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Improve productivity with Goolge history using bookmarks and Chrome extensions

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The idea of this post is very simple (as usually) and I wonder why I didn’t thought about it earlier. The point is to use history of your Google queries to improve productivity. Most of things that we google can be replaced for example by browser extensions, bookmarks or rss feeds. Thats how we can gain few additional free seconds on each google-type-click cycle.

Statistics

Depending on different factors we spend a lot of time in browser. I cannot find statistics for desktops but for mobile Flurry researches are probably relevant enough. Simplifying this statistics and assuming that desktop market is similar (it is probably to big simplification for some of you but IMHO it is good for reflections on this blog):

  • access Facebook, social networks (+18%, +6%)
  • play some games (lets say 30% of our 32% from Flurry report +13%)
  • web browsing time (+20%)
  • entertain
  • read news
  • use productivity tools

We have at least 60 percent of our time in web browser. That’s explain Google’s ideas about ChromOS and competition on browser market. Of course if take look a this in short therm it look ridiculous but in long term it may be true. Even if this estimation not match your behavior than ask yourself what percentage of time spent in browser proves that improving productivity using google queries data does not make sense ? Especially when doing this will not consume lot of your time.

Productivity improvements based on my google history

Below I will show how I improve my productivity using top queries and top sites from google history. These are my results that I found after choosing Show more trends:

Top queries

  1. ztm gdańsk – public transportation in my home town
  2. usdpln – Polish Zloty to US Dollar rate
  3. rozkład jazdy pkp – Polish state railways schedule
  4. intc – Intel Corporation stocks rate
  5. radio polska stacja – Polish Internet radio station

First of all I was surprised that I googled these things so many times. Especially for point 5 :). To improve my daily routine with these data I use following applications:

Public transporation

I used well known Polish application for public transpiration in biggest cities – jakdojade.pl. If you register on their page they give you possibility to save travel directions, so I used it to save my common destinations. Of course I put it on my bookmark bar as it is one of the most used links.

Currency ratio

After thinking a while I realize that few requirements have to be met for me. I need below fields:

  • USD/PLN rate
  • EUR/PLN rate
  • gold ounce in US Dollars or XAUUSD
  • silver ounce in US Dollars or XAGUSD

Unfortunately I was unhappy with choice presented on Chrome extension site because I find that it is not easy to met my expectations – this is probably market niche to explore. For today I choose Currency Converter. It has pretty good rate 4.5 star/444 opinions. One thing I don’t like is that I cannot set every field as I wish. Ratio always relate to recent changed position. I also cannot display stock rate. That’s why I will have to use one another extension.

Railways schedule

Right now there is nothing I can do for this one than adding to bookmark bar as a recently visited site.

Stocks ticker

There are plenty of extensions for Chrome and not a lot of really good one. I found Stock Tracker useful because it shows price in the icon on toolbar. But it is not free from small bugs, for example INTC price is 4 digit with dot (00.00) and inadequate font size selection causing that last digit is visible only in half, which cause it hard to read. Good thing is that after pushing extension button on toolbar I get stock chart and can see the trend.

Top sites

  1. stackoverflow.com
  2. en.wikipedia.org
  3. github.com
  4. www.chessgames.com
  5. pl.wikipedia.org

Probably most of this pages are well known for you. What we can do with this information ?

For wiki and stackoverflow there are extensions that help get search engine of those sites. I found that usually google +stockoverflow works better than this extension but it is worth a try. Wiki works without any problem and only our habits can stop us by using it.

I use a lot of chess.com what I found useful with this is Chess.com Notifier it change color when some pending move in my games. Unfortunately I get to www.chessgames.com though google looking for particular position in game – right now I can’t find easy way to improve this other than paying for access to good database with defined interface or using my own database.

I’m sure that you have some clues how to improve your productivity using Google history or you will find application for suggested plugins. Anyway, I whish you good luck.

At the end – the hard thing

Switching our behaviors to something different is really hard thing. If we always go to google and type well know query and trying to switch to something new like replacing this behavior with clicking link or running extension could be hard. This new action at the begging can be even slower than old. That’s why people resign after few tries. Most people also don’t like changes as adage said “better the devil you know”. However only those who try to change something in their lives can reach success. And as story of Thomas Edison proves you have to try.

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