Monthly Archives: June 2012

12 reasons why I love Google Chrome browser

Logo used from the start of the Chrome project...

Google Chrome is amazingly fast and lightweight. I have used Firefox for a long time, but it used to be so slow. I jumped to Google Chrome in its beta stages when I saw how light the browser was and how fast the pages were loading. It is still the fastest browser. And it has so many features that makes it such a wonderful browser. Here I am listing the top 12 reasons that comes to my mind about why I love Google Chrome. In the future, I will expand on these points and will also talk about other cool features of Chrome.

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2 simple and very useful browser shortcuts

Today, I was with a colleague who was trying to visit a website. And he was typing www followed by the dot, followed by the site name and ‘.com’. When I saw this, I realized that I never type the first and last parts of any websites I visit. From the time I have used browsers, I have been using the CTRL + Enter shortcut key to fill up ‘www.’ and ‘.com’ for me.

Here is how it works – type lifelongexplorer and press CTRL +Enter on your Keyboard (Command + Enter if you are on a Mac) and the browser will make the URL This works in almost all browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox and my favorite Google Chrome.

For remembering this keyboard shortcut, think of this – you are controlling the entry point of the website – that is CTRL and Enter 🙂

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What can you expect from this blog?

These days, I am getting new visitors to this blog and I thought it would be appropriate to let them know what they can expect from this blog.

In this blog, you will find:

  1. Tips – Tips to save time, Tips to do something faster/better, Tips to make better use of technology and software tools, etc.
  2. Books – Everything from Book Reviews to Book Summaries and Book Recommendations. And the digital tools related to books like Kindle, online book sites, etc.
  3. My Language Learning journey especially French – I have started learning French in 2012. I plan to document my journey, the mistakes I have made and the courses and tools that I have used. I plan to learn more languages in the future after I reach fluency in French.

My overall objective is to share practical and valuable tips on a variety of topics that is of interest to a normal person. I plan to invite my friends and colleagues who have interesting things to share with others to do guest posts on my blog.

If you want to read more about why the above 3 topics interest me and who I am, please check the About page

How I lost weight while eating more deserts than ever: Book Review ‘French Kids Eat Everything’

I and my wife had a problem with our kids’ eating habits. We did not know how to make them eat certain vegetables. My son Safwan, who is generally very cooperative, has started hating some vegetables. We thought that it was natural and that he would get over it. We did not want to force him.  However, the number of vegetables on his aversion-list was growing and the aversion was also growing stronger. On the days when my wife cooked items that my children liked, they ate quickly and happily. On most other days, the eating sessions were taking too much time and we were starting to lose patience and sometimes had to force them to eat. We were concerned that our kids start to prefer only junk foods – french fries, ketchup, etc. That is when I came across this book – French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon and it solved all the problems that we had with our kids’ eating habits and it also ended up changing our entire outlook on food.

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This $15 book on negotiation has helped me save $560 in the last 2 months: Book Review ‘Getting More’

It has been about 2 months since I have read the book Getting More by Stuart Diamond. The back cover of this book reads:

This new model of human interaction has been chosen by Google to train the entire company worldwide (30,000 employees), is the #1 book for your career chosen by The Wall Street Journal’s website,….

The hype about the book is true and I do think that this is one of most helpful books I have read in my entire life. I have tested the strategies outlined in the book in many situations. Here are the 5 situations where I have gained financially by applying these strategies. I did not expect that these strategies will work so well, but they did.

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A simple yet powerful keyboard shortcut that works in all Microsoft Office programs

If you want to repeat any action in any Microsoft Office Program, press F4. This works in all MS Office programs – Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc.

Here are some of the things that you can do with this simple keyboard shortcut

  • You can apply complex formatting to a cell. After that, you can go to another cell and press F4 and your formatting will be applied to the new cell – this can be as simple as changing the background color of a cell in Excel or changing the font family or font size in Word.
  • You can delete a row from Excel and then press F4 after moving the cursor to other rows that you want to delete.

Try pressing F4 after various actions you do in Microsoft Word or MS Excel and see what happens. Soon, you will learn to love this shortcut, which I use all the time.

In case you press F4 to repeat an action and it resulted in some unintended consequence like deleting a line or removing the formatting, etc., don’t worry – another very useful keyboard shortcut will come to your rescue. That is CTRL + Z for undoing any action. This also works in all MS Office Programs.

Compact Calendar: A wonderful calendar format to plan projects, vacations and travel

Have you ever wished that you could see all the months in a year in one page so that you don’t have to flip through the months to plan your projects, travel, etc.? David Seah has created a versatile calendar format called Compact Calendar which fits on one page.

The compact calendar is very useful for many reasons:

  • You can see the entire year in one page. So, you don’t have to go back and forth between months when you plan any event which spans months.
  • When you are planning a project, you can mark all the key events/milestones in your project. Because of its very nice visual layout, you get a sense of the time between the events.
  • The calendar highlights holidays – when planning work-related projects, this is very useful. Many people have created Compact Calendars for different regions. So, you can get one with the holidays for your region from David Seah’s website.
  • It lists the week numbers on the left – so, it lets you see how many weeks are between different events/milestones.
  • It is very easy to customize the calendar as it is in Microsoft Excel – check out the video on this page for more instructions. You can change the start date and the list of holidays.
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