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10 Forums You Can Go to For Technology Help

10 Forums You Can Go to For Technology Help

    Christmas is fast approaching, and alongside the most famous holiday of the year comes a fresh batch of very confused people. Very confused people gifted with strange gadgets the likes of which they’ve only seen in catalogues and sci-fi reruns. Perhaps we’re talking about a grandmother with a new digital camera she can’t figure out how to turn on, and perhaps we’re talking about someone pretty tech literate who needs to know something more advanced. It doesn’t matter — the only prerequisite for getting value out of this list is that the individual knows how to post a question on a forum, as this is a list of places you can go to for help when your electricity-sucking gifts start taking on a mind of their own.

    1. PC Hardware

    Can’t find your new PC’s “On” switch or need to figure out how to get a few memory slots upgraded? Popular tech hardware site, HotHardware, has a forum with a section dedicated to free tech support on all things to do with PC guts. Judging by the number of “my PC won’t turn on!” posts, it could be that time of year already. Be clear about your computer’s symptoms and what steps you are taking in order to try and achieve the desired result when asking for help.

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    2. Apple Hardware

    If you’ve got a new iMac or Macbook for Christmas and need some assistance, the most logical place to go would probably be the very helpful Apple Support Forums. Unfortunately my past experience with certain other companies taught me to ignore the manufacturer’s own forums as a source of good information, so I found that Mac Rumors had a helpful hardware forum, but now I’m inclined to believe that this is one of few situations where the official forums are the best forums.

    3. Windows

    So you went to some suspiciously NSFW website and came out with a bad rash and a bucketload of spyware, or you’re using Windows Vista (enough said). Or you need help with network configuration, which seems to be one area where any version of Windows is a real pain in situations that involve anything more than one modem and an Ethernet cable. Tech Support Guy has Vista and XP forums, and heck, even Windows 95 and 98 forums (though I won’t link to them, simply because I think you’re due for a better Christmas present!).

    4. Mac OS X

    Like I said before, Apple runs decent forums, but the forums at Mac OS X Hints are great, too. The site’s membership has a higher ratio of geeks-to-newbs because of the blog’s type of content that tricky questions can be ironed out in a jiffy. While you’re over there, I think any new OS X user really should subscribe to the blog, since there are so many great ideas there and often there are answers to questions you didn’t even know you had, but needed to know.

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    5. Linux

    Linux can be tricky for the newbie, but it’s also becoming more popular as a pre-loaded option on many computers, including the EeePC—exactly the type of computer that is likely to end up in the stocking thanks to its price range. For those of you giving one of the many flavors—or “distributions”—of the open source operating system a shot, then Linux Questions is a good place to start, since it makes a strong effort to cater to absolute beginners.

    6. iPod and iPhone

    Apple’s iPod and iPhone have become increasingly popular gifts over the years, especially from that relative who seems to be hoarding a hidden wealth that pops out for a visit around this time of year. They’re not the cheapest gifts but they do make good ones. There are many places to go for help regarding these devices, but perhaps the best belong to the venerable iLounge, long the most popular website pertaining to such devices. iLounge’s forum section is here.

    7. Xbox and Playstation

    I’m willing to bet there will be more than a few consoles under the tree for boys aged 8 to 80 this year, and most likely they’ll be either the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3. The reputable gaming network IGN’s Xbox-oriented site, TeamXbox, has a very active forum, while those with new Playstations can head to PS3Forums which is equally active.

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    8. HDTV

    If you got a HDTV for Christmas, it was probably a gift from yourself, or an angry spouse who wanted an excuse to use your high interest credit card. CNET has a forum for home audio and video which is mostly focused on HDTVs, since these days it’s hard to get an old CRT clunker anywhere except a second-hand store. There’s also a dedicated Samsung forum, which seems to be the most commonly purchased brand of HDTV (there are no survey numbers involved in that statement — just an eyeball of my own and my friend’s living rooms).

    9. Digital Cameras

    A digital camera is something we intend to get over the next few weeks, since we’ve decided that taking iPhone pictures of our two kids is not going to provide warm fuzzies ten years down the track, but rather pixelated fuzzies. It can be a confusing market when it comes to the purchase alone, and though I’m at home when it comes to technology in general, controlling cameras and microwaves have a strange tendency to throw me off. Lurking at Digital Camera Resource’s forum has proven helpful enough, and I imagine posting your questions there would be helpful too.

    10. Networking

    So routers and modems are not usually the first thing on your list when you rush out to get someone a gift, but considering the fact that just about any device you bring into your home these days will have some sort of networking capability—whether it’s the Ethernet on a wifi-crippled Xbox or an Apple TV’s wireless networking—problems are waiting to happen. Networking is one of those areas where the average consumer is, by and large, just as confused as ever. PracticallyNetworked is a useful and oft-referred website with a helpful forum that might prove helpful when you just can’t get the damned (insert device) to acquire an IP address.

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    Search is Your Friend

    I always try to seek out answers to my problems without posting a question on a forum. Sometimes I’m stubborn enough to search for days before caving, and I ask questions only two or three times a year when I have to.

    Part of that is just me being a stubborn male. Part of that, however, is simple etiquette. Search, with Google or some other search engine, to see if there’s an answer out there on the web already. If that fails, once you’ve found a forum, search there and see if Google missed anything from the archives.

    It’s considered rude and ignorant to ask a question that has been answered many times before, but mostly it’s just lazy, and a bad habit to pick up. Don’t be afraid to exercise some resourcefulness and find the answers to your questions on your own before piping up for yourself.

    More by this author

    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on May 28, 2020

    18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

    18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

    No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

    If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

    But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

    Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

    Let’s dive straight into the list.

    1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

      If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

      RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

      2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

        If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

        This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

        3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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          This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

          Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

          4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

            Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

            Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

            5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

              There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

              6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

                Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                  Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                  This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                  Available on iOS and Desktop

                  8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                    This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                    This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                    9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                      Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                      MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                      10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                        1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                        Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                        11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                          When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                          12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                            This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                            Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                            13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                              This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                              Available on desktop (macOS)

                              14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                  Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                    Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                    17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                      This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                      Available on iOS and Android

                                      18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                        Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                        Final Thoughts

                                        The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                        So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                        More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                        Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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