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13 Highly Useful Free Programs and Websites That Any LifeHacker Must Try

13 Highly Useful Free Programs and Websites That Any LifeHacker Must Try

There’s plenty of useful free computer programs and websites that a lot of people don’t know about. Hopefully, after reading this post, your time spent in front of the computer will become a bit more healthy, productive, and easily managed.

1. VidtoMP3

VidtoMP3 helps you convert YouTube videos into mp3s for you to play on your computer. All you need to do is to insert the youtube link into the text box, wait for it to convert, and you’re set to download the audio.

Easy as pie.

vidtomp3

    2. f.lux

    You know how you’re not supposed to sit in front of LED screens and expose yourself to blue light at night if you want to sleep well?

    f.lux can help with that. It automatically detects when night time approaches and changes the intensity as well as the color of the light emanating from your computer screen.

    I’ve been using f.lux for over a year and I really recommend it.

    flux

      3. RescueTime

      RescueTime sends you weekly reports on how you’ve spent your time by the computer. It’s great for people such as myself who enjoy tracking results.

      You can personally adjust what kind of activities you want RescueTime to consider productive or distractive. With the help of RescueTime I’ve become at least 10% more productive sitting by the computer over the past year.

      rescuetime
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        4. Boomerang

        Want to appear hard-to-get by waiting to reply to someone, but afraid you’ll forget to reply if you wait too long?

        Just click the Boomerang box and set the date and it’ll be scheduled automatically.

        If you use Gmail, you can install the application version of Boomerang, which helps you schedule emails and personal reminders. It’s great for following up on your interactions when you want to network with people, or if your memory fails you.

        Boomerang

          5. WiseStamp

          WiseStamp is an easy way to make sure your emails look professional and get read more often.

          WiseStamp allows you craft your own email signature with a number of variations. You can decide whether you want this signature to be displayed automatically, or if you want to activate it manually for each email.

           

          wisestamp

            6. Microsoft OneNote

            (note, this is only free if you have Microsoft Office. Otherwise OneNote offers a 1 month trial, followed by a monthly fee.)

            Microsoft OneNote allows you to capture all kinds of information: text, graphs, pictures, anything copy-pasted, and so on. You can make specific tabs and notebooks where you can store all the information in your life in neat little categories that are easy to manage.

            OneNote is hands down my favorite software. I use it to keep my commonplace book. That’s where I store all information I come across. Keeping a commonplace book is a great way of learning things faster and becoming more creative.

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            OneNote can be used only on some smartphones to synchronize with computer.

            onenote

              7. EverNote

              EverNote is another notetaking program. It is available to all computers and smartphones. EverNote, unlike OneNote, is completely free to everyone. Just download it.

              I personally prefer OneNote because I think it looks a lot more beautiful, is quicker and easier to navigate.

              evernote_mixed_view1

                8. Firebug

                Firebug is the best friend of any aspiring web designer. The program lets you see how a website is designed by allowing you to instantly see its CSS and HTML code in a small window.

                firebug

                   

                  Here’s what it looks like when you’re using it on LifeHack.

                  firebug2

                    In this example I’ve highlighted the headline, allowing me to see what kind of font is being used, and other details of the LifeHack website.

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                    Without Firebug I’d never have been able to style my blog.

                    9. Alexa Toolbar

                    Alexa is the best available free program for seeing how popular a website is. The toolbar allows you to see the worldwide as well as countrywide ranking of the website you’re visiting.

                    As of writing this post, LifeHack is ranked as 3260 worldwide and 1436 Inside the U.S.

                    That’s a very good ranking

                    While Alexa isn’t 100 % accurate, it’s still pretty trustworthy and a great aid for anyone wanting to get an indicator of a site’s popularity.

                    For example, as a blogger you wouldn’t want to do a guest post on a site with terrible rankings, but chances are that you will waste time doing just that if you don’t use the Alexa Toolbar.

                    alexa toolbar

                      10. Fiverr

                      Want to outsource work to someone else for $5?

                      In that case, Fiverr is the place to go. There are many incredibly useful offers there if you know what to search for. Fiverr is also a great place to learn some basic delegation skills without having to risk much.

                      The last time I used Fiverr was about three weeks ago for getting help designing a fashion poster that I needed when I was presenting a case for L’Oréal in business school.

                      You can also purchase more expensive services (add-ons) for over $5.

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                      fiverr

                        11. ePubReader

                        ePub reader allows you to read books in your browser.

                        In this case I’ve linked to ePub for Mozilla Firefox, because that’s the Internet browser that I use. But you can get it for other browsers as well.

                        Often you’ll come across cough download  cough books online that aren’t available in pdf format. ePub reader is useful to have in those situations.

                        epub

                          12. Unroll

                          Unroll is a time-saving email program that allows you to bundle up all your subscriptions into one email from which you can quickly choose to unsubscribe.

                          unroll

                            13. Bitrix24

                            This last one is a treat to all of you budding entrepreneurs out there!

                            Bitrix24 is a multi-purpose program free to companies with fewer than 12 employees. It allows you to create your own social intranet. The free version of Bitrix24 allows you to manage social communications, tasks and projects, calendars, files & documents,  and CRM (customer relationship management).

                            bitrix24

                              What programs or sites do you use frequently and how do they help you?

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                              Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                              Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                              Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                              Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                              So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                              Joe’s Goals

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                                Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                Daytum

                                  Daytum

                                  is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                  Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                  Excel or Numbers

                                    If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                    What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                    Evernote

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                                      I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                      Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                      Access or Bento

                                        If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                        Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                        You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                        Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                        All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                        Conclusion

                                        I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                        What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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