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Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day 1st Edition

31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470050651
ISBN-10: 0470050659
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

If your hard drive is your outboard brain, you're a lifehacker — someone who loves to tweak your computer for optimum productivity to make it an ally instead of an adversary. Life hacks apply technology creatively, reprogramming your personal workflow to save time and effort. This book serves up 88 of them, outlined step by step and categorized by cost, platform, and level of geekiness. If you're overwired, overwhelmed, or totally tangled in the very technology that is supposed to simplify your life, this book is for you.

A dozen ways to turbocharge your day

  • Hack 3: Develop your digital photographic memory
  • Hack 8: Permanently block time-wasting Web sites
  • Hack 20: Automatically empty your digital junk drawer
  • Hack 30: Send and receive money on your cell phone
  • Hack 34: Carry your life on a flash drive
  • Hack 40: Back up data to your iPod
  • Hack 50: Script repetitive e-mail responses
  • Hack 56: Securely track your passwords
  • Hack 63: Quick-log your work day
  • Hack 76: Take your browser configuration with you
  • Hack 79: Capture Web clippings with Google Notebook
  • Hack 87: Resurrect deleted files

Companion Web site

At you'll find updates, links, references, and additional tips and tools for the hacks in the book.

About the Author

Gina Trapani is an independent Web programmer and writer whose work has appeared in Wired magazine, The New York Times, and Time magazine. She is the founding editor of, a software and productivity Weblog she updates several times daily. A Sun Microsystem–certified Java programmer, Gina builds Web sites and Firefox extensions.


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Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470050659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470050651
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,487,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gina Trapani is the award-winning author, blogger, and programmer whose work translates cutting-edge technology into insights that boost personal productivity. Currently located in San Diego, CA, Gina leads development on ThinkUp, an open source social media insights engine the White House uses. She created Todo.txt apps, a text-based personal task manager, and Narrow the Gapp, a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data-driven web site about the gender pay gap. Gina was the founding editor of Lifehacker, the seminal productivity blog which garnered nominations for Blog of the Decade and yielded the best-selling book, Lifehacker, which is now in its third edition.

Her writing has appeared in The Harvard Business Review, Wired,, PC World, Fast Company, Maximum PC, and Macworld magazines. Profiles of Gina's work have appeared in venues ranging from The Wall Street Journal to The New York Times. Fast Company named her one of the Most Influential Women in Technology in 2009 and 2010, and Wired magazine awarded her its prestigious Rave Award in 2006.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Richard G. Petty on January 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book!

I am going to be perfectly honest and admit that until a few months ago I had no idea what a "Life hack" was! Now I know that life hacks are productivity tricks used by programmers and others who are wise in the ways of computers to avoid information overload and organize their lives.

The main thrust of my own work is to help people overcome overload, avoid burnout and develop resilience. This is one of the most practical books that I have seen dealing with the electronic overload to which we can all fall victim. Computers and the Internet have presented us with some of the most extraordinary opportunities, but they can also open the floodgates to an overwhelming morass of information vying for our attention.

The problem for most of us is how to optimize and organize all this technology. That's exactly where this book comes in: it is crammed with useful and highly practical ways of taming the electronic gremlins that threaten to engulf most of us.

The book is composed of 88 tech tricks based on items written by Gina Trapani on the popular website Lifehacker dot com. Something that I particularly liked was that Gina provides hacks for Windows XP, Vista and Macintosh: we Macintosh users are so often left out in the cold!

If I didn't even know what a life hack was, I am obviously no expert, but as soon as the book arrived I sat down with it at the keyboard and in no time had done half a dozen things that have already been very helpful to me. Gina explains everything simply and her writing is a model of clarity.

A few of her hacks are clearly not designed for a novice, but most are easily accessible. There is also a companion website - [...] that has loads of updates, links and references.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a book I've been looking forward to reading for awhile, and I wasn't disappointed... Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day by Gina Trapani. You should see the number of post-it notes I already have in my copy...


Free Up Mental RAM; Firewall Your Attention; Automate Repetitive Tasks; Streamline Common Tasks; Get Your Data To Go; Control Your Email; Organize Your Stuff; Kickstart Your Productivity; Master The Web; Tune Your Computer; Index

If you're a fan of David Allen's Getting Things Done, Merlin Mann's 43Folders, or any other personal productivity sites, you'll immediately take a liking to this book. Trapani has collected 88 different "hacks", or tricks and tools to help you be more productive in your life. The vast majority of them are free, either as concepts to be implemented or software you can download and install. There are ten different chapters in the book that focus on particular areas of your life, such as staying focused on the task at hand or organizing your life. Granted, a large number of them relate to your interaction with the computer (as we spend so much time in front of one). But don't be fooled into thinking that you won't get anything out of this book unless you're a hardcore geek. Definitely not the case... This also isn't a "system" where you have to adopt all 88 hacks to get any benefit from it. Each tip stands on its own, and you can pick and choose the ones that apply to your specific situation or style. And with productivity tips, even a single one, successfully implemented, can make a dramatic difference in your life.

It's recommended that you read this book in front of your computer.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on April 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
All right, it might be a *bit* strong to say this book changed my life, but it is undeniably true that it -- and the website associated with it -- have led to some important modifications in the way I work. And that's very close to the same thing.

If you are content with the factory settings your computer was delivered with, it might not be evident to you why this book can have such an impact. But if you like playing around with your technology and adapting it to your own needs and preferences, then you might just get a lot out of it. Part of the reason I think I responded so strongly to this is that my personality aligns pretty closely with the "characteristics of a lifehacker" described in the Introduction: excelling at finding things on the web; "addicted to the 'Ah-HA!' moments in life; eager to go out of their way to avoid tedious or mundane work. Curiosity, efficiency, individuality, technology.

Many of the "hacks" here have to do with fundamental processes like managing email, automating the things you do over and over, or getting your stuff (paper and electronic) in order and making yourself more productive. Some of it is basic, like how to use RSS feeds, but other hacks require a moderate degree of programming ability. Readers who use a computer with any degree of regularity shouldn't be intimidated by this, however. As someone who for years has had to fill out a timesheet as part of my job, the few minutes it took to master Hack 63 ("Quick-Log Your Work Day") have already been repaid over and over again. Gina, where were you in 1996?
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