Readers show us their best tips for smart bookmark-naming conventions, spending less impulsively in online, and hiding text in plain sight.
About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, 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. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or email it to tips at lifehacker.com.au.
Curb Your Online Spending
Photo by Tanais Fox.
Matthew came up with the following way to stop impulse spending on iTunes, but it applies just as well to most online spending:
Owning an iPod touch, it is hard not to regularly browse through iTunes music and app stores, since you can't remove them from the device. I used to find myself spending too much money on things that I barely needed. I know a lot of people won't have this sort of spending problem but then again some will and here is how I beat it.
Simply log into your iTunes account on your computer, go to billing information, and in one of the fields just input random letters, basically anything which isn't your bank information. Click done, and it will come back saying that your account information is wrong. Then simply leave it.
Next time you try to buy something over iTunes it will ask you to correctly input your account information into the computer, by the time you've done that you'll have hopefully changed your mind. Sadly, it does mean you'll have to do this every time you want to update or download a free app, but a minute or so extra to save money is not too much to ask.
A bit extreme perhaps, but if you've found impulse spending gets away from you, getting rid of your saved credit card info can make a big difference.
Change Power Schemes with Hotkeys
Photo by eflon.
Devon shares an AutoHotkey script for changing power schemes:
Changing power plans is something laptop users have to do a lot. When plugged in, you want to use 100% of your computer's computing power for better performance, but you want low power consumption when you're on the go. With a simple AutoHotkey script you can change your power plan.
;High Performance ^#p::Run powercfg -setactive 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c
;Balanced ^#o::Run powercfg -setactive 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e
;Power Saver ^#i::Run powercfg -setactive a1841308-3541-4fab-bc81-f71556f20b4a
These hotkeys worked across Windows installs, so I assume the power plan IDs are universal. If they don't work, or you have a custom power plan you want to use, you can find the plan IDs by running powercfg -list in a command prompt.
The power schemes shown as a result of the powercfg -list command are the friendly names that can be substituted for the IDs in the code above. If the power scheme name has a space, make sure to wrap the entire name in double quotes.
Use Action Words to Name Your Bookmarks
Photo by WordRidden.
Nancy lets us know how she names her browser bookmarks as actionable items for later:
When I create bookmarks in my browser, I replace the page titles with short commands like "read article," "watch video," "take survey," "download program"—basically, the actions I'd like to take regarding each site, once I have the time. Action-focused commands make it much easier to sort/process my bookmarks later on. (And, because they're short, they make my bookmark list look nice & clean.)
Hide Text in Plain Sight
Brian shows us how he keeps his passwords safe from prying eyes:
My company has multiple complex passwords, and instead of writing them down on paper, I keep a spreadsheet that I can reference encrypted inside of a TrueCrypt volume. I also keep my own personal passwords for the sites and utilities used while at work on a separate spreadsheet tab. Sometimes, there will be a co-worker nearby working with me, and I will need access to a certain utility and need refreshed on which password to use. So that I don't have to display all my possible passwords to my co-worker, I have the passwords column text colour set to white so that it's invisible unless clicked on. I can just click on the desired cell, see which password is needed quickly in the formula bar, and not need to obviously display all of my passwords to everyone.
We still love KeePass around these parts and wouldn't recommend keeping important passwords in a spreadsheet (even if it is encrypted), but if that's not an option for whatever reason—or you just want a simple way to hide some unimportant text—the white-on-white trick is an oldie and a goodie.
Use Recipe Puppy to Find Vegetarian Dishes
Photo by museinthecity.
Rory wrote in with a tip for finding vegetarian meals on previously mentioned recipe search engine Recipe Puppy:
Found out about Recipe Puppy a while back on Lifehacker. I recently sent them some feedback suggesting that they implement a veggie search option, which they did, within about 7 hours of me asking!
This link searches recipe puppy for recipes which do not include meat. It does this simply by annexing common meat types from the search.