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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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                                                  Jon Negroni

                                                  An author and blogger who shares about lifestyle advice

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                                                  Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                                                  11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                                                  11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                                                  Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

                                                  Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

                                                  Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

                                                  In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

                                                  1. ScheduleOnce

                                                    ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

                                                    ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

                                                    ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

                                                    Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

                                                    Available on Web

                                                    2. Calendly

                                                      Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                                                      You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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                                                      Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                                                      3. Assistant.to

                                                        For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                                                        From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                                                        While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                                                        Available on Web

                                                        4. Acuityscheduling

                                                          Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                                                          It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                                                          Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                                          5. Pick

                                                            Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                                                            At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                                                            Available on Web

                                                            6. X.ai

                                                              For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                                                              This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                                                              Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                                                              Available on Web

                                                              7. YouCanBook.me

                                                                is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                                                                They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                                                                Available on Web

                                                                8. Doodle

                                                                  Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                                                                  It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                                                                  You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                                                                  While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                                                                  Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                                                  9. WhenAvailable

                                                                    WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                                                                    Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                                                                    Available on Web

                                                                    10. Rally

                                                                      Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                                                      Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                                                      Available on Web

                                                                      11. NeedtoMeet

                                                                        Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                                                                        NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                                                        While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                                                        Available on Web

                                                                        Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                                                        In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                                                        To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                                                        Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                                                        A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                                                        Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                                                        If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                                                        Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                                                        With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                                                        The Bottom Line

                                                                        Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                                                        Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                                                        Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                                                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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