100 Insanely Useful Web Tools You Never Knew You Needed

Jul 9th, 2008

There are so many tools available on the Internet, it’s difficult to keep up with them all, and some are just downright silly while others make life much easier. This list highlights 100 web tools that fall into the latter, more useful category and help you with some aspect of your life, whether it’s managing your time, more efficiently surfing the web, or planning a perfect vacation.

Productivity

Find ways to take notes, schedule meetings, and plan your day with these handy tools.

  1. orangoo. Either paste your text into this site or give it a URL for a blog or website and you will know immediately if you have any spelling errors.
  2. Jotlet. Create an online calendar and share it with friends, family, or co-workers through your website.
  3. MeetWithApproval. Plan a meeting at work or organize a happy hour with friends with this meeting planner.
  4. FLEXLists. Create online lists that you can share with others. This is a great idea for getting a grocery list to your partner or organizing your book group’s reading list.
  5. Evernote. Never forget anything again with this tool. Capture an image, be it a photo, web page, to-do list, or whatever you want to remember, then this tool makes it accessible from your computer or phone with tags attached so you can easily find your stuff.
  6. Stickies 6.5a. Create virtual sticky notes on your computer desktop with this fun tool. Just like real stickies, they stay there until you remove them, but unlike the real thing, these can be iconified and remind you of tasks.
  7. Jotcloud. Similar to Stickies 6.5a, but with a bit fewer bells and whistles, you can write down your notes on virtual stickies with this tool. No download is necessary.
  8. HassleMe. If you need a little nudging in the right direction, this tool will give you a hand. Let it know about how often you want to be hassled and what you need to do and you’ll receive an email reminder. If you need to go to the gym every three days or call your mother every seven days, you won’t be able to forget.
  9. Remember the Milk. This to do list tool will not only keep you on track, but you can use it with your cell phone, Google maps, and more.
  10. Bla-bla List. If you want something more simple than Remember the Milk, this to-do list is simple and you can email it to yourself or update others via RSS feed.
  11. SlimTimer. If you work from home, this tool will help you track your hours, create tasks, and run reports for free.
  12. l8r. Send emails up to five years in advance with this tool. You’ll never miss a birthday again.

Making Life Easier

In this world of multitasking and busy schedules, everyone can use a little help to make life go more smoothly. The following tools will help you with getting a real person on the phone, finding the perfect music, creating a goal chart, and more.

  1. DailyLit. Think you are too busy to read? Now you can select a book and have daily installments sent to you via email or RSS feed. Many of the books are free, but others require a small fee to read.
  2. Bringo! Calling an 800 number and not being able to reach a real person is quite frustrating. This handy tool makes it all better by cutting through the phone tree and getting a human on the line.
  3. eSnailer. Write a letter and mail it through the postal service with this fun tool. You just fill in the envelope, write the letter, and have eSnailer send the letter.
  4. Surprise.com. Buying gifts can be difficult, but this tool just took the work out of gift-giving. It even links you to presents you can purchase online.
  5. Franceradio.net. Search for music for you MP3 player with this fun tool. You can listen and download your favorite tunes free of charge.
  6. Podlinez. Listen to your favorite podcast on your phone by calling a number associated with each podcast. If the podcast you want isn’t available on this site, add it and you can listen within minutes.
  7. My 50. This tool will help you keep focused on your life goals by managing your list of places to go, things to do, and anything else you want to do in your lifetime.
  8. Joe’s Goals. This simple chart allows you to input your goals (or what you want to avoid doing), then you check off each you complete daily.
  9. Musicovery. Choose your mood, decade, and genre and you will receive a web of music to choose from.
  10. Alphabetizer. Need a list alphabetized quickly and easily? Just paste your list into this tool and get results fast.
  11. Timeanddate.com. Find out what time it is anywhere in the world, look at a calendar for any year, or determine time zones with this handy tool.
  12. Sizeasy. If you are shopping online or need to visualize a size dimension for any reason, use this tool to get a visual comparison to help you know what the numbers mean.

Mobile

Using your mobile phone to get things done more efficiently is even easier with these tools.

  1. TeleFlip. Send your email messages to your phone as text messages with this free tool. You do have to pay any text fees your carrier may charge, though.
  2. GrandCentral. Consolidate all your phones into one with this tool that gives you one voice mailbox and one number for all your phones.
  3. bitBomb. Set up reminders that will come to your mobile phone as a text message with this tool.
  4. Cha Cha. Call or text a question to Cha Cha (242242) and within minutes you will receive the answer.
  5. phonezoo. Use this tool to convert your MP3 files to ringtones for your cell phone. You can also use other people’s music posted at this site.
  6. flurry. This tool will send emails, allow you to read RSS feeds, and participate in group messaging all on your mobile phone.
  7. mShopper. While you are out shopping, just jump on your phone to see if you can find your item for less money online, and then buy it right from your mobile phone.
  8. Qipit. Take a photo of any document with your phone, then use this tool to convert it to a PDF file that you can fax, email, or store.
  9. Berggisearch. Powered by Hakia, download this application to your cell phone to get an efficient search that brings results recommended by librarians, not advertisements.
  10. TelePixie. Get wake-up calls, reminders, stock alerts, severe weather alerts, and more right on your mobile phone.
  11. ShoZu. Don’t know how to get that photo you took with your phone on to your computer? No problem. Use this tool to upload photos and videos to many photo sites like Flickr. You can also send photos from Flickr to your phone and do much more with this tool.
  12. Mobyko. Back up the names, numbers, and information on your mobile phone with this handy tool. The next time you lose your phone, you won’t lose your information.

Making Computing Easier

These tools will help you do everything from combining IMs to reducing spam to converting files.

  1. Bugmenot.com. If you’ve ever had to register with a site just to read an article or watch a video, then you will want this tool. Find login information for many websites that require registration and never have to give your information again.
  2. The Complete Word. If you’ve ever been at school or work and couldn’t see what your friend posted to you on MySpace or were unable to view the YouTube video your girlfriend sent you, then you’ll love this tool that unblocks popular sites.
  3. Trillian. Combine all your IM accounts from Yahoo!, MSN, AIM, ICQ, and IRC into one with this free tool.
  4. 10 Minute Mail. Use this tool to get an email address that is good for 10 minutes, then expires. This is a great way to register with sites that require an email validation. Use a disposable email address and keep out all that unwanted spam.
  5. Protopage. Create your own homepage complete with sticky notes, your favorite website links, and more.
  6. PageTiki. This tool will let you know when your favorite webpages have been updated so you don’t have to keep going back to check for new information.
  7. TinyURL.com. If you would like to send a link to someone, but the long URL address is too cumbersome, then this tool will help you out. Just simply paste the long URL into the tool and it immediately gives you a smaller URL that links to the same page.
  8. LabPixies. Add any number of fun widgets like Google maps, calorie counter, games, calendars, and more on your home page, blog, or website.
  9. Agatra. Never worry about forgetting a password again. This encrypted tool securely stores all your passwords so that you don’t have to remember them yourself.
  10. Mail2Web. If your email is not web-based, it can be frustrating not being able to check your email when you are away from your computer. Now you can use this tool and check your email anywhere, anytime.
  11. YouConvertIt. Convert any kind of media file (documents, images, audio, video) to a different format without installing software on your computer.
  12. Down for everyone or just me? If you are having a hard time getting a web page to download, paste the URL for the website into this tool to discover if it’s down for everyone or if the problem is just with you. Super simple!

Google Tools

With the popularity and functionality of Google, many people are sure to find something handy in this list. Even non-Google folks can use some of these tools.

  1. Google SMS. Finding directions, addresses, phone numbers, and more is easy with Google SMS. Send a text to Google (466453) and put keywords in the body of the text for whatever you want to find, and Google will reply within a minute or so with the answer.
  2. Google Send to Phone. Take short clips off websites and send them to any cell phone in the U.S.
  3. Google Reader. Download this reader to get all your RSS feeds in one place. If you read blogs, this will make it so much easier.
  4. Google Alerts. Get email updates on a specific topic you are interested in following.
  5. Google Maps for Mobile. Get Google maps on your mobile phone–where you may find you need them most.
  6. Google Notebook. While you are browsing around the Internet, use this tool to save information you find.
  7. Goog-411. Call 1-800-GOOG-411 and get connected to local businesses for free. You can also get the business information texted to your phone and maps sent as well.
  8. Google Ride Finder. Find taxis and shuttles by city using real time Google Maps.
  9. Google Transit. If you’d like to use public transportation in your city, use this tool to map your route with Google Maps and learn how to get where you need to go.
  10. Google Web Accelerator. Download this tool to make web pages load faster. This works with DSL or cable connections only.

Finances

From managing your money to paying bills, you can use these tools to stay on top of your business and finances.

  1. mint. Manage your money with this free software. Connect with your bank, credit cards, and mutual funds to effortlessly gain control over your finances.
  2. wesabe. getting out of debt can be a struggle, but not with wesabe. This free software helps you track spending and create goals towards getting out of debt or saving money. Take advantage of the discussion groups with other members to find support while reaching your goals.
  3. Zopa. This social finance company brings borrowers and investors together to work out loans that benefit both parties.
  4. Retailmenot.com. Online shopping just got less expensive with this site that provides coupon codes to use for over 13,000 online stores.
  5. PriceProtectr. Shop from over 120 online stores and use this tool to let you know if the price on your new purchase goes down. If so, you contact the store for a refund of the difference.
  6. BillMonk. Keep track of your money with this fun tool. It also tracks items you’ve loaned to people or that you have borrowed.
  7. BudgetTracker, Inc. Create and track your budget with this tool. It helps with bills, investments, bank accounts, and more.
  8. StockCloud. This cloud shows stock ticker symbols with varying degrees of font size indicating how frequently that company issues press releases.
  9. PayScale. Compare your salary with others who have similar job titles, education, location, skills, and experience.

For the Family

The following tools will give most families a hand with gift wish lists, chore organizers, meal planning, and more.

  1. Handipoints. Create a task or chore chart for your children with this online tool, then your kids can check off each task as they go and monitor their progress until they reach the goal.
  2. MyHomePoint. This online calendar keeps track of your family’s activities, birthdays, reminders, and more. Easy access makes this a winner for families.
  3. myfamily.com. Get your entire extended family together with this tool. Family members can upload photos, videos, recipes, and more as well as plan events or map out the family tree.
  4. trydrugs.net. For parents who are talking with their children about drugs, this tool is handy. By going to this site, you will be taken through an experience for each of the most used illegal drugs. Try moving that mouse and clicking on the appropriate spot while under this influence.
  5. GreedyMe. Create a list of things you want and share with friends and family members. Despite the name, this tool is actually handy for families sharing wish lists for birthdays or other holidays.
  6. VisualDxHealth. Identify skin disorders with this visual health tool. From acne to skin cancer, you will be able to find it here.
  7. Calorie Counter. Find out how many calories you are burning with a specific exercise or how many calories your family consumed during that last fast food binge with the calorie counting tools here.
  8. Geni. Create your family tree with this tool. You can also share photos, remember birthdays, and memorialize loved ones.
  9. WujWuj. If you’ve ever tried to organize gift-giving as a group, you know how difficult it can be. This tool organizes the whole process so next time several family members want to go in on a wedding gift or baby shower present, it goes more smoothly.
  10. WeGottaEat.com. Manage recipes and shopping lists and share with family members with this helpful tool.
  11. Chore Buster. Enter family members and chores, then designate how difficult or undesirable each chore is and how often it must be done, then each family member will receive an email with their chores at the correct time.
  12. ChoreWars.com. Another way to get chores done, this approach uses a game. Family members can create their own character, too.

Travel

Whether you are going on vacation, traveling for business, or just keeping track of a traveler, you will find helpful tools from this list.

  1. TripIt. This travel organizer will and compile all your travel arrangements and create an itinerary for you. You can get your itinerary on your mobile device, too.
  2. ePassportPhoto.com. Take a photo at home with your digital camera, then use this tool to convert it to a passport photo that meets the specifications for over 60 countries–for free.
  3. The Universal Packing List. Enter the information about your trip and you will get a complete packing list customized to your needs.
  4. Jumpclaimer! Send text messages while traveling to create pins on a Google map that friends and family can access to follow along as you explore the world.
  5. Yapta. Plan your flight with this tool and it will alert you when prices drop so that you can purchase the ticket. If prices drop after you purchase, it will alert you again so that you can get a refund from the airline.
  6. YourGMap. Create a custom Google map that shows where you went or where you plan to go. This is not a Google tool.
  7. Happy Median. If you are meeting someone during your travels or back home for a night on the town, use this tool to find the halfway point between the two of you.
  8. Universal Currency Converter. If you are traveling internationally, this handy tool will help you know the exchange rate of each place you’ll visit.
  9. MizPee. Find a public toilet in the U.S. or Canada. You can have the results of your search sent to your mobile phone, too.
  10. Weather2Travel Climate Guide. Click on any place in the world to find current weather conditions. This is a great tool to use when packing for your trip.
  11. iSubwayMaps.com. Choose from cities worldwide and download subway maps to your iPhone, iPod, or iPod Nano.

Entertainment

While none of these tools are likely to change your life, they might make it a little more fun with party planning, movie selections, and more.

  1. MyPunchbowl. Planning a party is simple with this online planner and invitation generator.
  2. What Should I Read Next? Enter a book title or an author and other readers will recommend books to you based on their shared appreciation of the same literature.
  3. MyFilmz. Use this tool to discover what movie you should watch tonight. Type in a movie you like and you will get a list of several other movies that are similar.
  4. FreeRice. Play this word game to sharpen your vocabulary skills and help feed the hungry at the same time. Be careful, it’s addictive.
  5. someecards. Stay in touch with friends and family by sending one of these funny e-cards. Choose from several categories to find just the right one.
  6. soundjunction Composer tool. Create your own music with this online composing tool.
  7. Sloganizer. Enter a keyword and this tool will instantly come up with a slogan for you. You can even get your slogan put on a t-shirt.
  8. geoGreeting. Email a greeting to someone with this fun tool. Whatever your message, aerial views of buildings around the world create the letters for your text.
  9. Listen to a Movie. Download a movie or TV show and listen to it on your computer while you work. Be sure to hit "pause" when your boss comes in, though.
  10. Good Things Should Never End. This never ending website offers tons of fun graphics that you can interact with just by clicking your mouse. You can even share some of them on your website or blog.
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