From The Tips Box: Receipt Tracking, Preventing Syncs

From The Tips Box: Receipt Tracking, Preventing Syncs

Lifehacker readers offer tips for automating receipt tracking, and we learn a quick trick for stopping our MP3 players from syncing when we plug them in.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox (tips at, but for various reasons—maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in—the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption.

Keep Track of Online Purchases with Email Filters

Photo by Carly & Art

Shandog writes about how he keeps track of online purchases:

I like to make a lot of online purchases and use my Gmail for all of the orders. Sometime after when I want to check my bank account or I have a problem with the product I would need to search through hundreds of emails to find these receipts or I would have to guess some search terms and hope they work. So I came up with a filter that has so far not failed me. By filtering out these terms “Order Confirmation”, “Order Shipped” and “Your Order” I have rounded up almost 95% of my receipts and labelled them as purchases. On the odd occasion that one is missed, I add the label and then scan it for a generic ‘receipt’ term to add to the filter.

Prevent Your Peripherals from Syncing with Some Tape

Photo by R4vi

Smudge00 has a tip that might not apply to all MP3 players, but could come in handy for any USB chargeable device:

Occasionally I want to charge my MP3 player with the supplied USB cable and listen to music on it simultaneously, but when I connect the player to the computer, it goes into “USB docked mode” and therefore I can’t use the player until it is fully charged and I unplug it again. The solution is putting a narrow piece of electrical tape over the two inner contacts inside the computer end of the usb cable. Since the outer two contacts are used for power and the inner two are for data, the tape stops the computer from connecting to the MP3 player making it possible to charge the player and still use it.

This trick could be used to prevent your media player from syncing with your computer when you’re just looking for a quick charge without any sort of delay.

Beware of Germs When Napping

Photo by Robert S. Donovan

Wratch6647 has a bit of a warning for those of us prone to napping in odd spots:

Reading the about the DIY hand sanitiser reminded me that cold and flu season is indeed coming. People who are still in school and might be pulling all-nighters or partying (which would also weaken the immune system) should be wary about putting their heads on the desk if they decide to take a little nap time in class. Reason for this is, someone else might have taken a nap in that same desk and left some germs on it, and think about it, that desk is probably touched by a lot of people and really it only takes one person not to wash their hands…

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