How to Narrow your Google Image Searches

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 7.54.12 PMI am always amazed at the power of Google. Type in almost anything and you have your answer in seconds.

I took an online course last year on Google searching. My purpose in taking the course was to experience an on-line course….NOT to learn how to search on Google. Oh, no. I thought I knew that. Silly, silly, me. There is SO much more to google searching than meets the eye. It is truly astounding. Much of what I learned I’ll never use, but some things are quite helpful. (Gradually I’ll include some of these things on this blog… like today. :) )

Almost anything you search for can be refined. Let’s look at a search for Astronauts.

If you google “astronauts,” and click on “Images”, you get a page that looks like this:

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Now click on “search tools.” A new row of options appear.

Select “type,” and a drop down menu unfolds.

Tap “faces,” and your images are suddenly limited to just the faces of astronauts.

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Perhaps you would like to see some clip art of astronauts?

Simply select “clip art,” and this is what you get:

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another choice is “line drawing”

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Narrowing your choices can save you a lot of time sorting through unwanted images.

Try it yourself with a search or two.

You’ll feel magically powerful in your image-searching ability. :)

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How to Make an Icon for your Most-Used Bookmarks on your iPad or iPhone

Over the last several years, “throwback Thursday” has become quite popular.

Although it is really supposed to be about nostalgia (like old photos), I thought I’d stretch the point, and occasionally post an old (but updated!) “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 9.39.32 AMI have LOTS of bookmarks on Safari, but it isn’t that easy to access them. You have to drill down a bit to get to what you want to see.

So, for those websites that I visit often, I skip the whole book-mark thing, and make icons for my home screen, instead.

This way, when I want to visit a favorite website, all I have to do is tap the icon.

How to Make an Icon for your Most-Used Bookmarks

Just go to the site of your choice, like “sharechair.wordpress.com”. Look to the upper left hand corner and tap on the ‘action’ box.

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After tapping the arrow-box, you will see several choices. Select “add to home screen”.

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Finally, select “add”.

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All done!!

You now have a new icon on your home screen. Just tap it whenever you want to go to your favorite website. Enjoy this quick and handy option (instead of drilling down through your bookmarks).

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Ask Siri to Open your Apps

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When I first got my iPhone (and then my iPad), I learned about the ‘search’ feature, and thought it was extremely silly and unnecessary. After all, I thought, all you have to do is just glance over your apps and touch the one you want to open. How hard is that?

Well, fast forward several years, and my devices are now LOADED with apps, folders full of apps and pages full of folders. I’ll admit that I’ve used the search feature many times to find a particular app that was hiding deep in some folder.

(if you need a refresher on how to search your device, just click here.)

But now I’ve found an even easier way to open an app that I can’t find……

I just ask Siri to do it! Easy, breezy.

Just ask her: “Open ‘name of app‘”. The device will close the black Siri screen, briefly flash a page of apps, and then open the particular app that you asked for. Like magic. :)

Try it!

Ask Siri to “Open Pandora” or “Open Words with Friends” or whatever other app you’d like to try.

Thank you, Siri. I’ll never have to hunt for anything on my iPhone or iPad, again. From Millan.Net

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New Year’s Resolutions? Streaks can help keep you motivated

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 6.47.23 PMDid you make any New Year’s Resolutions?

Among the most popular resolutions are exercising, eating right, and losing weight. But maybe you chose something else? Are you going to try to stop smoking? Are you starting a blog? Or maybe you are going to write a novel and have promised yourself some writing time every day?

One of the simplest things you can do …and the most motivating…. is to X off your successful days on a calendar.

Keep up a streak! And then track your streak with this app: Streaks – Motivational Calendar

You can have several calendars going at once. Just tap a day to mark it. You can easily toggle between calendars, take notes and keep track of your streaks.

It’s simple. And effective.

Please excuse my screen shots of their screen shots, but my personal streaks for 2014 are just getting started! :)

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I enjoy apps designed to help me improve myself, and this app has not been a disappointment (altho I think the price is just a tad too high).

Streaks for your iPhone or iPad is $1.99 in the iTunes store

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How to Clear out Stored Website Data on your iPhone with iOS7

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 8.03.49 AMWhenever you visit a website on your iPhone, data will be stored.

The purpose?

As I understand it, this is mostly done so that you have faster loading times when you visit that website again.

But storing data fills up space. I never, ever cleared this out before, but after reading about it I decided to give it a try and I was astounded at all the data that was sitting there. I did a full sweep and dumped it all.

How to Delete the Stored Website Data on your iPhone with iOS7:

Go to Settings > Safari

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Now go way way down to the bottom and click on Advanced

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At this point, you’ll see the option to tap on Website Data

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Now you get to see all the space that the stored data is taking up.

IF you want to delete it, just scroll all the way down to the bottom and “delete all website data.”

(Or you can delete them individually, as well, by sliding your finger from right to left.)

I was astounded at the length of my list. I emptied it. I probably won’t do it again for a long long time, because I don’t think it was causing any problems whatsoever.

But I’m glad I know how to do it IF I want to do it.

And now you do, too. :)

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Empty your Wallet with Key Ring

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 3.45.01 PM Every once in an app comes along that can be really truly helpful to simplify your life. Yes …. Simplify. Your. Life. :)

This is one of those apps.

Let’s back up a bit. Do you have any reward cards? Loyalty cards? I sure do. It seems like every single store that I frequent is now using some kind of card system. These are the cards that sometimes offer you points toward merchandise, or discounts, or coupons based on your buying history.

Over the years, I have collected so many that they have become quite cumbersome. I’ve tried to manage them the best that I can. I have the ones that I use frequently dangling from my keyring, the ones I use often-ish in my wallet, and another set in their own zip pouch buried somewhere in my purse.

So many cards! I frequent three different pet stores which means three cards just for one dog. :shock:

Enter this app. Key Ring.

Simply download it (it’s FREE) and open up your wallet. Tap the “plus” sign in the upper right corner of the app and start scanning those cards. The scanner screen is very sensitive and your cards will scan easily.

Once they are scanned, each card will exist inside this app.

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When you arrive at the checkout, just tap the title and the bar code will appear on the screen of your phone. Show your phone to the cashier.

I’ve been using this for several weeks and trying it out in different stores.

I can report that in Lowe’s my loyalty card scanned right off this app. Perfect!
This was also true in two of my local grocery stores. Only one store was not able to scan it, but the cashier didn’t miss a beat. She just typed in the number that appeared above the bar code and I was good to go.

All cards have now been removed from my keyring, wallet and purse-pouch.

Very very handy!

Key Ring Reward Cards is FREE in the iTunes store (Note: you will need iOS 7 on your device to use this app.)

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Keep Your Receipts in Order with CamScanner

Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 8.08.38 AMOrganization means a lot to me. I like to know where I can find something if I need it. And household paperwork is no exception.

For years I’ve kept a “receipt drawer.” This is the place I stash receipts for (almost) everything I buy. Of course over time it gets a little unwieldy and the mish-mash of paper is a bear to sort through. Last month I did a purge and it took me most of the day. By the time I reached the bottom of the drawer (and receipts dating back YEARS), my shredder was objecting with moans and groans.

But since I’ve found CamScanner, I’m gradually changing my stashing-habit. With this app, I can take a quick picture of my receipt and it will be sorted, saved and easily available if I need it.

All you do it take a photo of your receipt (through the app) and it will automatically crop and enhance it. Really, truly … the receipts look great. Clear and sharp.

You can label them, and therefore easily retrieve them. Excellent document management.

Personally I only use this for bigger purchases. I mean, if we buy an appliance of some sort, I use this to save the receipt. I don’t scan receipts for odds and ends daily stuff unless I suspect that I may have some kind of issue with it. This way the app doesn’t get overwhelmed like that drawer of mine. Within the app the receipts are sorted, unlike the drawer where they are merely squashed. :shock:

CamScanner has great reviews and has won many awards.

Now …. here comes the “BUT” …..

I have the FREE version. I use it regularly and I’m very happy with the function it gives me. There are ads of course, but they are not terribly intrusive.

The PAID version gives you a lot more functionality, but the price is steep. Really steep. And not even a one-time price, but an on-going high subscription price of $5 a month or $50 a year. To me it makes it prohibitive for the average person. I’m sticking to FREE, and so far, so good.

That said …. there are those who love it, regardless of the expense. It is an excellent document-digitizer, and the following article explains fully how wonderful it can be. If you are truly dedicated to scanning all the documents in your life, then perhaps the price would suit you afterall.

This article explains it well: CamScanner Turns Any Smartphone Into a Scanner and Document Management System

But for me .. for now … I just use the free version to scan my receipts. Works well for me, and it’s FREE.
CamScanner, for your iPhone or iPad is Free in the iTunes store

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iOS 7 Folders: Now with Infinite Possibilities

Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 6.02.13 PM On this blog we will be exploring one feature of iOS 7 at a time, and so every few days I’ll toss another here on the blog to look at more closely.

Just ONE at a time.

Slow and steady.

That’s how we “everyday folks” can cope with all this stuff. :)

Finally!! Something about iOS 7 that makes me very happy.

Folders can now hold an infinite number of apps. This means less clutter on the screens.

I have a lot of apps, and this “infinity” approach will greatly help my organization.

Hurray for folders with NO limits. :)

(If you are brand new to your iPhone or iPad, you can learn how to make folders, here.)

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How to Access the New Control Center in iOS 7

Screen shot 2013-10-06 at 4.50.18 PMOn this blog we will be exploring one feature of iOS 7 at a time, and so every few days I’ll toss another here on the blog to look at more closely.

Just ONE at a time.

Slow and steady.

That’s how we “everyday folks” can cope with all this stuff. :)

The iOS 7 designers decided that it would be helpful to have an easily accessible Control Center with many frequently used functions …. and so they made one.

I guess this is one of those things that some people really love and can’t live without. I am not one of those people.

It’s ok. Maybe I’ll grow to love it. But for now, it’s just ok. I suppose if you are someone who needs to adjust many of these things frequently, then you’ll feel differently and will embrace this new feature.

The Control Panel enables you to access things quickly instead of navigating through a bunch of steps (like getting to Wifi, for example).

Here is how to access your new Control Center:

From any screen on your iPhone, swipe UP from the bottom of the screen. There it is! Your official Control Center.

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Take a careful look at the control center screen. From here you can quickly access all kinds of things: wifi, bluetooth, brightness, the clock, the camera, just to name a few. Just tap any of the representative symbols to do the deed.

The beauty of this is that you can call it up from where ever you are. If you have 9 pages of icons, for example, and you’re on page 9, you can bring up the control center in an instant and use the Camera that might be living way back on page one. I’ll admit, that’s kind of handy. You can even access it from the lock screen, and apps.

However, it may possibly interfere with some apps, so you might want to tweak this.  If you go to Settings > Control Center, you can disable access from the lock screen or from within apps.

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Creating a Bookmark aka Favorites Bar in iOS 7 and Deleting Unwanted Favorites

Recently a reader of this blog inquired about my directions (on an old blog post) for creating a bookmark bar and/or deleting unwanted favorites. Things are just a bit different now, with iOS 7, and I am grateful that he brought this to my attention. This post updates those old directions. :)

How to select Favorites: Keeping them and Deleting them

If you are browsing the internet in Safari, and you find a website that you would like to save as a favorite, just look to the top of your screen and find a box with an arrow aiming up.

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Tap on that arrow-up box, and you will see a pop up box full of choices. To make a Favorite, first tap on Bookmark, then select Favorite and save.

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If you change your mind, or if you want to delete some of the “favorites” that Apple chose for you, just look to the top of the screen and tap on the shape that resembles an open book. A list of your bookmarked favorites will drop down. To delete any of them, just touch it and slide your finger from right to left. A red “delete” button will appear. Just tap that, and …. whoosh!

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How to Make the Bookmark Bar (Favorites Bar) appear in Safari on your iPad:

Now that you have some favorite websites bookmarked, you might like to have them handy at the top of your Safari screen. This used to be called the Bookmark Bar, but it now appears to be called the Favorites Bar.

To activate the Favorites Bar, just go to Setting > Safari > Show Favorites Bar. Make sure the “Show Favorites Bar” is activated by sliding the button to the right so that it appears green.

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Once you have this activated, return to your Safari screen where your favorite bookmarks will be found across the top.

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