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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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                              Published on September 20, 2018

                              11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                              11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                              In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                              Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                              In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                              Minimizing Tabs

                              Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                              Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                              Incognito Mode

                              Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                              1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                              2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                              3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                              This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                              Save Webpages as PDF Files

                              Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                              Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                              Open Recently-closed Tabs

                              Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                              One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                              The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                              Solve Mathematical Problems

                              Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                              For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                              Play Media Files

                              Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                              In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                              Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                              With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                              Stay Focus(e)d

                              Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                              Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                              With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                              This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                              Grammarly for Editing

                              Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                              You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                              Loom

                              There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                              There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                              With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                              Chrome Calendar Extension

                              No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                              Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                              Final Thoughts

                              Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                              Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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