Fifteen Smart Ways to Be More Productive with Duckduckgo

DuckDuckGo is a hybrid search engine, which does not track its users.

It has become my default search engine. The more I use it, the more I love it. Although at times I reverse back to Google I realize that is more of a habit.

In fact, DuckDuckGo offers quality results. Also, at times, the results I get from DuckDuckGo are more interesting from the ones I get through Google.

1. Use bangs!


First, bangs. In short, by inserting a website in the search bar anticipated by “!” it will give me back the page of that website with all the results for what I’m looking. For instance, I inserted in DuckDuckGo search box !tc. In short, I’m saying to look for all the info about DuckDuckGo contained in Tech Crunch,

bang DDG

I will land on a page within the target website which is a sort of search or category page,

bang DDG

Another exciting feature is the instant answers. Since the beginning, Gabriel Weinberg focused his effort on providing answers to users’ questions. What today we know as a featured snippet on Google. Is DuckDuckGo instant answer more efficient than Google’s featured snippet?

2. Get Instant Answers

The future of search is more and more about answers. Also with the advent of voice search, people will be talking more often with their websites and looking for relevant answers. In short, the time in which search engines matched keywords is slowly going to end. Gabriel Weinberg understood back in 2008 that answers were supposed to be the primary purpose of a search engine. When humans look for something, pose questions (even though Google taught us to think of keywords).

The answers coming from DuckDuckGo are called instant answers and come from various sources (they say over 400 in total).

You type in a question, DuckDuckGo matches and trigger the answer,

Basic Goodie Flow

That is how you get the answer you were looking for!

instant answers


3. Get a Social media bio

Let’s say you want to get more info about a social media account, like twitter trough the search engine. You can search for the twitter handle like I did below:

Social Media Bioa

Here another example. That is DuckDuckGo founder and CEO, which I suggest you follow.

Social Media Bio

4. Shorten and expand links

When sharing a link, it would be nice to shorten it to make it more appealing. You can quickly do that with DuckDuckGo.

For instance, I typed “shorten,”

shorten and expand link

I generated a short link. Let’s say I want to reverse the process. Therefore, I want to expand it again.

Type “expand” and get the expanded link again.

expand URL

5. Generate passwords

Generating passwords too is pretty simple. Have DuckDuckGo create a password for you. You can also decide the length of the password by typing for instance “Password 20″ so that DuckDuckGo will generate a 20 characters password automatically for you.

Password generator

6. Use the right syntax 

Like Google, DuckDuckGo has a language. Following DDG syntax is helpful to make your search more efficient and get the results you are looking for. For instance, see below the syntax for DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo Syntax



7. Keyboard Shortcuts to become a pro

You can also become way faster by using a few shortcuts:

shortcut DuckDuckGo


You can find the list of all shortcuts here. You can enable or disable keyboard shortcuts via the Settings page.

8. Make it yours by customising the appearance 

One can customize the appearance of DDG as per your taste. You can find this in Settings > Theme or Settings > Appearance

customise appearance

This is how I customised my DDG fonts and style.

DuckDuckGo customised

9. Get all the possible meanings 

If you’re looking for all the possible meanings of something, search for it and then click on definitions. DuckDuckGo will return all the possible meanings it finds through the web!

DuckDuckGo meanings

10. What’s the weather in your town? 

Before going out, don’t take risks. Ask DuckDuckGo how’s the weather outside!

what's the weather in Rome?


11. Find cheat sheets to get 10x faster at anything

I love shortcuts because they make you become 10x quicker at anything. For example, when I was working as a financial analyst I used excel on a daily basis. When I learned how to use its shortcuts my productivity skyrocketed. I could get things done in less time and with better results!

excel cheat sheets

12. Is a website Down?

Check if a website is down by asking it to DuckDuckGo:

is Quora down?

13. Generate your QR code and share it!

I love QR codes. They are mysterious. For instance, imagine you convert an article in a QR code, as I did below:

QR Code

You can then share that article and have people wonder what that is about! I find it another exciting way of sharing content.

14. Find the right HTML Code

If you’re not a programmer or developer DuckDuckGo is fantastic. It has a solution to any problem. Let’s say you can’t find the € sign code anywhere. Ask DDG!


15. Stopwatch

Another way to improve productivity is using your search engine as a stopwatch. Set an hour to focus on one task and let the stopwatch tell you when it’s time to switch task.


Putting it all together

DuckDuckGo is an excellent search engine, which doesn’t track you. If that isn’t enough, it also has a plethora of built-in features that allow you to do many fantastic and useful things. From getting instant answers to accessing a website without being tracked and checking the weather in your town, DDG got it all.

If you haven’t done it yet, go on and duck it!

Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro Cuofano, International MBA. Creator of The Four-Week MBA Community and Content Marketer/Business Developer at WordLift