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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 November 9, 2018

                              How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                              How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                              Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                              Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                              So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                              6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                              When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                              1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                              Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                              To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                              In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                              • Microsoft Excel
                              • Microsoft Access
                              • Statistics
                              • Data Analytics
                              • Adobe Campaign
                              • Quickbooks
                              • XML Database management system
                              • Filemaker Pro
                              • MATLAB
                              • Hive
                              • FORTRAN
                              • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                              • SAS

                              2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                              Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                              Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                              • Content Management System (CMS)
                              • Google Analytics
                              • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                              • Email Marketing
                              • Web Page Design
                              • WordPress
                              • Digital Media
                              • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                              • Campaign Management Software

                              3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                              A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                              • Adobe Photoshop
                              • Adobe InDesign
                              • Adobe Illustrator
                              • AutoCAD
                              • CorelDRAW
                              • Microsoft Visual Studio
                              • Maya
                              • Microsoft Word
                              • Microsoft Publisher
                              • Operating Digital Cameras

                              4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                              The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                              To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                              • HTML
                              • C/C++
                              • Java
                              • Python
                              • XML
                              • UI/UX
                              • LINUX
                              • CISC and RISC architecture
                              • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                              • Memory Management
                              • PCB Layout
                              • SQL

                              5. IT Troubleshooting

                              Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                              So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                              • Backup management
                              • Diagnostics
                              • End User support
                              • Client-Server management
                              • Installation and configuration
                              • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                              • System administration
                              • Tech support

                              6. Enterprise Systems

                              Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                              Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                              The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                              Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                              Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                              Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                              1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                              a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                              Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                              Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                              b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                              This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                              c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                              Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                              Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                              2. Rule the Social Media World

                              a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                              Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                              From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                              b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                              This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                              c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                              Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                              Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                              3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                              a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                              From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                              b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                              Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                              The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                              c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                              The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                              4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                              a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                              It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                              From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                              b. Canva Design School

                              From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                              c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                              62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                              d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                              The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                              Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                              5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                              a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                              IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                              It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                              b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                              The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                              Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                              The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                              • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                              • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                              • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                              • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                              • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                              • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                              • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                              Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                              Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                              1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                              It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                              Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                              2. Work on Your Efficiency

                              Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                              For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                              3. Look for Shortcuts

                              Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                              4. Apply for an Internship

                              Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                              By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                              How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                              The Bottom Line

                              Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                              So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                              Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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