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6 Best URL Shrinkers You Should Start Using

6 Best URL Shrinkers You Should Start Using
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URL shrinkers

    URL shrinkers are an absolutely essential tool in today’s internet. URLs are getting longer, attention spans are getting shorter, and places like Twitter have strict character limits. The internet is just not built for long URLs anymore but websites like Dropbox and Google Search results continue to generate URLs that are longer than this paragraph. The solution is the URL shrinker. Would you like to know the best ones? Read on to find out!

    1. cli.gs

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    URL shrinkers

      First up is cli.gs and this is a powerful shrinker. It clocks in at 20 characters per URL. One of the features it includes is click tracking, so you can see how many people have clicked your link. Even better is that you don’t need an account to check the analytics. You just need the original link and you can see how many times it’s been clicked and which websites the clicks came from.

      2. goo.gl

      URL shrinkers

        Google’s shrinker is called goo.gl and if you have a Google account that you actively use then this is the URL shrinker for you. You can see various analytics, much like cli.gs above, with the exception being that you need your Google account to keep track of them. You can use it without an account but you can’t otherwise manage it once you move away from the site. The best feature is that it keeps a detailed list of all the links you’ve created for future reference if need be. The links are 20 characters long.

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        3. bitly

        URL shrinkers
          Bit.ly

          is one of the original URL shrinkers and one of the few that the average person recognizes. This is also one of the more powerful shrinkers, as long as you make an account. The links come in the standard 20-character size so you don’t need to worry about length in comparison to others. Some of the features include analytics and browser extensions should you need them. The fact that people recognize Bitly is important because it lends credibility to your links and people won’t feel as much trepidation when clicking on them.

          4. is.gd

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          URL shrinkers
            is.gd

            is a lesser-known URL shrinker but it does have a unique claim to fame. The shortened links generated by this site are a paltry 14 characters long and are the shortest of any on this list. You’ll be missing out on stuff like analytics, browser extensions, and other tools. But if you need something short, simple, and sweet, this is the one you should use.

            5. TinyURL

            URL shrinkers
              TinyURL

              is the original URL shrinker and the very reason this article exists. It’s been doing this the longest and blogs, websites, and everyday people have been using TinyURL for ages. That means practically everyone has seen TinyURL links and trusts them. Unfortunately, the links are a little bit longer at 25 characters. However, on the plus side, you can also preview any TinyURL link to see where it heads by putting the word preview in the URL. For example: http://preview.tinyurl.com/2mgpyg

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              6. SnipURL

              URL shrinkers
                SnipURL

                is the last one on our list and it clocks in a little long at 24 characters. Don’t let that chase you away, because SnipURL has one of the more unique features of any on this list in that it allows you to edit links after you make them. So if you use a wrong link you can fix it without creating a whole new shortened URL. It requires a free account to access the features but you can still make links without one.

                Wrap up

                The bottom line is that you should find the URL shrinker that works for your personal needs. Bloggers like myself appreciate things like click metrics to see if the links we share are getting clicks. People on Twitter may like the URL shrinkers with the smallest links. Those of us who are clumsy may appreciate the ability to edit links after we create them. The options are there and you just need to choose!

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                Featured photo credit: Google via goo.gl

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                Joseph Hindy

                A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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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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