A couple of years ago I learned the value of online videos. Yes, I had reached my limit of funny cat and dog videos long before (though Cassie and the kids just can’t get enough of Patty-cake cats – an entertaining yet somehow annoying video that we can’t stop watching):
But I digress…
Yes, two years ago I had decided to upgrade my stereo system in my car as I drove about two hours per day to my corporate job and really wanted to connect my MP3 player. I didn’t want to pay full price so thought I would first try to get a stereo for less and install it myself. But what do you do when you don’t know where to start on a project? Go to YouTube (check below for the better place to search) – the best place for video tutorials! I went to YouTube and found after just a handful of videos just what I need to do. You can read more about how easy it really was to install my car stereo here. I’m excited to say that it still works today!
We wanted to provide just a quick list of tips you can consider the next time you are looking to do something yourself and just need some tips on how to do it. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but to us a 2-minute video is priceless!
Search for anything – not just home improvement
You can definitely find just about any video on home improvement. In fact, just a few months ago I learned how easy it was to unclog a sink drain and replace a faucet just as example. But don’t limit your searches to just that category. You have an almost unlimited amount of knowledge at your fingertips just by searching what you are looking for.
- Home improvement
- Software questions
- Car repair
If you are considering buying a dummy book or some How-to book, you just might want to check out the videos and get started!
Narrow your search
There is just so much information out there that it can become pretty difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re trying to change out a faucet, you can try to state the kind of faucet or whether its a kitchen or bathroom sink. The more you can narrow down your results, the more specific the instructions will be with the end result of them being more helpful.
Search by part/model number
This really could have been included in the above, but its important enough to highlight. If you can include the exact model number of what you are seeking help with, you just might find the exact instructions you need.
Start off search with either “How to” or “DIY”
Make sure to include specific phrases such as “How to” or “DIY” in the search terms. The video creators know you are trying to find their videos and will include those terms to help you find them.
Preview videos before turning your kids loose
Unfortunately not everyone has the same sense of sensibilities as you. Make sure to watch the videos before even having many of your kids around. Even when trying to find those funny cat/dog videos, something that would seem innocent became quickly vulgar and inappropriate for ourselves, let alone our kids.
Don’t trust everything you read/watch
With everything there are limits, right? As I mentioned when I upgraded my car stereo, there were a couple of videos and tutorials that mentioned some steps that weren’t correct for my make/model of car. This is related to making sure your search terms are specific enough, but you never know when someone’s tips and advice, whether intentional or not, could wind up causing you more pain and confusion in the process.
There’s wisdom in a multitude of counselors
Hard to believe, but Proverbs 15:22 just might be right. Make sure to check out a few different videos before taking one for granted. Obviously you’ll know when you need to do this, but before you go format your hard drive to fix that font issue, you might want to check a few other videos to make sure the given advice is reliable.
Click on “Skip Advertisement” when you see it
More popular videos will have ads you need to watch prior to viewing the video. However, make sure to watch for the pop-up, “Skip this advertisement” as it will save you time and get you to the information you need a bit more quickly.
Just search on Google and then narrow results by clicking video
Don’t forget that YouTube isn’t the only game in town. Just by searching in Google and narrowing your results down to only videos, you’ll note videos that may address your particular question or need. What we like about Google Video is that you can filter by length of video, quality, closed-captioned (or not), and even specify the video source/site as well.
And finally, we just couldn’t leave you with a stupid cat video (my words, not the rest of the family) without sharing another favorite for all you dog lovers: the talking dog video. Have you seen this?
Before you think about paying someone else to do the project you need done, make sure to at least check this FREE resource, at the tip of your fingers, to see if you can do it instead and save yourself some money.
Are we missing any tips? Share yours in the comments below and we’ll make sure to include them with a thank you to you!