One of my favorite sayings is 'Ask Mr. G'... Google that is. Because of the vast amount of data - thus artificial intelligence that Google has acquired, it has answers to EVERYTHING.

Want tomorrows forecast? Ask Mr G. Looking for a new restaurant? Ask Mr G. What is the meaning of life? Yup, Mr G knows. However Google offers much more than just searches. He will calculate, convert, research and do much more for you. Here are some great Google secret shortcuts that are right within the address bar to save you time.

1. Calculations

No need to open a calculator app or webpage: simply type in an equation in the search bar and Google will immediately show the result in the search suggestions. This works in Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, and Firefox, but not Safari. You can search "Tip Calculator" to quickly work out how much of a tip you should leave behind, or "unit converter" to work out conversions such as Litre's to Milliliters.


2. Travel and City Information

Google has smart search features for travelers and those interested in what's going on in other places. You can search for flight information by typing in a flight number to see its ETA, look for things to do over the next few days (for example, search "Auckland events"). Want help planning an upcoming trip? Type "destination" or "vacation" after the location you're planning to visit (such as "Spain" or "Fiji") and Google will offer popular itineraries, weather reports, airfares, hotel price comparisons, and more.

3. Nutrition

Quickly access the nutritional value of a food item by searching the 'foods name' plus 'nutritional facts'. For example I searched M&Ms nutritional facts and it promptly showed me that 15 M&Ms contain 52 calories, 2 grams of fat and other information.

4. Timer or stopwatch

Enter "stopwatch" to use a stopwatch in the Google Search or search for "set time for 5 minutes" to automatically start a timer.

5. Entertainment

Google "fun facts" to learn random trivia or search for "animal sounds" for something that might amuse your kids.


6. Drag and Drop to Search

If you don't feel like typing (or like me, have a terrible memory), highlight, then drag and drop text into the Google search bar from other windows or documents.

7. Google Search Operators

Search operators are characters that narrow down your search query to get more specific results. You can tell Google, for example, to omit certain words from the results or to find pages that are similar to another. A list of Google search operators can be found here. One of my favourites is OR. An example being Hotel OR Motel - it will include both in the search results. Another favourite is NOT for exclusion. Example Honda NOT Civic.