these useful extensions. But eventually this takes a toll on your computer memory and things slow down. This is why we need to manage these extensions carefully.

The need for the extension manager is especially critical on Chromebooks, as one does not have loads of memory to play with.

webstruck

Thankfully, this is very easy. If you are ready to spend next 15 minutes (5 minutes for reading this post + 10 minutes for a one-time setup), you would never have to worry about it again. Read on…

Adding another extension to manage extensions may sound counter productive, but it is not. Extensions Manager (aka Switcher) and SimpleExtManager are two little gems which really make this easy. Extensions Manager is my favorite of the two simply because I find it more usable (more on that later). But SimpleExtManager is definitely not far behind and you should definitely try both and see which one suits you the best.

Extensions Manager - Chrome
Extensions Manager – Chrome
One Click – Enable/Disable/Uninstall

Both these extensions offer basic essential capabilities very well. Both add an icon to Chrome toolbar which, when clicked, will display a list of all extensions, applications and themes you are using. Extensions Manager nicely categorizes these by different views or tabs like All, Extensions, Applications, Themes, Enabled, Disabled and Recent. SimpleExtManager shows a single vertical list with categories like Extensions, Applications and Themes as separators. You can enable, disable and uninstall individual extensions right from here just by one click. You can also go to the options page of a given extension if there is one.

Search/Filter

Both Extensions Manager and SimpleExtManager also provide search/filter capabilities that is useful in case you deal with large number of extensions like me. Just type first few characters and it will start filtering the list immediately.

UNDO

UNDO capability is provided only by Extensions Manager and it could be very useful if you unintentionally or accidentally click on something.

Grouping

Another important feature which both these offer and where Extensions Manager scores for me is grouping. Simply start dragging individual extensions from the list and drop it on the flashing New Group tab on the top / title bar. Once your drop is complete, just double click on the tab to rename it. Groupings not only keep your extensions organized, but also allow you to turn ON or turn OFF entire group of extensions together. I organize my extension broadly as follows. I have one’s which I use all the time, so I call those Alltime. Another group is called Web Design which contains handy utilities like Eye Dropper, WhatFont, Resolution Test etc. that I use only when I’m working on my site. Similarly, I have groups called Blogging, Social and Utilities. I turn ON only the individual groups when I’m doing a particular task.

In order to toggle a group ON or OFF, just select the group you want to work with and select Switch ON or Switch Off button.

Additionally, it also shows a thin red line below group heading which is called Group Statistics Meter indicating the amount of active extensions in that group. It also shows the stats in a tool-tip for completeness.

If you want to remove the extension from the group or remove entire group, just drag and drop it outside the window. This will not remove the extension or all the extension in a group from the Chrome as expected. This is simple group manipulation.

For SimpleExtManager, you need to go to options pages in order to create, edit or delete groups.

SimpleExtManager - Chrome
SimpleExtManager – Chrome
Sync Configuration

Developer behind the Extensions Manager is said to be working on feature which will allow automatic syncing of configurations across devices. Currently it offers a way to export and import configurations to keep your Chrome on different devices in sync. SimpleExtManager does not offer any way to do this at this point of time.

Updates

SimpleExtManager seems to more actively developed (last updated in Dec 2013) as compared to Extensions Manager which was last updated 8 months back. According to this discussion in Oct 2013, as per the developer the maintenance will be restored soon.

Conlcusion

The reason I prefer Extensions Manager over SimpleExtManager is due to the fact that it saves me number of clicks and scrolling. The UI/UX is much more powerful. SimpleExtManager is on the other hand may appeal to those who are looking for cleaner and simpler layout and don’t mind extra clicks and scrolling to get to the same functionality.

Extensity and One-Click Extensions Manager are the other options you may want to try out.

If you’re already using any of these or something else or planning to use soon, do drop me a line on which one you prefer and why.

Apply filters and advance search Google Drive easily from Chrome

Update: The following post is updated with respect to the recent changes in Google Drive search interface. Some of the tips mentioned in the original post are no longer available and some new things are now introduced.


This is a Pro Tip for the people who literally swim into Google Drive every day. Few days back I wrote about how to search Google Drive files easily from Chrome and Firefox. I also followed it up with how you can search your Gmail, Contacts and other popular Google services directly from Chrome. Before you read further I would recommend you to read at-least the first article.

If you find these two posts useful, you may find this one useful too. Consider a scenario that you want to search only the PDF files in your Drive OR you mostly deal only with Spreadsheets in your Drive and would like to always restrict your search to those files. Using Google Drive, you can do this using the advance search drop-down menu provided in the search box.

Old interface

Google Drive Advance Search - New Interface
Google Drive Advance Search – Old Interface

New interface

Google Drive Advance Search - New Interface
Google Drive Advance Search – New Interface

But you can also easily modify your Chrome custom search engine URL for Google Drive and do this directly from your Chrome omnibar. Say you want to restrict your search only to PDF files in your Drive. In that case, your search engine URL will be

https://drive.google.com/?#advanced-search?q=%s&filter=pdf
https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=type:pdf%20%s

Note that this is significantly different from the URL which we used for simple Google Drive search

https://drive.google.com/?#search/%s
https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=%s

You can add number of parameters and I have listed all the important ones below.

Filter based on document Type

Parameter Name: filter
Search for Value Updated Value
All documents documents
Drawings drawings app:”Google Drawings”
Images images type:image
PDF files pdf type:pdf
Presentations presentations type:presentation
Spreadsheets spreadsheets type:spreadsheet
Forms forms app:”Google Forms”
Text Documents textdocs type:document
Videos videos type:video
Tables tables app:”Google Fusion Tables”
Folders collections &containers=0 type:folder

Searching folders require additional parameters as indicated above.

Filter based on document Visibility

Filter based on document visibility is no longer available.

Parameter Name: visibility
Search for Value
Public 0
Anyone with the link 1
Private 4
Filter based on document Ownership
Parameter Name: mine
Search for Value Updated Value
Owned by me 0 owner:me
Not owned by me 1 -owner:me

 

There are other parameters one can add and you can explore the same by changing values in Google Drive advance search box drop down and looking at how it changes the URL in the address bar.

A new type of filter is introduced which allows you to filter based on app which could be used to open the file. You may select from the list of apps you have added to your drive.

gdsbnewfilter
Google Drive Search New App Based Filter

Based on the above information, say you want to search for all the Text Documents in your Drive which are publicly accessible and owned by you, your URL will be

https://drive.google.com/?#advanced-search?q=%s&filter=textdocs&visibility=0 &mine=0
https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=owner:me%20type:document%20%s

You can add a number of different search engines with different keywords and URLs based on the above information and search quickly from the Chrome address bar itself.

Google Drive search engines with different filters
Google Drive search engines with different filters