Elevator Express

May 16, 2011

Let’s assume you are running late for your meeting and you enter
a crowded elevator. You need to go to the 14th floor ASAP. You dream of going directly to your floor instead of stopping for everyone else’s. Wouldn’t that be just great? Impolite, but great, right?

Well, there is a Genius Shortcut that you can use in most elevators.
Yes, I know! How come so few people actually know about this?

Anyway, the trick is to push the button to close the doors at the same time as the floor you directly want to go to. So, in this example, it is the 14th floor. Just look at the picture if you are a more visual type 🙂

Why does it work? While some elevators require a key, others are configured to get into “Express Mode” when the “close doors”-button and one of the floor-buttons are pressed simultaneously. Most paramedics know this (or should!), so they get faster to the right floor in case of an emergency.

It is a great lifehack that I discovered many years ago at Darknet, but it amazes me that still only a few people know about it…

So, I invite you to give it a try!

Bottle of Beer Opener

April 26, 2011

It’s kind of funny how some of the Genius Shortcuts are starting a life of their own. After publishing the lifehack on how to open a bottle of wine without a corksrew, people kept on asking me how to open a bottle of beer without a bottle opener. Do you know how? Of course, most people would use a spoon or a lighter, but what if you are stuck in a hotelroom without any gear?

Would a piece of paper do? Sure, it does! Have a look at this video and see how simple it really is to open a bottle of beer with a piece of paper!

Of course, it’s always a matter of leverage. So, it simply doesn’t matter much what kind of material you are using to open the bottle! Just to be safe : Never open a bottle with your teeth 🙂

Enjoy your beer(s),


(Video via Instructables)

Forge new habits!

January 25, 2011

Do you also find it difficult to create a new habit? Is it a challenge to stay disciplined? Of course, you are motivated, but we are living in a hectic world and you (sometimes) forget about your great New Year’s intentions?

I used to be like this. Not any more! I found a Genius Shortcut to solve it the easy way : Habitforge.com

It takes 21 days to forge a habit. Some say it takes 30 days or more. Others say change happens in a heartbeat. Anyway, it takes quite some discipline to keep up and to stick to your plan.

How does Habitforge.com help you? What do you need to do?

Step 1 : You enroll and share a goal or desire. If you could do one thing every day that would change your life for the better, what would it be?

Step 2 : Habitforge will send you a daily email. They’ll ask you if you were successful the day before at doing that one thing. From within the email, just click “yes” or “no” and Habitforge will do the rest.

Step 3 : Succeed for 21 days in a row. Do that one thing you’ve committed to doing. Skip a day before succeeding for 21 days straight, and Habitforge will start you back at day one (oh yes!). Succeed for 21 days in a row, and you can enter monitoring mode. But by that point the action should seem second nature, right?

Did I mention Habitforge is FREE?

Wishing you all the best with changing you life for the better and forge a new habit that makes you happy!

Promote Your Blog on LinkedIn

July 26, 2010

How to promote your blog on LinkedIn?

There are multiple ways to do it. Here are 5 toptips that you can implement immediately:

1. Add your blog in your profile, under Websites. Most people have standard links to their website : My Website, My Company or My Blog. Change”Your Blog” into the actual title of your blog (or keywords). How? Choose ‘edit’ at websites, add a field ‘Other’. Here you can add a title and a URL.

2. Add Application. Here you can also insert your blog if you are blogging with WordPress or TypePad. Go to ‘More’ in the menu and click on ‘Application Directory’. Click the blog of your choice and install the application. From now on, your new blogs will appear automatically on your LinkedIn profile.

3. Update your status. When you write a new blog article, you can let your network know by updating your status. Add the link to your blog in the update. Of course, you can repeat this step everytime you are publishing an update on your blog.

4. Participate in Discussions in your favorite groups. Go to your groups and participate in the ongoing discussions. See where your blog has an answer to one of these discussions. Mention it while you answer them.

5. Answers. It is a great place to get more visibility and get more ‘expert’ status. Go to ‘More’ in the menu and click on ‘Answers’. Look for questions people are asking. Answer them by referring also to your blog. Or turn it around: write a blog article where you answer questions and put the link in the answers. It will create additional traffic to your blog as well!

Of course, these tips will only work if you have a blog 🙂 I am using WordPress and I recommend it to anyone.

Bert Verdonck is an extraordinary life coach and an inventive lifehacker. Bert is also one of the official Certified LinkedIn Trainers worldwide. Next to pragmatic trainings and personal coaching, he is an international keynote speaker to inspire and help professionals with their efficiency. As a published author and the founder of ‘Genius Shortcuts’ he already saved thousands of people at least 2 hours per day!

Twitter Search Tips

March 29, 2010

Twitter is a wonderful tool and platform to share your message. We all know that! What most people don’t know is that Twitter has a magnificent search engine. Almost everyone (including me) is using Google, but if you want the latest trends or events, you’d better use Twitter. Why? Twitter is a real time search engine, while Google indexes everything and that takes time, sometimes up to 6 weeks before a site is included in Google. So, if you are looking for live input on a certain event, Twitter is more likely to find it.

In order to help you find stuff quicker, I am sharing a number of Twitter Search Tips with you. How does it work?
You first go to http://search.twitter.com. Of course, if you just want to use the regular search, you can type in your keywords and find anything right-away! Now, it becomes even more interesting if you would use the advanced search. Here is an overview if you want to use advanced search operators:

Operator Finds tweets…
Genius Shortcut containing both “Genius” and “Shortcut”. This is the default operator.
happy hour containing the exact phrase “happy hour”.
black OR white containing either “black” or “white” (or both).
Belgian beer containing “Belgian” but not “beer”.
#ff containing the hashtag “ff” (followfriday, interesting people to follow as indicated by others).
from:bertverdonck sent from person “bertverdonck”.
to:bertverdonck sent to person “bertverdonck”.
@bertverdonck referencing person “bertverdonck”.
“happy hour” near:“London” containing the exact phrase “happy hour” and sent near “London”.
near:London within:15mi sent within 15 miles of “London”.
lifehack since:2010-03-26 containing “lifehack” and sent since date “2010-03-26” (year-month-day).
lifehack until:2010-03-26 containing “lifehack” and sent up to date “2010-03-26”.
movie -twilight 🙂 containing “movie”, but not “twilight”, and with a positive attitude.
movie 😦 containing “movie” and with a negative attitude.
fun ? containing “fun” and asking a question.
fun filter:links containing “fun” and linking to URLs.
news source:twitterfeed containing “news” and entered via TwitterFeed

Additional easy Twitter Search Tips:

1. Click on the Advanced Search link and save yourself from typing the operators!
2. If you want to search in a different language, use the language switch in the advanced search : “Written in:” and choose your language in the dropdownbox.
3. If you specifically want to search for retweets or you don’t mind that retweets are shown in the search results, then check the box: Include Retweets.

If you want extra Twitter Search Tips, you know where to find me 🙂


February 13, 2010

Looking for a cheap alternative for a PDA? Instead of buying a Moleskine, you’d like a thinner version? Or you don’t want to risk your expensive tools to take with you to a party, a trip or a meeting? Or you are looking for a free, recyclable Personal Organizer?

Then PocketMod is probably for you!

What is the PocketMod? It is a small book with guides on each page in which you arrange stuff. You combine several templates with a unique folding style, enabling a normal piece of paper to become your ultimate Personal Organizer.

3 Easy steps to create your own PocketMod:

1. Select a page widget from the list (calendars, notes, formulas, contacts, blanks…)
2. Customize each widget and drag it to the right page.
3. Print your PocketMod and fold it according to this style:

If you need more visual aid on how to do it, here is a YouTube video for you:


February 6, 2010

So many times I’ve talked about Slideshare during trainings and workshops, but it seems that still too few people have heard about it.

Slideshare is basically a website where you can upload and share all your Powerpoint presentations. Also pdf files and Word documents. Besides sharing your content and your message with the world you can also keep them private or share them with your innercircle only.

Why should you use it? Well, you can learn a lot from the newly updated presentations. On top of that, I sometimes use it for sharing my slides after a speech or event. People find it easy to go over them again or even download them.

By uploading your documents you will improve your visibility to a bigger audience. If people are researching your topic, they might find it on Slideshare. And did I mention it’s free?

Another benefit is your improved Google rankings. Thanks to Slideshare your presentations will be positioned high(er) in the search results. You only need to define your keywords well…Many people spend fortunes on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and with Slideshare you can profit from their rankings for free. They take your presentation to a new level on Google.

Oh, did I tell you about LinkedIn? You can integrate your presentations through Slideshare into your LinkedIn profile. Have a look at my LinkedIn profile to see an example. It improves your profile and you are sharing some added value to people who might be looking for you…

Next on my list is the possibility to create slidecasts. What’s that? It’s merging one of your presentations with a Podcast. So, you actually create a new document with integrated sound. Very nice to explain to people what they are seeing…

Finally, you can also follow others or be followed (like Twitter) on Slideshare. Very interesting if you want to be on top of things. Follow your favourite topics and people on Slideshare as well. Who knows, you might build a following yourself too!

And to really wrap it up, I am showing you how you can perfectly integrate your Slideshare presentation in your blog.

ICD Scraper

January 4, 2010

In this blog I’ll explain you the link between Windows 95 and deicing my car.

It’s wintertime. Fun with snow and ice. Yeah! Unless you need to use your car and it is covered in ice and/or snow. Ice scraping!

Of course, when you don’t need stuff, you give it away or sell it or place it somewhere else. I have placed my ice scraper so well, that I don’t recall where it is. Yes, very handy in these winter conditions. 🙂

So, I came up with a Genius Shortcut for this situation. What happens if you don’t have an ice scraper? I took out an old cd, which happens to be one of my Windows 95 licenses. I don’t use it anymore, so I started to use it as an ice scraper. I must confess, it worked perfectly well! Of course, I used it upside down, so if it gets scratched, it’s only on the printed side, but it didn’t.

The cd (and you can use any (old) cd or dvd) is still usable if I want to. On top of that, I invented a new word : the ICD Scraper (eye-sea-dee scraper), it’s simply a cd that is being used as an ice scraper.

So, enjoy ice scraping next time with an ICD Scraper instead 🙂

image source : http://ow.ly/SA90

Slow Down

January 3, 2010

“Our culture puts a premium on speed, deifying this notion that faster is better, that you must fill every single moment with activity. There’s a powerful taboo that makes “slow” a dirty word. In this hyped-up world, we need to keep an eye on our personal speedometers – it’s very easy to do things fast just because everything else around you is going fast, without even considering whether or not it makes sense.”

– Carl Honoré –

I agree with him we are living in a world of speed. Also with my Genius Shortcuts and lifehacking fun I am speeding up activities, skills and results. This is what most people are looking for, besides a meaning in life, but that’s a different story 🙂 So, yes, I like speed. Why? Because it creates more time to have fun. More time to relax. If a boring activity takes me 4 hours, why would I be bored for 4 hours? What if I can do it in 1 hour with maintaining the quality of the results? I have 3 hours to slow down or do something else what is important to me. What’s the point in being frustrated for another 3 hours? None!

This also means that I certainly see the value of slowing down. With my focus on simplicity, finding the Genius Shortcuts and improving the fun we have, I know I am speeding up most of  (all?) the time. And I like it, because it brings so much joy and fulfillment. And did I mention the extra time? Right, to do whatever we like with it…This means slowing down tremendously! So, indeed, Carl is right when he talks about the impact of speed. He sees it from the pressure people are putting themselves under to get more and more. The difference is that most people never take time to slow down! Indeed not the right way to go…

Carl also talks about slowing down because of the impact on others and on our own body and mind. When he speedreads a bed-time story to his kids, even skipping a couple of paragraphs, we all agree that the most relaxing part of the day for his kids is hurried up by him. They know the stories inside out and question him about certain details in these stories, like “What happened to Grumpy?” If you only talk about 3 instead of 7 dwarfs in Snow White 🙂

You can see how this became a wake-up call for him. And again, he was rushing too much instead of slowing down and take time for this  intimate and tender moment with his kids. So, he decided to change all that. He went on a business trip soon afterward. During that flight the first thing he did was doing nothing. Just sitting there and do nothing. Thinking about it, “wasting” time to reflect. By the time he got of that plane, he decided to take action and do something about it. He came up with 2 questions :

1. How do we get so fast?

2. Is it possible or desirable to slow down?

I’d answer the first question with my Genius Shortcuts.  Finding simple tricks that speed up the process and get the results faster. This means you can choose what to do with that extra time you’ve created. My choice is easy : more fun, more time to slow down and enjoy life. And that answers his second question. For me it is desirable to slow down. In fact it is a prerequisite to enjoy more!

By slowing down at the right moments we eat better, get healthier,  have more fun, are more relaxed and we get things better done. We work better and get better results, in fact a better life. How surprisingly 🙂

You see how Carl and I are on the same wavelength here. To give you an even better perspective, have a look at his inspirational talk at TED. Enjoy it and take some time out to watch it fully!

After watching this, what action(s) are you going to take to slow down? Let us know… and take your time 🙂

Reuse Bananas

December 24, 2009

Yes, as bananas are dear to us through our “Go Bananas” project, I was surprised to find a blog article about the reuse of banana peels. The only uses I knew, was using it to fill the compost or to see people slip and take a fall. Now, there are at least 7 extra Genius Shortcuts to reuse your banana peels. For once, I did not try them out, so try them at your own risk 🙂

1. Help Your Garden Grow: Bananas are naturally high in potassium and encourages plant growth. Use banana peel or puree entire banana and bury with soil.
2. Shoe Polish: Use the peel to make your kicks nice and shiny.
3. Stop the Itch: Rub the inside of a banana peel on a bug bite helps itch relief.
4. Pain Reliever: The oil in a banana peel will help relieve the pain from (sun)burns and scratches.
5. Wart Removal: Tape a piece of banana peel on a wart, continue until it’s gone.
6. Make Houseplants Gleam: Just like peels can shine shoes, they can also be used to make the leaves of plants shine.
7. Removing Splinters: Similar to wart removal, tape a piece of the peel over the splinter. The enzymes will help dislodge the splinter and heal the wound.

Of course, I did some extra research and found a couple of extra Genius Shortcuts for reusing bananas:

8. Tender Chicken: Bake skinless chicken breast with a banana peel over the top. It replaces the skin and keep your chicken more tender.
9. Teeth Whitener: Rub your teeth with a banana peel for 2 minutes daily.
10. Face mask: Mash up a banana and put it as a mask on your face for 20 minutes. Works even better with yogurt and honey added.

So, now you know everything you need to Go Bananas! 🙂

Sources:  re-nest, curbly