Savvy Surfer Life Hacks #005

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This week we’ve got five of our finest, latest and greatest life hacks for you. Yes that’s right – new can also be improved, so our quintet of savvy shortcuts are all themed with a modern twist.

As Thomas Edison is famously quoted as saying, “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” Hopefully, with our helpful hints this week, you’ll be able to get your technology and modern gadgets doing exactly what you want them to do.

 

iPhone Clever Cursor

Move iPhone Cursor

Image Credit: https://www.gotknowhow.com/articles/how-to-move-the-cursor-on-iphone-using-the-space-bar

If you own an iPhone, then you’ll most likely have come across a very frustrating problem when typing text. If you make a mistake when writing, trying to go back and fix the error is very frustrating, because placing the cursor is so tricky. It’s often simpler to just delete it all and start again.

But there’s actually an incredibly easy way to select the spot that you need, it’s just that not many people know about it. All you have to do is hold down the space bar. This allows you to move the cursor around freely so you can put it right where you want it.

Yes, it really is that simple. Tap and hold the spacebar and the keyboard will turn blank. Now tap anywhere on the blank keyboard with another finger (don’t tap and hold, just tap and release) and you’ll now be able to move the cursor in all directions by sliding your finger around (left, right, up and down).

Then when you release your finger or thumb, the cursor will be in the spot where you dragged it, ready to edit and the keyboard will go back to showing all of its keys.

It really is that easy, even if you’ve got sausage fingers like me!

 

Google Handyman Helper

Google Youtube Logo

Image Credit: https://www.delawareinc.com/blog/is-an-llc-a-corporation/

The internet is your friend. After all, that’s how you found this awesome blog and we became friends, right? Most people know that you can ask Google a question to find out information; the opening times of a shop, the address of a restaurant, etc. But did you know that the answer to practically every question ever thought of is on the internet?

If you have a frustrating problem that you need fixing, like how to turn your TV back into English, after accidentally switching it into Spanish, or finding out why your fridge is making that funny noise, then the internet should be your first port of call.

Rather than calling out an expensive repair person straight away, save some money and see if you can find out what the problem is, and if it’s simple enough for you to try and solve it yourself.

A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of results for all manner of everyday problems. Helpful sites like WikiHow will provide you with step by step guides, complete with pictures and instructions on how to help you fix your issue. And don’t be afraid to be specific to get exactly the right advice to remedy your particular device. E.G. “sock stuck in Henry HHR200 hoover pipe”.

YouTube is another great source of “How To…” information. There seems to be a video tutorial for practically every situation these days. From how to fix your doorbell, to how to unblock your sink, to how to untrap a mouse from a mousetrap. Just don’t blame us if you get sidetracked into binge-watching crazy cats or dachshunds in costumes videos all day…

 

Rock The Housework

Housework couple

Image Credit: https://www.builddirect.com/blog/music-and-chore-pairings-what-to-listen-to-when-cleaning-your-house/

Do you love to do housework? Not surprisingly very few people relish the thought of rolling up their sleeves and slaving away vacuuming, mopping, dusting and polishing. (Although if you answered “Yes!” to the question please get in touch as you’re welcome to come round my house and make it sparkle anytime you please!) Well, today we’ve got a handy little housework helper that’s bound to put a spring in your spring cleaning step.

Unfortunately, this isn’t some nifty trick that will tidy your place whilst you put your feet up and catch forty winks, but with our simple tip, it can make the whole process a lot more fun, a tad faster and also get a bit of a workout in too.

Often just the mere thought of having to do something is enough to put us off the task. We mentally start making excuses and lists of reasons why we can’t or shalln’t do it. Time, or lack thereof, is another common factor. Our lives are jammed packed with commitments, engagements and other priorities, so the hours of the day quickly get swallowed up by more pressing matters.

A helpful mind game motivator is to set yourself a goal of a short time period. So instead of thinking “Ugh, I need to clean the house from top to bottom.” try instead to tell yourself “Right, I’ll do 30 minutes of housework and then move on to something else.” It’s much easier to inspire yourself into action if the duration is limited to a short burst.

Once you’re up off the settee, slip on some upbeat music to get you into the groove, and help you slide around the house. A good energetic track will not just get you bopping to the beat, but it can also help stimulate your activity and increase your productivity, plus it’s way more fun! Vigorously doing housework actually counts as exercise, meaning it’s good for your health as well as your home. 

We’ve even created a handy one-hour playlist of popular, sing-along classic hits to help you clear away those cobwebs. Click on this link to listen: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgAgGtPmwMfjukKsz3tSRAZR4TEWZq1U6 and you’ll be tidying to the tunes and scrubbing to the songs. Before you know it the time will be up and your house will be sparkling clean.

 

Double Decker Microwave

Double decker microwave

Image Credit: https://snapguide.com/guides/fit-2-bowls-in-a-microwave/

Modern living means that microwaves make a great way to heat up food. But what happens when it’s more than just dinner for one and you have two dishes that need heating?

Rather than waiting to do each meal one by one, causing the first to go cold whilst you wait for the second, you could have a go cramming them both in together. More often than not this results in a jam that means that the glass plate turntable is unable to turn (strictly not recommended by most manufacturers) and you end up with food that’s both piping hot and freezing cold in equal measures.

Instead, try this crafty little hack and turn your microwave cooker into a double-decker! Pop in your first receptacle and then place an upturned microwaveable bowl, or even a mug, next to it. Now you have an upper level on which to add your second plate.

Both meals will now rotate and cook evenly, although you may need to adjust the time slightly as dual dishes will most likely require increase cooking time.

Hey presto! Hot grub that’s twice as nice before you can say “Ding dong the food is done.”

 

Robot Lawn Mower

Robot mower

Image Credit: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/lawn-mowers/article/what-is-a-robot-lawn-mower - Which?

Now our last solution for this week isn’t strictly a hack, but it’s a pretty cool gadget that can save you a lot of hassle nonetheless, so we felt it worthy of inclusion. Yes, we bring to you the wonder that is the self mowing robot lawnmower.

Now, these tools don’t come cheap but they can be incredibly useful, especially if you struggle to lug around a heavy mower. Once set up, robot lawn mowers are completely autonomous. There’s no need to switch them on, keep an eye on them, and there’s absolutely no pushing required.

Your robot mower will come on at times scheduled by you, cut your grass and then return to its dock to charge its battery, ready for the next mow. They work by creating a map of your lawn to make sure they don’t go over the edges into your borders. When it cuts, it does so in a random pattern, which may make it look as though your mower has gone a bit haywire, but it won’t stop until it has cut every single inch of your grass. The only downside is that you won’t get a neatly striped lawn.

Setting up your robot lawnmower could actually be the first and last time you ever interact with it. Set-up is usually done on the device itself, or smartphone app, but before you let your robot mower loose on your garden, you will need to lay a perimeter wire so that the mower can detect the garden boundaries. The wire also helps orientate the mower and guide it back to the charging dock. Some kindly manufacturers and dealers will install the wire and charging dock for you.

Robot mowers have sensors, so they’ll stop if they encounter any obstacles, this means that odd-shaped lawns or bushes and trees in your garden shouldn’t be an issue for the grass cutting bot. The best part is there’s no need to rake the lawn or empty your auto trimmer either. The mower cuts up grass very finely and leaves the hardly noticeable fragments on the lawn as mulch, to encourage healthy grass and prevent weeds. 

We’re sold, but if you’re not completely won over yet, maybe we should tell you that the more advanced models even return home automatically when the rain starts falling. Now how about that for a clever contraption!

 

Don’t forget to sign up so that you never miss out on one of our weekly Savvy Surfers Life Hack emails. Plus, we’d love to know if you have any magnificent modern marvels of your own to share. Send them into me at matt@vintagecashcow.co.uk

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