Online tools for living and working.

Web hosting. Cloud storage. Audio book subscriptions. International air travel booking. Mac tips. Smart pens. Podcasts and writing tools and so much more. Online tools for productivity can enrich your life and make things easier and fun. But what are those things and where are they? The things you need to make your life better, easier are here.

Bluehost | Web hosting, WordPress support


From the website:

Bluehost was founded in 2003 with one goal: to make a better hosting company. Built on open source technology, we’ve since grown to become one of the world’s largest providers of cloud-based online solutions. Operating beneath the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, over 700 of us are pushing boundaries to deliver the promise of the internet to more people than ever.

Dropbox | Storage, file synching

From the website:

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Dropbox was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, two MIT students tired of emailing files to themselves to work from more than one computer.

Today, more than 300 million people across every continent use Dropbox to always have their stuff at hand, share with family and friends, and work on team projects. Free for smaller customers and smaller storage needs. Not free as your business and needs grow.

 Flightfox | Smarter & cheaper international air travel

From the website:

Flightfox is a marketplace of genuine flight experts. These experts have an extraordinarily deep understanding of flight routing, loyalty programs and airfare pricing.

You can use Flightfox by launching a trip request for any of our experts. Your chosen expert will review your trip details, ask any necessary questions, and work as hard as they can to find you the absolute best flights.

Our most loyal customers use Flightfox because they want to travel farther, wider, better and cheaper. They save a planeload of time and money by leaving it to the professionals.

 

 Flipboard | Beautiful content

From the website:

Headed by Mike McCue, former CEO of Tellme, and Evan Doll, former Senior iPhone Engineer at Apple, Flipboard is on a quest to transform how people discover, view and share content by combining the beauty and ease of print with the power of social media.

 Focus Booster | Personal productivity

From the website:

Focus booster is a digital pomodoro timer. The desktop and HQ timers sync sessions to the web. Never fill out a timesheet again. Visualize your progress through dashboards and export reports. Time management has never simpler…productivity is here.

The Pomodoro Technique

The pomodoro technique is all about using bursts of focus, boosted by the removal of distractions to complete work in timed sessions. It is widely loved because you get regular breaks to make coffee.

The pomodoro technique is a proven and popular time management method, created by the clever Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s, those were the days. It works because your mind stays fresh, like a daisy on a crisp sunny morning. This freshness is achieved through working in short, sharp bursts (called pomodoro sessions) and maintaining regular breaks, for coffee or a brisk walk.

focus booster is a digital pomodoro timer. The desktop and HQ timers sync sessions to the web. Never fill out a timesheet again. Visualize your progress through dashboards and export reports. Time management has never simpler…productivity is here.

How to implement the pomodoro technique

Want to get down with the technique? This is how we do it;
  • Remove all distractions.
  • Choose a focus task.
  • Set the timer to 25 minutes.
  • Work on the task until the timer rings.
  • Take a 5 minute break.
  • Every 4 sessions take a longer break, perhaps 15 or 20 minutes.

Session and break length vary depending on individual working style and preference. We like the original 25 minutes of break with 5 minutes of work…if only, we really mean 25 minutes of work with 5 minutes break!

 Harvest | Invoicing, time tracking

From the Harvest website:

Harvest makes invoicing easy. Create invoices in under a minute, customize logos and translations, and invoice in different currencies. Everything about Harvest invoicing is automatic, fast and accurate.

  • Fast creation – Turn billable hours into an invoice in less than 60 seconds.
  • Fast delivery – Send invoices instantly through your Harvest account.
  • Fast payment – Receive payments twice as fast with online payment.

Get Paid Faster

Set up online payment and get paid faster. Our research shows that invoices are paid nearly 16 days sooner (twice as fast) when online payment is enabled. You can link your account to popular gateways such as PayPal or Stripe.

Personalized Invoices

Upload your company logo, translate labels, define defaults, and configure messages. Customize as much or as little as you want. Harvest’s default translations and messages make it easy to tailor invoices specifically to your company.

Time tracking

Time tracking is simple and lightning fast with Harvest. Set up takes seconds, and there’s nothing to install. We’ve simplified the timesheet and timesheets approval process so you can stay focused on work.

  • Simple to use – One click time tracking. It’s never been this easy.
  • Simple to access – Track time anywhere. From your web browser, mobile phone or desktop.
  • Simple to deploy – No installation or lengthy manual to read.

Retainers

Create a retainer in Harvest for a client, or for each individual project. We’ll keep track of all the details for you: uninvoiced hours, expenses, and the retainer balance.

 LastPass | Password manager

From the website:

LastPass remembers your passwords so that you can focus on the more important things in life.

Hassle-Free Login

After saving a website’s username and password, LastPass will autofill the login when you return to that site. No thought, no typing, no work required – LastPass does it for you.

Livescribe | Smart pen, recording device

From the website:

Livescribe is the global leader in the design and manufacturing of smartpens, enabling customers to capture, search and share handwritten notes on the digital devices they use every day. Livescribe makes the only smartpens on the market that synchronize handwritten notes with recorded audio, making the ubiquitous pen more useful in today’s world. Livescribe’s family of smartpens include the Echo smartpen, the Sky wifi smartpen and the Livescribe 3 smartpen, with complementary software for each platform.

Livescribe smartpens convert handwritten notes and audio into digital format for access through the devices we use daily, fundamentally changing the way handwritten notes are accessed and shared. Pen and paper is still the most popular method of note-taking – a more natural and focused method than a keyboard and screen.

Mac | Tips for your Mac

There are two maintenance thingy-s you can do to help keep your Mac humming along nicely. They’re easy to do and can yield big results.

1. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)
2. Reset your Mac’s PRAM. (Parameter random access memory.)

1. Reset SMC

  1. Turn off your Mac.
  2. Plug in your Mac power cord into a wall socket.
  3. Hold down the Left Shift + Option + Control + Power Button, simultaneously, for about 10 seconds.
  4. By doing the key presses listed above, your Mac won’t power on but the reset will be done.
  5. Release all keys after about 10 seconds and turn on and run your Mac like you normally do.

2. Reset PRAM 

  1. Turn off your Mac.
  2. Press the power button.
  3. Press Command + Option + P + R in combination, all together, before you see the initial startup screen.
  4. Press and hold until your Mac restarts.
  5. Release the keys when you hear the familiar startup chime/bong sound that your Mac makes when it starts up (you may hear it twice which means that the PRAM has been reset).
  6. Your PRAM reset should be complete.

 Mailchimp | Email marketing

From the website:

More than 7 million people use MailChimp to create, send, and track email newsletters. Whether you’re self-employed, you manage projects for clients, or you work for a Fortune 500 company, MailChimp has features and integrations that will suit your email marketing needs.

Create signup forms that match your brand’s look and feel, and send your subscribers product updates, event invitations, announcements, or editorial content. Use our reports to improve your campaigns and learn more about your readers. Best of all? MailChimp is free for lists of up to 2,000 subscribers.

 Scribd | Monthly subscription to audio books

From the website:

Based in foggy San Francisco, Scribd is building the world’s premier digital book subscription service. Since we launched in 2013, our readers have clocked more than 17 million hours of reading time across all genres.

We’ve partnered with some of the best publishers in the world to build a library of more than half a million e­books and over 30,000 audiobooks, including New York Times bestsellers, Pulitzer Prize winners, celebrity authors and narrators, and reader favorites across every genre, and we’re adding new books every day. We also combine industry­leading discoverability and personalized recommendations by Scribd’s editorial experts to guide our readers to books they’ll love.

Beyond books, we’ve also built the world’s most popular open platform for publishing and sharing documents. To date, 60+ million documents ­ written and contributed by our user community ­ have been shared via Scribd, from landmark court filings to business presentations to academic papers from scholars around the world.

  Scrivener | World’s best writing app

From the website:

Writing a novel, research paper, script or any long-form text involves more than hammering away at the keys until you’re done. Collecting research, ordering fragmented ideas, shuffling index cards in search of that elusive structure—most writing software is fired up only after much of the hard work is done. Enter Scrivener: a word processor and project management tool that stays with you from that first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. Scrivener won’t tell you how to write—it just makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in one application.

 

 Serial Podcasts | Storytelling like you’ve never heard

From the website:

Serial is a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial will follow one story – a true story – over the course of a whole season. We’ll follow the plot and characters wherever they take us and we won’t know what happens at the end of the story until we get there, not long before you get there with us. Each week we’ll bring you the latest chapter, so it’s important to listen in order, starting with Episode 1. If you need help knowing how podcasts work and how you get one, watch our tutorial.

Shake | Human scale legal agreements

From the website: 

Shake is a technology platform making the law accessible, understandable and affordable for consumers and small businesses. We strive to combine the simplicity and convenience of a handshake with the protection of a legal agreement.

 ToDoist | Productivity, getting stuff done

From the website:

Todoist is an elegant, effective and efficient application that lets you sort, arrange and prioritize tasks easily…
snippet from Todoist: Task Management Simplified

Todoist is my example for a lot of things – an ideal web 2.0 application, a lesson in responsiveness (not just on the web, but even in desktop applications), a brilliant example of what one man’s genius can achieve… But above all, it is a great example of how a simple interface can pack a shipload of power!
snippet from Todoist – Simply powerful!

Transcribe – online transcription and dictation software

Transcribe saves thousands of hours every month in transcription time for journalists — copywriters — lawyers and students all over the world. Transcribe offers an audio player that’s tightly integrated with a text editor on the same screen. So, no more switching back and forth between the audio player and the editor.

Trello | Project management, collaboration tool

From the website:

  • What is Trello?

    Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’…

    Aug 23, 2013 02:03PM EDT
  • How much does Trello cost?

    Trello is free forever. We may add pay-only features in the future, but everything that’s free today will be f…

    Feb 06, 2014 04:54PM EST
  • What browsers and mobile platforms does Trello support?

    Trello supports these modern browsers: Chrome – Current stable release Safari – Version 6.0 or higher…

    Apr 18, 2014 10:46AM EDT

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