I'm looking for a synonym (single-word or short phrase) for the word lifehack. I read Wikipedia article, and checked few online dictionaries. I could not find any synonym. The word is informal and it means:

A strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way

I understand that the word origin is by extension from the computing sense of hack, meaning to manipulate a computer program in a skilful and often creative manner . The word was coined in 2004.

If there is no other current synonym, how native speakers used to refer to the meaning above, before 2004?

  • Helpful hints...?
    – user66974
    Aug 2, 2015 at 7:53
  • @Josh61 Any word ,other than lifehack, or short phrase I can use to refer to the same meaning. It does not matter whether formal or informal, modern or classic.
    – Hawk
    Aug 2, 2015 at 7:57
  • In the on-line dictionary reference you supplied, it is stated to be a noun. But in none of the three example sentences it gives is it used as a noun. Are you able to supply some more examples?
    – WS2
    Aug 2, 2015 at 8:11
  • @WS2 I could not find more examples. But I see the noun in particular is increasingly appearing on the Web. This is a devoted SE site
    – Hawk
    Aug 2, 2015 at 8:21
  • Hints from Heloise Aug 2, 2015 at 12:26

4 Answers 4



timesaving hints or tips

Also, I support the already-suggested hints, because I remember there was an author popular in the sixties, Heloise, who wrote a series of books of hints, handy hints, household hints, etc. I think they were big because more women were joining the work force.

  • Life Hacks are tricks, skills or shortcuts that are meant to increase a person’s productivity or efficiency in their everyday lives.

  • The term “life hack” was coined by tech journalist Danny O’Brien on October 23rd, 2003 on his blog Oblomovka, describing his research for an upcoming talk on the subject, which took place during February 2004’s Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego, California. He directed people to a message board seeking suggestions about their personal shortcuts, as well as the names of people he could interview about these hacks. One of the first people mentioned in the conversation was the late Aaron Swartz, who kept a detailed log of his online activity.


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8 Must-Know Household Tips from The Experts




a small but useful piece of practical advice. "handy tips for decorating a small flat"

synonyms: hint, suggestion, piece of advice, word, word of advice, pointer, cue, clue, guideline, recommendation, maxim;


advice, counsel, guidance, inside information;



how-to, wrinkle

"lots of useful tips to help you make the right choice"

Google Dictionary

As you can see, there are several synonyms. I have highlighted a few that I think closest to what you are after. The final two are informal but they are also the best for your context apart from "tip" itself.


I'd go with 'tweak' (noun) which is a minor improvement intended to make something better and is used frequently in the IT world, where hack blossomed.

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