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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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                              1 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 2 15 Organization Apps to Boost Your Personal Productivity 3 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019 4 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Keep You on Track in 2019 5 How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

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                              Last Updated on September 11, 2019

                              8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

                              8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

                              Computers and cell phones have become an integrated tool in our professional and personal lives that the original methods of using pen and paper may not be so common anymore.

                              Although our old-school methods of note taking may not have entirely left us, technology is advancing with no intention of slowing down; iPads are moving into service industries, video calls are taking the place of in-person interviews, and store receipts are making its way into our email inbox – all of which requires the skill of typing.

                              Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be boring and never had to be. Thankfully, there are effective games and apps that can help you learn to type fast with swift precision and accuracy.

                              Why Typing Fast Matters?

                              Learning how to type fast is a game changer. In fact, you can save 21 days per year by typing fast!

                              Although shaving several minutes from curating a long email or texting paragraphs in a text message may not seem to be of great significance, the minutes soon do eventually add up and the long list of tasks then evolve into frustration. By the end of the day, time is being wasted, and the work pile is stacked high over your head.

                              Why not alleviate some of those frustrations through practice and dedicating your spare time to build muscle memory?

                              Learning a simple skillset like speed typing can drastically improve other essential areas in life including time-management and prioritization. Not only does it help you efficiently complete tasks at work and in your personal life, but it also boosts your productivity.

                              8 Most Effective Typing Games and Apps

                              Everyone learns at different speeds and uses various methods. While some work better under pressure and tight deadlines, others thrive when given ample amounts of time to learn and soak in the knowledge that is being provided. Despite the number of resources that are available in the hollow corners of the internet, it’s all about finding one source that helps you learn at your fullest potential.

                              Whether you’re a keyboard ninja or not, here are some effective typing games and apps that allow you to test your speed, accuracy, and maybe shoot some spaceships along the way.

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                              For Beginners

                              1. Speed Typing Online

                                What’s more fun than to type to the story of Alice in Wonderland or the lyrics to “Hey Jude”? Speed Typing Online is an online typing game that allows you to dive into the creative and familiar world of famous books, fables, songs, and even hone your skills in data entry.

                                The bright blue frame holds the text, which then turns green after punching in the accurate keystrokes. After the end of the personal timer, a statistics page appears to show you your typed words per minute, accuracy, correct and incorrect entries, and error rate.

                                2. Typing Trainer

                                  Typing Trainer

                                  is another online platform suited for beginner typists looking for step-by-step lessons. Learning the keys on a keyboard can confusing especially for those who aren’t as familiar or getting adjusted to typing on a computer keyboard.

                                  Typing Trainer has a collection of step-by-step tutorials that covers everything from sentence drills, introduction to new keys as the lessons progress, and skills test. The Typing Trainer specifically highlights unique features in each lesson including a warm-up section where the user begin to build muscle memory and learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

                                  The website is also programed to identify difficulties the user is facing when typing specific words or sentences.

                                  3. TapTyping – Typing Trainer

                                    There is the feeling of physically typing on a keyboard and then there’s the feeling of typing on a touch screen mobile device.

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                                    Since the use of cell phones has become closely integrated into our everyday lives, learning to type on a mobile is much of a skillset as it is to type on a computer. The mobile typing app, TapTyping – Typing Trainer, allows users to practice while on-the-go making it perfect for commuters who want to practice typing during their down time.

                                    The app allows you to challenge other typists around the world with TapTyping’s global leaderboard and test your skills by taking advanced lessons. There’s always room for improvement and with the app, you’ll be able to find your mistakes by watching a heat map of your finger strokes.

                                    For professional writers and programmers

                                    4. The Most Dangerous Writing App

                                      Suitable for writers facing a creative block or on a tight-deadline, the Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that forces your fingers to type as quickly as your ideas.

                                      If you stop longer than 5 seconds, everything you had written will slowly disappear from the screen.

                                      Sessions are timed from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or can go from 75 to 1667 words. This online app is perfect to brain dump ideas, write a chapter of a manuscript you’ve been stuck on, or help with procrastination.

                                      If you’re up to the challenge, try the hardcore mode – an alternative option where a single letter appears on the screen at a time. This level prevents you from seeing the entire word, sentences, or even correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes until the timer is complete.

                                      If you’re wondering, copying and pasting is not an option until each the end of each session.

                                      5. The Typing Cat

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                                        Looking to upgrade your typing skills? Also working as a personal tutor, the Typing Cat has a list of regular typing courses with the option to try other lessons with more complexity such as HTML. Learning to type code is a another valulable skillset worth adding.

                                        Even with disregarded interest in the coding world, using the code course enhances your typing skills and allows your fingers to familiarize itself with uncommon word combinations and placement of punctuations on a keyboard.

                                        The coding course can be difficult even for typing whizzes, but it’s all a part of muscle memory. According Psychology Today,[1] only a handful of people actually learn how to type by looking at an actual keyboard, while a majority of the population locate specific keys intuitively through muscle memory.

                                        Available courses include EcmaScript 6, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

                                        Fun typing games

                                        6. ZType — Space Invaders Meet Webster

                                          Remember playing the iconic 70’s game that allowed you to shoot tiny purple and green aliens from one end of the screen to the other with a two-bullet laser? It’s hard to believe that Space Invaders just turned 40 , but you can still get the same adrenaline rush with ZType, a typing game with the same shooting concept.

                                          Ztype works in waves – stages that must be cleared but instead of aliens, you must type out the words before the missiles destroy your ship at the bottom of the screen. Every so often, longer and mor complex words would appear and if the words are not typed in the allotted time, a series of letters will disperse like missles.

                                          The game is quick on the fingers and will still have your heart pumping until the very end.

                                          7. Epistory – Typing Chronicles

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                                            Although this game does cost money to purchase, it is worth the investment if you’re looking for a refreshing and alternative mode to learning how to type fast.

                                            Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a role-playing action and adventure game of a young girl riding a fox in a magical and fictional realm; together they combat enemies in the shapes and forms of words.

                                            Once you’re starterted, you almost forget you’re playing a typing game. The paper craft art aesthetics of the game has you captivated by the vibrant colors and character’s storyline, while having you build your typing skills.

                                            8. Daily Quote Typing

                                              Need some inspiration? Say no more.

                                              Daily Quote Typing is one of many gammes available on Wordgames.com – a website that offers a variety of typing games ranging from different levels based on your experience.

                                              With Daily Quote Typing, users are able to type out inspirational quotes by famous leaders, inventors, and innovators such as Mark Twain and Albert Einstein.

                                              Bottom Line

                                              At the end of the day, discipline and patience is what teaches to type faster. It comes down to making that commitment to improving not only your typing abilities, but in a lifelong skill that benefits other areas in life.

                                              By practicing daily and using effective games and apps, it’s only a matter of time before keystrokes will become second nature and your brain will adapt to learning other skills faster.

                                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                              Reference

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