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10 Free Online Resources That Can Make Your Life Better

10 Free Online Resources That Can Make Your Life Better
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With just a little bit of time to spare and some digging around on the internet, it’s easy to come across free online resources. I have utilized some myself. Now after doing more research, I look forward to trying out a few others too. Here are ten of online resources that may be beneficial to your life too:

1. Free Online Education

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    Alison provides over 750 free online diploma and certificate courses in a range of categories. The categories of courses available are: Diploma Courses, Business and Enterprise Skills, Digital Literacy & IT Skills, Personal Development and Soft Skills, Languages, Schools Curriculum, Health & Safety & Compliance, Health Literacy, and Financial & Economic Literacy. There are also other services and resources, study groups, and a community page available on the site.

    2. Money Saving Tips

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      The Pennyhoarder is a site that compiles inspiring money stories and practical tips about how to earn and save. They provide information on a variety of topics relating to: money hacks (money saving tips), work from home, budgeting, coupons, freebies, and more. Many of the tips are simple and straight forth, making it easy to utilize in our own lives.

      3. Swap Your Unwanted Clothes

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        Rehash is a free clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and makeup swap site. The site says, “Rehash is free to use. There are no listing fees or trading fees; you simply pay for your own shipping and trade as much as you want. Exchange what you don’t wear for stuff you will wear.” I personally haven’t tried any of the swapping sites yet, but it might be a great way to get rid of all the jeans we no longer fit into, or that “what was I thinking?!” polka dot blouse in exchange for someone else’ unwanted items. It seems you photograph your items, add a description, wait for offers, and request trades.

        4. Money Saving Coupons

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          Find 100’s of coupons for grocery, household and personal care items. As the Coupons site says, “just click, print and save!” Grocery bills can add up quick every week; why not take advantage of extra savings with coupons?! Match them with sale items for an even better deal too. They also offer coupon codes and cashback offers.

          5. Nature and Relaxing

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            Calmsound, An Oasis of Relaxation, offers free, calming nature sounds and videos. Rain, ocean, waterfall, country garden and more. Take a break to ‘get away’ for a few moments at work, or relax to the sounds while laying in bed at night. Calming sounds can help to relieve stress along with relaxing the mind and body. CD’s of these nature sounds are also available for sale.

            6. Educational Games for Kids

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              Learning Games for Kids offers a huge variety of games and activities for preschool and elementary school aged children. These games will help to build skills in areas such as math, language arts, science, social studies, and more. Fun for children, yet challenging and educational too.

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              7. Free Gift Cards

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                Earn points to receive free gift cards by performing various online activities such as watching videos, playing games, taking surveys, and more through Swagbucks. The more time you put into the activities, the faster your points will grow. Generally, the more tedious the task, the more points it’s worth. For example, completing a 15 minute survey offers more points than watching a 30 second video. On occasion, ‘Swag Codes’ are available for free points through their blog and social media sites. Gift cards are redeemed through the Rewards Store, with thousands of rewards available. Just to give you an idea, you can receive a $5.00 Amazon gift card by redeeming 500 Swag Bucks (points).

                8. CPR and First Aid

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                  Knowing CPR and First Aid basics is important for everyone. We never know if or when we’ll need it, but it’s best to be prepared. FirstAidWeb offers both these courses for free, and they adhere to the most recent American Red Cross and American Heart Association guidelines.

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                  9. Be Prepared For Emergencies

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                    Sites like Emergency and Disaster Supplies offers various emergency supplies, both for free and for purchase. It’s important for you and your family to have a plan in place should the need ever arise. There are many free downloadable PDF’s for emergency contacts, an emergency kit checklist, contact and medical information carry cards, and more. There are also other links listed for government sites, weather, services, and training resources.

                    10. Product Samples Can Be Found Through Free Online Resources Too!

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                      Product samples allow us to try items before spending the money on full size containers, potentially saving us money in the long run. Samples are also great to toss into luggage, purses or overnight bags too. Sites like My Savings offers free samples, coupons, giveaways and more.

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                      With the vast information available to us now through the internet, there are tons of free online resources that we can utilize in our own lives. Useful tips and resources, free of charge, are right at our fingertips!

                      Featured photo credit: https://www.portalguard.com/blog/2014/04/09/enhancing-personal-protection-stronger-authentication-token-approach/woman-on-computer/ via portalguard.com

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                      Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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                      No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

                      Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

                      Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

                      A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

                      Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

                      In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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                      From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

                      A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

                      For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

                      This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

                      The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

                      That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

                      Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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                      The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

                      Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

                      But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

                      The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

                      The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

                      A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

                      For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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                      But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

                      If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

                      For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

                      These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

                      For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

                      How to Make a Reminder Works for You

                      Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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                      Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

                      Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

                      My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

                      Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

                      I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

                      More on Building Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                      Reference

                      [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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