From The Tips Box: Google Calendar In Windows 8, DIY Mallets, Laundry Timers

Readers offer their best tips for accessing Google Calendar in Windows 8, replacing the rubber mallet you don’t have, and timing your laundry.

Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.

Subscribe to Your Google Calendars In Windows 8 with a Workaround

Microsoft recently removed the ability to use Google Calendar in Windows 8, but DDenbigh shares a workaround that eases the pain:

If you want to subscribe to Google calendars in Windows 8, head to that calendar’s settings and find the private ICS feed. Then, subscribe to that in Windows Live calendar. Then you’ll be able to view it in Windows 8 (it’s read-only, but better than nothing). This works for all your calendars in Google, not just the primary one

You can see more detailed instructions here.

Turn a Hammer Into a Mallet with a Tennis Ball

Sometimes, a hammer doesn’t do the job, and you need a rubber mallet (or something similar). James solves this problem elegantly:

Today I needed a mallet for a car repair, but I don’t have one. So I cut a tennis ball and slipped it onto my hammer. Problem solved.

Use Your Phone’s Voice Assistant for an Instant Laundry Timer

We’ve shared a few clever uses for voice recognition, but sicklyslick shares a really simple one:

Voice Actions are very useful for laundry. Whenever i do laundry I just tell my phone “remind me to check the laundry in 45 minutes” and Google Now will add an alarm. You can also say “add calendar” or “set an alarm at.”

Obviously, you can do this with Siri as well. It’s simple, but really useful for those of us that forget to set timers, or want to do it as quickly as possible.

Keep Projects on Separate Drives to Avoid Distraction

Geekgirlbarbie keeps herself focused with a few flash drives:

I’m very easily distracted, and while I loved the idea of interchangeable workspaces, I’ve always had trouble figuring out how to do it for digital-based projects. And now I have!

For any digital based project, I keep a small separate flash drive, which I label with the projects name. On the flash drive I include any necessary files or PDFs, plus a portable version of Firefox with the websites I need bookmarked: helpful articles, sites to search for information, etc.

It keeps me focused, since the project is RIGHT in front of me and takes away a number of distractions (“Where’s that file, these are a mess, I should organise them” or “Wow, I haven’t worked on this file in 3 days! I’ll do that now instead!”).

It also makes switching between tasks a breeze: the timer goes off, I eject flash drive, grab different flash drive, and I’m good to go.

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