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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
OneNote can be used only on some smartphones to synchronize with computer.
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.
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.
Here’s what it looks like when you’re using it on LifeHack.
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.
Without Firebug I’d never have been able to style my blog.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
What programs or sites do you use frequently and how do they help you?