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Last Updated on January 17, 2018

24 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer

24 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer

It’s easy to forget that we have access to a virtually limitless resource of information, i.e. the Internet. For a lot of us, this is even true at our fingertips, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and an ever-increasing push for online greatness by tech engineers all over the world.

As a result, there are countless websites out there that are geared to make you smarter and more brilliant for either a low or no cost. Here are just 25 killer websites that may just make you more clever than ever before.

1. Duolingo

This isn’t the first time I’ve recommended this language-teaching website (and app), and it certainly won’t be the last. Duolingo is a free version of Rosetta-Stone that delivers the same results: teaching you another language. Regular use of the site can have you speaking and writing Spanish, English, German, French, Portuguese and Italian in a matter of months depending on the diligence you put into it. Hopefully, even more languages will become available soon.

Duolingo

    2. Khan Academy

    Have you ever wanted to pick up a subject you’re not well-versed in, but you didn’t have the money to invest in a college course? Khan Academy aims to provide education at the collegiate level for anyone who wants it. They provide resources for learning pretty much every subject out there, including math, science, history and more. As you learn, the platform will even assess your progress and help you gauge what you’ve learned.

    Academy

      3. Justin Guitar

      Guitar is one of the few instruments out there that’s actually pretty easy to learn if you’re a little older, making it one of the most accessible instruments. Still, learning how to play still takes some direction, at least for most people, so a guy named Justin decided he was going to help out. His website provides hundreds of free guitar lessons that range in different styles, depending on how you want to play. His schedule for learning is pretty easy to follow, and the site is a great stepping stone for people wanting to pick the instrument up.

      Justin Guitar

        4. Cooking for Engineers

        Founded by Michael Chu, Cooking for Engineers goes further than just providing recipes. The site is a blog that is geared toward making your food taste good. Additionally, his analytical take on ingredients and cooking recipes is interesting and will likely change the way you approach cuisine.

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        Cooking for Engineers

          5. The Dating Specialist

          Or Nick the Dating Specialist is a website that wants to help guys be better dates. The site is full of advice on how to approach social situations and flirt successfully with different types of people. Nick even offers personal coaching at your request, so he can help your specific situation or hurdle to successful dating.

          Dating Specialist

            6. Nerd Fitness

            When we think of exercising and gym techniques, we typically think of bodybuilders and jocks from high school. Nerd Fitness aims to provide resources for getting in shape from a nerd’s point of view. All of the guides, blogs and fitness tips on this site have a geek flavor that is intended to make anyone who feels uncomfortable at the gym feel right at home here.

            Nerd Fitness

              7. MIT Open Courseware

              As much as I would love an education at MIT, that isn’t really in the cards. Thankfully, the educators at the Massachusetts Institue of Technology decided to give out information for tons of courses online through Open Courseware. Hundreds of millions of people have benefitted from the information that they can learn from these courses, starting a trend for other sites to offer free courses as well.

              MIT Open

                8. Investopedia

                I don’t like to admit it, but my lack of a business degree tends to make me feel easily intimidated when a conversation starts taking a turn for the financial. To solve this, Investopedia was born to provide a news blog that makes it easy to digest and really understand the financial markets. There are tons of resources like tutorials and videos that will help you keep up with the ever-changing world of money, and the news stories will keep you coming back for more.

                Investpedia

                  9. Quora

                  Have you ever wanted to ask someone famous a question, but you suffer from never having the chance? Thanks to Quora, you can read the opinions and answers of fascinating (and varied) questions from the leading experts in pretty much everything. You can answer questions too and get feedback from numerous others who share your love for a given topic.

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                  Quora

                    10. Information is Beautiful

                    I love reading, but sometimes a visual demonstration just makes information come alive. Hence, Information is Beautiful is a platform that uses gorgeous visuals to impart data. For example, if you want to find out how much money individual organizations have lost from data breaches, you can view an action visual that shows bubbles that are labeled and sized accordingly, giving you an in-depth, but easy to digest overview of the data.

                    Information is beautiful

                      11. Spreeder

                      According to Spreeder, a lot of us have trouble reading quickly because we can only read as fast as our “inner voice” can. Spreeder’s solution is to teach you to read without an inner voice, boosting reading speed and comprehension immensely. The best part? It’s totally free.

                      Spreeder

                        12. Project Gutenberg

                        Imagine a library with tons of free books that you can keep for the rest of your life. Actually, you don’t have to imagine that because Project Gutenberg gives you the ability to download thousands of free e-books, and it’s completely legal.

                        Project Grutenberg

                          13. Codeacademy

                          If you haven’t noticed by now, the Internet has pretty much taken over everything, which means the skill of coding and developing websites is in higher demand than ever, and that’s not likely to change. With Codeacademy, you can use free tutorials that teach you the basics of coding with interactive and handy tools for helping you become an expert.

                          Codeacademy

                            14. GeographyIQ

                            Imagine if Google Earth and Wikipedia decided to make it official and have a child. That would be GeographyIQ. Using the world map, you can select any country and access virtually every facet of useful information there is about that country, including history, currency, population and more.

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                            Geography IQ

                              15. Anki

                              It’s no secret that the key to memorizing information is mastering recall. With flashcards, you can recall things faster, making Anki an ideal resource for using flashcards online. Unlike other sites that use flashcards, Anki allows you embed more than just text. You can use video, audio and images to help you start studying faster and smarter.

                              Anki

                                16. Lumosity

                                Using games to learn is something I’ve treasured since Kindergarten, making Lumosity a trusted resource for me and countless others. Using a daily schedule of games, Lumosity is literally designed to make you more clever. As you progress, the software figures out what your strengths and weaknesses (such as memory or math skills) and assigns you games accordingly. The best part is that the games are actually addicting and fun to look forward to!

                                Lumosity

                                  17. CliffsNotes

                                  Ideal for high school and college students, Cliffsnotes provides valuable resources like study guides and test prep for standard books and subjects you’ll have to read anyway. The site also provides resources for math and science, giving you the chance to finally master the dark arts of homework.

                                  CliffsNotes

                                    18. TED

                                    For years, people have been benefitting from TED talks that provide free insights from the world’s smartest people. TED provides the value and learning growth of a seminar, but without the exorbitant costs and travel expenses, by providing visitors with tons of free video lectures. The app is also great for catching up on the latest talks, and you can even download some on iTunes.

                                    TED

                                      19. Pinfruit

                                      Need to memorize a lengthy number? Pinfruit analyzes the number and provides all of the options you could want as a mnemonic device. That’s all there is to it, since (unfortunately) they only provide this for numbers and not words.

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                                      pinfruit

                                        20. Mindtools

                                        There are countless blogs that you can enjoy for being interesting and mildly useful, but how many of them actually help you with your career? Mindtools is a blog that teaches you what they call “practical career skills” that you can apply at your job. This is a great daily read for entry-level workers who want to make a great impression, and the variety of topics and advice provided make this is a fantastic bookmark for anyone wanting to excel.

                                        MindTools

                                          21. HowStuffWorks

                                          There are things we want to know about, and then there are things we didn’t know we wanted to know about. HowStuffWorks addresses the latter by providing information on a variety of topics and eye-opening facts that will broaden your horizons.

                                          HowStuffWorks

                                            22. OneLook

                                            Finding a great dictionary is not a difficult task in a world full of search engines, but it can be tricky to define more complicated words and phrases that most dictionaries (besides UrbanDictionary) don’t attempt to define. With OneLook, you can find multiple definitions from numerous dictionaries in one place, even if you’re looking up a phrase that is obscure or too specific for normal dictionaries to help you out with.

                                            OneLook

                                              23. The World Factbook

                                              Did you know that the CIA has information on pretty much everything in the world? Okay, but did you know that they make a ton of this information open to the public? The World Factbook is your godsend for research, allowing you to cite facts and details that pertain to a seemingly endless amount of information from reputable sources.

                                              Worldbook

                                                24. Couchsurfing

                                                Don’t let the name fool you, as Couchsurfing is far from a website that will make you lazy. Couchsurfing lets you connect with travelers all over the world and is the ultimate resource for experiencing other cultures. Put simply, you can use the social network to meet locals in a new community you are visiting. You can also open up your home to fellow couchsurfers, giving you the chance to make new experiences and memories with fascinating people from all over the globe.

                                                Couchsurfing

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                                                  Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                                  25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                                                  25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                                                  Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                                                  Or even better:

                                                  What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                                                  You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                                                  Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                                                  How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                                                  The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                                                  In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                                                  • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                                                  • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                                                  • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                                                  As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                                                  Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                                                  Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                                                  But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                                                  his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                                                  5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                                                  Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                                                  But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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                                                  1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                                                  2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                                                  3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                                                  4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                                                  5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                                                  Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                                                  There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                                                  • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                                                  • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                                                  • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                                                  • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                                                  Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                                                  With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                                                  25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                                                  Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                                                  1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                                                  If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                                                  2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                                                  If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                                                  If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                                                  3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                                                  Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                                                  =sum(

                                                  …and then press F3.

                                                  When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                                                  4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                                                  Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                                                  =match(

                                                  …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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                                                  When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                                                  But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                                                  5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                                                  If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                                                  • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                                                  • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                                                  • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                                                  • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                                                  • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                                                  6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                                                  By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                                                  The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                                                  For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                                                  A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                                                  7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                                                  When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                                                  8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                                                  When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                                                  9. Use filtering

                                                  Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                                                  It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                                                  To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                                                  10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                                                  Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                                                  Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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                                                  To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                                                  11. See formula results with F9

                                                  If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                                                  Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                                                  12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                                                  If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                                                  13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                                                  Here’s how to use EDATE:

                                                  =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                                                  =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                                                  14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                                                  Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                                                  =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                                                  =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                                                  15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                                                  TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                                                  16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                                                  In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                                                  17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                                                  When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                                                  And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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                                                  18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                                                  If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                                                  19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                                                  Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                                                  You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                                                  20. Use data validation

                                                  This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                                                  • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                                                  • Create drop-down lists;
                                                  • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                                                  21. Use conditional formatting

                                                  It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                                                  22. Use formula auditing

                                                  This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                                                  The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                                                  23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                                                  Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                                                  It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                                                  24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                                                  INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                                                  25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                                                  OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                                                  The bottom line

                                                  As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                                                  That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                                                  If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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