Archive for the ‘Productivity and Learning’ Category

Online College Degrees for the Tech Savvy Student

Monday, March 21st, 2011

With technology constantly changing and evolving, there is always a constant need for skilled individuals with up to date training in the field. And for those students interested in information technology, computers, and technology, there are plenty of degree programs to pursue that will qualify students with the knowledge and skills they will need to land their dream IT jobs. Information technology degrees are offered at various degree levels and many schools offer these degrees commonly at the associate’s bachelor’s, and master’s degree level. Information technology degrees generally prepare students for careers within the technology field, but there are specialized and specific degree programs for different types which may include (but are not limited to): Network Administration, Information Systems, and Network Technology.

Network Administration degree programs are offered at a number of online colleges and universities and are commonly taken to prepare students for a career as a network server administrator. Network Administration deals with networks and computer systems and allowing information to be connected and shared through these systems. While specific requirements will vary between schools, students in network administration degrees generally study important concepts in the field such as IT fundamentals, technical writing, web development, systems administration and management, and network server administration. Network administration degrees also prepare students for external certifications related to network administration.

Information systems degrees are also offered at a number of online colleges and universities and common job opportunities for information systems graduates include (but are not limited to): database analyst, database administrator, and system administrator. Information systems degree programs courses teach students how to manage information in databases, improve the way that businesses and organizations systems operate, and how to examine business and information to determine needs, designate systems, and monitor the performance and effectiveness of those systems. Information systems degrees also prepare students to expand their professional skills in the field and develop professional information system skills.

Network Technology degrees, offered at many online colleges and universities online, prepare students for jobs in the IT industry, commonly technical specialist positions including those involved with (but not limited to): the design, implementation, and maintenance of network systems. Network technology degree programs provide students with the knowledge they will need to create, design, maintain and fix Internet connections and networks. Students will learn about wireless technologies, setup, server configurations, and security. The designated courses in network technology degree programs also prepare students to succeed in certification exams that will qualify them for careers in the information technology field.

The Importance of Accreditation in Distance Learning Schools

Monday, March 21st, 2011

As distance learning and online schools continue to become more popular and grow in enrollment rates and in the amount of schools, more individuals are taking to the convenience of online schools to fulfill their educational needs. And while distance education can offer students the same quality of education that traditional universities can, it is important for students to know that there still are factors and risks involved with enrolling with online colleges and universities. Accreditation of a school is extremely important when researching schools to attend and should be considered to avoid wasting time, money, and good job opportunities.

Accreditation ensures that the school you are interested in strives to provide its students with a quality education. Schools that are accredited have policies and procedures set in place to ensure that students are learning what it is they are supposed to learn to succeed. In addition, accreditation is a process that is voluntary on the school’s behalf, so schools that wish to become accredited contact accrediting agencies to be evaluated and awarded accreditation. The process involves the accrediting agency evaluating the school’s structure, policies, practices, and guidelines as well as curricula, training facilities, and staff. Once a school is awarded accreditation, it is temporary and accreditation must be renewed at set intervals, which is commonly set at every 5 or 10 years.

Accreditation not only helps to ensure that students are paying for and receiving a quality education, but it is also important for the professional and career world when it comes to landing a job. In fact, some employers will not hire individuals that have degrees from learning institutions that are not accredited. Having a degree from a school that is accredited ensures that students work hard for their degrees and that they completed the necessary work to earn their degrees. It also shows employers that students are qualified for the careers they are seeking and that they learned the necessary skills, concepts, and training needed to excel in the field.

Accreditation must be awarded by a legitimate accrediting agency. Accrediting agencies exist at the regional and national level and many online education sites list the legitimate accrediting agencies that are currently in existence. Accreditation should be an important factor when deciding on a learning institution, and research should be done in order to verify that schools are accredited when they say that they are. Accreditation guides are useful for those looking for more information on accreditation, as they serve as a legitimate means to find out more about the accreditation process and what it involves, what agencies are valid, how to spot fake agencies, and why accreditation is so important.

Tackling the Beast That Is a Research Paper

Monday, March 21st, 2011

When you are assigned a length research paper, you can immediately feel overwhelmed. As soon as the due date is posted on the wall your mind can go through the wringer stressing on how you will find the time to put in the necessary work to achieve the grade you desire. However, if you are able to stop at this moment and take a deep breath and climb this mountain one step at a time, you will find that this assignment can be almost enjoyable. First you need to fully understand what is being asked of you. By knowing all of the different parts you can easily divide up your project in chunks, tackling one small battle at a time, as oppose to taking on a big war by yourself. You just need to go into the process with a calm mindset. Read everything your professor has presented to you. Make sure you understand everything and fully get what is being asked of you, and then if there are any holes that need to fill in raise your hand in class or visit your professor during his or her office hours. Sometimes the questions you may have are the same for other students.

When have finally settled in to your comfortable and cozy library chair and have the laptop open, fully charged and ready for your fingers to punish its keyboard, now is the time when you have to let all of the thoughts that going around in your head like a cyclone rollercoaster, go. You need to not worry, and be intimated by the blank page that is starting right back you. Let your first draft come from your heart and then you can go back revise again with your brain. If this is not possible without your favorite songs on your iPod playing, then plug in those headphones and turn the library into a concert hall. You want to find the best situation you can that will give you the opportunity to not let your mind drift off into thinking about how long of road you have ahead of you. Be precise in your statements, and ensure that all of your sources are reliable. You are not in a race, so there is no need to take a shortcut. As long as you begin your paper early on in the game, you should have ample time to complete your assignment. Just like many things in life, sometimes it is the mental battle that can be the toughest part of any task.

Sell Your Online Degree during a Job Interview

Friday, March 11th, 2011

If you are considering enrolling in an online program, you’re probably really worried about how employers will perceive your diploma. Some potential employers may unfortunately pass up your resume entirely, while others may drill you with additional questions about your online education during the interviewing process. But as long as you are prepared to "sell yourself" and explain to the interviewer all of the additional benefits you received as an online student, you should land your dream job with flying colors.

The first thing you want to do is remind employers that you are a self-starter and that you are highly self-disciplined. If an interviewer asks you about your work ethic or how you stand out from the other applicants, this would be a perfect time to address how completing your program online has molded you into an independent hard-worker since you completed all of your goals with no supervision and little outside help from peers. Not everyone can do/say this. Employers value applicants who can get their work done without a lot of supervision. If you have a family or had fulltime job while pursuing your degree even better—it just demonstrates to potential employers that you can juggle and have superb time management skills. It also demonstrates that you are a go-getter and don’t let obstacles stand in your way of reaching your goals. Again, not all applicants can do/say this.

Another way that your online degree can work in your advantage is that it can show employers that you are comfortable around computers—something that most employers seek in candidates. Employers like those who have some level of proficiency in computers and technology. Here, you can discuss how your tech-savvy-ness will benefit the company becuase there won’t be any time wasted. Meaning, you will not have to be trained on how to do minor tasks on the computers and you can fix your own technological glitches. You can also say how all of those hours of video chatting, instant messaging and emailing for your online class has given you some insight into how to communicate globally.

Lastly, your potential employer may question whether your online degree has truly prepared you with the right skills. This is where you will need to make yourself really shine. Instead of regurgitating facts you learned in textbooks, a good way to show your expertise is to verbalize your future plans for the company or suggest a solution to a problem you see within in the company. For instance, maybe you could say, "Well, if I worked here, the first thing I would do is (insert solution here). My online (insert class title here) taught me that (insert knowledge here)." It will simultaneously show that you know what you’re talking about and that you are serious about working there.

Do I Have to Pay My Loans Off Immediately?

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Many people turn to loans to help them cover the cost of pursuing an education online. But once they graduate, people aren’t really sure about how to pay that loan back. Should they strive to be debt free immediately, even if that would suggest living on Ramin noodles for the next 10 years? Or do they make only small monthly payments but have their debt shadow hang over them for a few decades? Well, this will heavily depend on what kind of loan you received. To get some insight on which repayment route you should take, continue reading.

So when should you strive to pay your loan back as quickly as possible? Well, if you were forced to take out private loans then you should try to pay back your loan as soon as you can. This is not only because interest rates are already higher than most Federal loans, but because interest rates are not fixed. This means they can increase throughout the years. And the longer you wait to pay it off, the more you will have to pay in the end. But of course if you do not have the means right away this could be difficult. This is why many college graduates choose to move back home with their parents for a while. If you do this, you should take advantage of using your steady checks to pay off student loans while you get to live rent free—don’t waste your money on shiny new toys like cell phones and expensive clothes. Do the responsible thing and work to get debt free. Another way that some students can pay back a huge chunk of their student loan is to use their federal income tax refund check. Some students receive as much as $2,000 and what better way to use that money than by putting it towards your debt?

You should also consider paying your loan debt off as soon as possible if for any reason it’s going to stand in the way of achieving your goals. For example, if you want to eventually start your own business or buy a new house, then paying back your loan right away might be a good idea. You don’t want to bury yourself into an even more financial hole.

Other than that, do not try to make your loan priority if you have other outstanding debt, such as credit card bills. That kind of debt will ruin you first. Instead contact a loan officer and see if there is anyway you can make a deal. Federal loans are especially understanding. But you need to fill out the proper paperwork and tell them far in advance that you may have a hard time making your next payment.

100 Ways to Kickstart Your Brain On a Lazy Day

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

By Olivia Coleman

Everyone has those days at school or work when your brain is moving just a little slower than usual. If you find yourself up against a lazy day, give one of these tricks a try to get your brain going. With suggestions on brain-boosting foods and drinks, games, trivia, exercise and fun strategies, you are sure to find a way to wake up your brain from the list below.

Brain-Boosting Drinks

Sometimes all your brain needs is a drink to get it going. The following drinks will all give your brain that extra boost it needs to start pumping.

  1. Chai. This tea infused with a variety of spices and blended with milk or a non-dairy milk substitute will awaken your senses and your brain.
  2. Kombucha. In addition to the multiple health benefits of this unusual drink, it is primarily a detoxifier for the body. It also gets your brain pumping pretty quickly.
  3. Water. Staying hydrated benefits your body and brain by keeping you detoxified and oxygenated, so drink plenty of water for a brain boost.
  4. Matcha. This stone-ground, powdered form of green tea is a super-concentrated version of the green tea that comes in tea bags and provides a super blast for your brain.
  5. Caffeine. As this study indicates, a little caffeine may be beneficial to your brain, so have that cup of coffee when you brain feels a little sluggish.
  6. Kava kava. Long used in the South Pacific, kava kava is reported to induce both brain stimulation and anxiety reduction.
  7. Smoothies. A simple brain-boosting smoothie with fresh fruits and yogurt or a bit of protein powder will have your brain working again in no time.
  8. Ginkgo biloba tea. Ginkgo biloba tea helps promote blood flow, memory, and mental alertness.
  9. Ginseng tea. Tea made from the ginseng root provides better mental acuity as well as boosts blood circulation, reduces fatigue, and a host of other benefits.

Brain-Boosting Foods

From the instant benefit of cinnamon and peppermint to the longer-lasting benefits of blueberries, these foods are great ways to get the blood flowing in your brain on a lazy day.

  1. Cinnamon and peppermint. Research shows that cinnamon and peppermint stimulates the brain. Have some gum or tea and give it a shot.
  2. Fish oil. This nutrient, either obtained through eating fish or taking a good-quality supplement, not only increases overall physical health, it also helps boost your brain power.
  3. Apples. Long associated with healthy nutrition, an apple a day can provide brain health benefits.
  4. Salmon. Salmon is good for your body and your brain. This super food is high in omega-3 EFAs and protein, low in cholesterol and contains quite a few B vitamins, calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium.
  5. Avocado. Avocados have monosaturated fat (the good fat), which increases blood flow, which gives your brain a boost.
  6. Curry. Curry, and especially the turmeric in curry dishes, have been shown to boost cognition. The tantalizing taste will also help wake up your brain.
  7. Antioxidants. Eating foods that are antioxidants can help improve focus, problem-solving, and memory.
  8. Fruits and veggies. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great brain booster. Learn about the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables to your brain.
  9. Whole grains. Two and a half servings of whole grains a day can significantly reduce your chance for a stroke and keeps your brain in top shape.
  10. Olive oil. This healthy oil has been shown to break up clots in capillaries and generally help with blood flow.
  11. Blueberries. These little berries really pack a punch when it comes to brain health. Pop a few when your blood sugar and brain function feel low.
  12. Cocoa. Foods containing cocoa, like chocolate, may provide benefits for memory and learning, and the endorphins raised by eating chocolate will also provide a more immediate boost for your brain.

Simple Tricks

If your brain is stuck in a rut, try any of these fun and simple tricks to get it going again.

  1. Doodle. NPR reports how doodling can kickstart your brain when it is bored.
  2. Journal. Write down your thoughts, create a poem, or find some other way to express yourself in a personal journal.
  3. Music. Listening to music, whether it's a small chamber music ensemble or a full-out rock show, will stimulate your brain.
  4. Listen to Mozart. Learn about "The Mozart Effect" and how it can help your brain get going and work better.
  5. Study a foreign language. Listen to a bit of a foreign language tape or go online to study a bit to get your brain in gear.
  6. Switch hands. Try using your less dominant hand for simple tasks like eating or writing to stimulate your brain.
  7. Think positively. A simple change of perspective can perk your brain and make you feel empowered as well.
  8. Smile. Smile and laugh often. A silly joke or sharing a smile with a co-worker or friend is a fun way to get your brain going again.
  9. Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy offers a boost to your brain through various scents which work to stimulate, calm, energize, and more.
  10. Use your brain. Doing tasks such as avoiding the calculator for simple arithmetic or thinking through perplexing problems is sure to get your mind working.
  11. Write down dreams. Do this as soon as you wake up in the morning. This is especially effective if you are trying to come up with creative ideas or solutions.
  12. Send a note to a friend. Whether you send a quick text message or hand-write a note, the social connection and shift of focus will help kickstart your brain.
  13. Use chopsticks. The mental challenge of using chopsticks with a snack or lunch will give your brain a boost and teach you a new skill.

Video Games

Video games can get your brain working–research shows some games can even help fight Alzheimer's. Check out these games for a fun way to start your brain.

  1. MUO Games. MakeUseOf offers four games to help your brain start working.
  2. Truantduck.com Chinese Checkers. Play this classic game against the droid and practice your strategy skills.
  3. Simon Says. Practice your memory skills by playing Simon Says online. It's amazingly similar to the real thing.
  4. Legends of Elveron. Try this fantasy game that is all about strategy to get your brain working.
  5. Diner Dash. Serve diners with this popular online game where you make sure everyone gets seated, orders, and gets their food without getting angry.
  6. Super Money Ball. Try one of these mini games from Sega to improve your eye-hand coordination and really get your brain working.
  7. Escapa. Click and hold the red square and avoid getting hit by the blue squares or hitting a wall with this challenging game.
  8. Oregon Trail. Get on the Oregon Trail and download this old favorite.
  9. Hit the Dot. This game challenges you to click on each of the dots as they appear to see how many you can get in 30 seconds.
  10. The Blue Button Game. Click on the fast-moving blue button to keep playing, but if you click on a red or orange one, the game ends.
  11. Game Gecko Racing Games. Play several racing games online at this site.
  12. Dogfight 2. Using your arrow and space bar keys, participate in airplane dogfights with this flying game.
  13. Tetris. This classic game will sharpen both eye-hand coordination and quick, logical thinking.
  14. Breakout. This game requires you to keep the ball in play until it breaks all the blocks at the top.

Brain Games

The following games are all especially for you brain and will help you get your brain moving on a lazy day and strengthen it, too.

  1. BrainCurls. Exercise your brain with the games at this site that include jigsaws, memory games, and games that sharpen your observation skills.
  2. Games for the Brain. With popular brain games like Mastermind, chess, and Sudoku, you will find plenty of games for your brain.
  3. Brain Bashers. With 5 new games added each week, you can always find lots of video game fun for your brain here.
  4. Puzzability Sampler. The puzzles here include both interactive and non-interactive versions of word games like Hangman, Acrostic, and Slider.
  5. Thinks.com Jigsaw Puzzles. Work these jigsaw puzzles for a great online workout for your mind.
  6. BrainTraining 101. These brain games include many different logic, puzzle, memory, classic, and action games.
  7. Braingle. Brain teasers, riddles, trivia, and brain exercises are some of the fun activities on this website.
  8. Fit Brains. Play the free brain games here that are developed by scientists with the goal of providing the best fitness for your brain.
  9. Sharp Brains Brain Teasers and Games. These 50 games are especially meant to help exercise and sharpen your mind.
  10. Freedom Years Games. These brain games include jigsaw puzzles, memory game, Sudoku, and more.
  11. HAPPYneuron. Brain fitness becomes a science with the fun games and activities here.
  12. Brain Age. Available on Nintendo DS, this game is excellent for sharpening the brain, according to a study done by a competing software company, and keeping it going.

Other Games

From classics like Scrabble and checkers to word puzzles to knowledge quizzes that benefit those less fortunate, the following games will get your brain working.

  1. Word puzzles. Solve brainteasers such as anagrams, logic problems, rebuses any time you have a few extra minutes to get your brain going.
  2. Scrabble. Connect with others for an online Scrabble game to get your brain pumping.
  3. Chess. Learn how to play chess, or play online, so you can take advantage of the well-known brain benefits of this game.
  4. Do a jigsaw puzzle. Working jigsaw puzzles exercises spatial recognition, analytical processes, eye-hand coordination and will wake up a sleepy brain.
  5. Crosswords. The benefits of working crossword puzzles are many and even help keep dementia at bay as you age. Work one online or in the morning paper to jumpstart your brain any time.
  6. Logic Puzzles. Solve these free logic puzzles that provide an easy-to-use solving grid.
  7. Mahjong. Play free Mahjong games here with a variety for the casual player to the master.
  8. Checkers. Try to beat the computer in this checkers game or challenge a friend in person.
  9. Bridge. While you may not have time for a full-blown game in the middle of the day, play online or watch others for a bit to help get your brain moving.
  10. Backgammon. Nabisco brings backgammon to you for free with this online version you can play to give your brain a boost.
  11. FreeRice. Test yourself in several categories including English, Chemistry, Geography, Art, Math, and foreign languages to get your brain buzzing and help feed the hungry at no cost to you.

Trivia

Learning a bit of trivia not only gets your brain working when it's going slowly, but it also helps strengthen it. Give these fun trivia resources a try.

  1. 100 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew about the Human Brain. Learn some facts about the human brain to get yours working on a lazy day.
  2. Kickstart Your Brain With 21 TRUE Trivia Tidbits. Read these factoids for an easy brain spark.
  3. Fun Trivia Quizzes. Choose from several different trivia categories and take the quizzes to test your trivia knowledge and give your brain a boost.
  4. Trivial Trivia Collection. Get celebrity trivia, unusual trivia, or select from specific trivia categories to learn plenty here.
  5. Useful Trivia. Choose from Bible, history, holiday, TV trivia, and plenty of other categories.
  6. Trivia Cafe. Trivia Cafe provides daily and weekly questions, contests, and more to get your brain in gear.
  7. Triviaplaza. Find fun facts about music, movies, geography, science, literature, and more at this site.
  8. Random facts. Browse through this listing of random facts in order to add to your trivia knowledge.
  9. Fun Funny Facts. With information ranging from cockroaches to the memory of goldfish, you are sure to find fun facts to stimulate your brain when it's moving slowly.

Exercises

Physical activity stimulates blood flow, which can help perk up your brain. Do these exercises to help get your brain going when it falls into a slump.

  1. Take a walk. When your brain begins to flag, stand up and take a walk to get the blood flowing and your brain working again.
  2. Tai Chi. This ancient form of exercise uses a graceful form of stretching to keep your brain physically fit.
  3. Sex. Enjoy sex with your partner. Not only will it stimulate your senses, it has also been shown to sharpen your mind through its cardiovascular benefits.
  4. Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and use the stairs to get your blood flowing and your brain pumping.
  5. Yoga. Not only is yoga an excellent low-impact form of exercise, its benefits also extend to mental well-being. Use simple yoga stretches any time of the day for an instant brain boost.
  6. Yard work. Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or just picking up the twigs that have fallen on the yard are all great ways to get moving and wake up your mind.
  7. Walk the dog. Getting Fido and yourself outside for a walk to perk up your brain.
  8. Swim. Jump in the lake or take a swim at your neighborhood pool for a great way to wake your brain.
  9. Bike. A leisurely bike ride through a park or down a dedicated bike trail is not only a good way to stimulate your brain, but you will enjoy the scenery and physical exercise too.
  10. Dance. Stand up and dance to put your body in motion and wake your brain. Dancing also offers anti-aging benefits.
  11. Golf. Enjoy a round of golf or hitting at the range during lunch for exercise as well as a brain stimulant.
  12. Hike. Put on some sturdy shoes and head out. Hiking can be as easy as exploring a city park during lunch.
  13. Tennis. The mental and physical stimulation of this popular game will have your brain buzzing in no time.

Quiet Activities

You might think that quiet activities wouldn't help get your brain going when it's dragging, but give these a shot to find out how much they can help.

  1. Read. Whether you are keeping up the news online, sitting down with a good book, or checking out the latest gossip magazine, do some reading each day.
  2. Hobbies. Work on a hobby to get your creative juices flowing and keep your brain working.
  3. Knitting. Putting your hands to work and letting your mind wander a bit will get your brain back on track in no time. If you don't know how to knit, learn here.
  4. Breathing. The deep, relaxing form of breathing used during yoga practice oxygenates the body, which stimulates the brain.
  5. Relaxation exercises. Try some of these relaxation exercises and you will teach your body how to feel more calm and your brain more focused.
  6. Meditation. For improving focus and stress relief, mediation can't be beat.
  7. Surf the Internet. Not only does surfing the Internet provide plenty of new information to stimulate your brain, the combined requirements of decision-making and specific strategies necessary when surfing also provide benefits for the brain.

100 Best Bookmarklets for Writers, Researchers, and Students

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

If you’re in the academic world or need to manage loads of research for your ongoing projects, you probably depend on the Internet to keep it all straight and connect you to libraries and information you wouldn’t otherwise be able to find. But what if there was a way to get it all done even faster? These bookmarklets can help.

Social Media and Blogging

Post, tag, update your Twitter account, and share sites faster with these bookmarklets.

  1. Share on Facebook: This bookmarklet makes it easy to share links, stories, photos and more with your network.
  2. Vodpod Post to WordPress: Post videos to your WordPress blog using this system.
  3. Tag Editor: This Firefox extension will help you come up with tags for your blog.
  4. StumbleUpon: Add the Stumble thumbs to your toolbar for easy stumbling.
  5. + add: Add web pages to Stumble, Twitter, Digg or other social sites.
  6. Twit This: Twit This sends web pages to Twitter.
  7. Flickr- upload photos on a webpage: Here you can quickly upload Flickr photos.
  8. Oddiophile’s Rather Fab Technorati Tags Bookmarklet: Generate tags for Technorati blogs.
  9. Technorati and Del.icio.us bookmarklet: Manage both sites here.
  10. TweetBurner: Share URLs on Twitter and FriendFeed.

Google

Navigate Google with more mastery when you use these tools.

  1. Subscribe: Click on this button to subscribe to a blog via Google Reader.
  2. + gmail: Gmail users can quickly open up a new message to compose with this tool.
  3. Gmail to Gcal: Convert Gmail text into an event.
  4. New Doc: Open up a new Google Document.
  5. Bookmarks: Easily bookmark pages to your Google account with this bookmarklet.
  6. Google Cache: View the Google cache for your current web page.
  7. Definition: Look up definitions with Google using this one-click tool.
  8. Google Groups: Search Google Groups here.
  9. Send text by SMS: U.S. texts can be sent with this bookmarklet.
  10. Google Images Search: Click this bookmarklet to search Google Images.

Calculators and Conversions

For calculations and conversions, use these bookmarklets for fast math.

  1. Firefox calculator: Firefox users can do basic calculations with this tool.
  2. Days left this year: Instantly find out how many days are left in the year.
  3. Average: Calculate the average of a sequence of numbers.
  4. Salary calculator: This nifty tool calculates a salary based on wage per hour and number of hours worked.
  5. Temperature: Convert Farenheit to Celsius or vice versa.
  6. Weight: Convert U.S. measurements to metric.
  7. Scientific calculator: Instantly gain access to a scientific calculator here.

Bookmarking and Saving

Manage all of your school work, saved sites, favorite research spots and bookmarks online here.

  1. del.icio.us linkbacks: Find out a page’s del.icio.us history and del.icio.us reviews.
  2. + later: Save a web page for later using this tool.
  3. Password Saver: This bookmarklet makes your browser remember login information for different sites.
  4. Convert Me: Here you can convert YouTube videos to other formats. Uses Zamzar.
  5. Send Selected Text: Internet Explorer users can select text from a web page, click on this bookmarklet, and a new Outlook Express message body will open.
  6. Take Screenshot: Capture a screenshot of any web page with one click.
  7. Furl: Access Furl faster.
  8. Duplicate Page: Create a copy of your current page as an alternative to saving it.
  9. Bzzster: Share and save pages with Bzzster.
  10. Shareaholic: Share your current web page on Digg, del.icio.us, FriendFeed, Google Bookmarks, Google Reader, Magnolia, Twitter, and more.

Productivity and Short Cuts

These short cuts will help you keep all of your work and school research organized as you finish your degree program without slowing you down.

  1. Search and highlight: This tool scans your current page for the words and phrases you enter.
  2. Open URL: Open text-only links.
  3. Count selected words: Counts the words in a selected text.
  4. Go to Selected URL: Go to a selected URL without having to copy/paste it.
  5. Previous Page in New Window: Head back to the previous page you visited without losing your current page.
  6. Bugmenot: Bypass registration forms with Bugmenot.

People and Communication

Find people and communicate with your references and collaborators with these bookmarklets. 

  1. Append Signature: Add your signature to the end of blog posts using this bookmarklet from Stephen Ostermiller.
  2. Find Phone Numbers: This bookmarklet looks up all the U.S. phone numbers on a web page.
  3. Send Location: Send a web page’s location to someone without having to send the entire page.
  4. Mail To: Mail a web page to your friends with this tool.
  5. Create URL from Text: Create an HTML link from a plain-text URL.
  6. Search Biography: Look up a biography here.
  7. Search Discussion Groups: Using DejaNews, this bookmarklet searches discussion groups.
  8. Find somebody’s home page: Find a person’s home page with this Google search.
  9. Personal Note: Leave notes for yourself and research partners on a page with this bookmarklet until you exit the browser.
  10. Confidence Booster: This fun tool showers you with compliments when you’re feeling low.

Search

Use these bookmarklets for a faster, more streamlined search. 

  1. Amazon This: Search Amazon by clicking on this bookmarklet and then entering your title or keyword search.
  2. Google Site Search: Search your current web page using Google’s search power.
  3. Web Archive Search: Find a website using the Wayback Machine here.
  4. Ebay search: Search ebay here.
  5. Wikipedia Search: Search Wikipedia quickly with this tool.
  6. Search IMdB: Search IMdB for actors, titles and more.
  7. Google News Search: This bookmarklet for Safari searches Google News.
  8. Google Blog Search: Conduct a Google blog search faster.
  9. Song Lyrics: Look up song lyrics and music here.
  10. Search the King James Bible: Look up people, keywords and more in the King James Bible.
  11. Search the Quran: Search the Quran with this bookmarklet.
  12. Search American literature: English majors can find quotes, characters, references and more in American literature.
  13. Search Dogpile: With one click, search Dogpile.
  14. Search MetaCrawler: Search MetaCrawler even faster with this tool.
  15. Search CNN News: Look up news stories on CNN.
  16. Search Your Health Daily: Perform a faster search on Your Health Daily.
  17. Yahoo Picture Search: Find photos from Yahoo here.

Customization

Customize your web experience to make researching even more enjoyable and organized.

  1. TinyURL: Shorten URLs for Twitter and other uses with this tool.
  2. Mobilize Me: Mobile users can reformat web pages using this tool.
  3. Display Images: View all the images on a web page in a centered column.
  4. Center window: Keep all your windows at the center of your screen.
  5. Hide all images: Hide images on a web page.
  6. Resize window: Here you can resize a window to an exact width and height.
  7. Zoom: These bookmarklets let you zoom pages and/or images in and out.
  8. View cookies: View a page’s cookies here.
  9. Resize fonts: Change the size of a page’s fonts.
  10. Google Toolbar: This toolbar lets you search Google from any page you’re visiting, find out what pages are related, and more.

Reference

Look up words, translations, locations and more when you use these bookmarklets. 

  1. Google Translate: Drag a browser button for languages like Polish, Swedish, Korean or Arabic into your toolbar.
  2. Urban Dictionary lookup: Look up words in the urban dictionary when you’re online.
  3. Acronym lookup: Look up confusing acronyms with this tool.
  4. Map This: Just enter an address and get taken to the map.
  5. Movie Times: Look up movie times in your area with this easy tool.
  6. Wikipedia: Instantly get directed to a Wikipedia entry about your query using this bookmarklet.
  7. OneLook Search: Look up definitions with OneLook here.
  8. Oxford English dictionary: Look up words in the Oxford English dictionary.
  9. Alexa site profile: Get information about a web page’s traffic.
  10. Merriam-Webster Thesaurus: Get synonyms here.
  11. Dictionary.com Lookup: Look up words at Dictionary.com.
  12. NASDAQ stock quotes: Look up stock quotes on the NASDAQ here.
  13. MapBlast: Look up non-U.S. cities using MapBlast.

Miscellaneous

This collection of bookmarklets can help you find recipes, keep track of your passwords and more.

  1. View passwords: See what you’re typing into a password box instead of ****.
  2. Find a Recipe: Look for a specific recipe here.
  3. Page freshness: Verify when a page was last updated.
  4. Date and Time: Quickly check the date and time.
  5. Backdrop: This tool blacks out the windows you aren’t looking at.
  6. IP Address: This bookmarklet will tell you your current IP address.

100 Blogs that Will Save You Time & Make You More Productive

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Today’s busy lifestyles require that everyone put in extra hours when it comes to careers, family, and even free time. Learn how to better manage your time to get more done in less time. The following blogs will help you find ways to become more productive whether it’s at home or work–and no matter what profession you have. Entrepreneurs, professors, students, creatives, technology buffs, and even those just looking for inspiration for productive lives will all find blogs with plenty of information and suggestions to get things done more efficiently.

Productivity for Life

Many of the blogs listed in this section are super popular–and for good reason. The advice found in these blogs includes suggestions for finding time, managing money, creating more time for family, and even finding your happiness.

  1. Stepcase Lifehack. The posts here not only include ways to become more productive, but also offer suggestions to help streamline and enhance your money, technology, work, and more.
  2. Zen Habits. The inspirational posts here cover many ways to make your life more simple and at the same time, enriched. From family time to work to money, you can find great tips here.
  3. SimpleProductivityBlog. Find tips on productivity, simplicity, ways to incorporate technology, and more at this blog.
  4. Productivity in Context. The posts here offer suggestions for boosting your productivity and also provides tools for increasing your organization.
  5. Scott H Young. Written by a student at university, this popular blog offers tons of information to help balance energy, productivity, and life.
  6. Get Everything Done. Mark Forster writes about time management and personal organization on his blog.
  7. Productivity501. Increase your personal productivity with the advice available here with focus on time management, money, organization, and technology.
  8. The Slacker Method. The tips on this blog are all referred to as "Slacker Method for…" but they are truly just productive ways to manage your day-to-day tasks with tips on everything from getting ready for work in the morning to measuring without a ruler.
  9. Productive Flourishing. This blog is for those who are too busy to try out new productivity systems and need suggestions that affect them immediately. Check out the recent Beyond Productivity series to see what many productivity gurus have been discussing.
  10. Dumb Little Man. Productivity, saving money, and staying sane are the focus of the posts at this popular blog.
  11. Marc and Angel Hack Life. Get tips for personal productivity with this blog.
  12. parent hacks. No one needs to find more time in the day than busy parents, and this blog helps with great tips. Check out the mean maraca tip for dealing with road rage–even non-parents could use this one.
  13. The Cranking Widgets Blog. Personal productivity is the focus of this popular blog with recent posts including disconnecting from the computer, too much work killing productivity, and being a career renegade.
  14. Nick Pagan. With topics such as procrastination, GTD, and cleaning the mind of clutter, this advice at this blog can boost your productivity.
  15. Productivity 101. Lifehacking, GTD, and personal productivity are at the heart of the posts at this blog.
  16. An Extra Hour Every Day. This blog offers great suggestions for saving time and boosting productivity for work, travel, and home.
  17. Tools for Thought. Find ways to change your thinking, behavior, and habits to make positive changes to increase productivity with the tips and information here.
  18. Matthew Cornell. This productivity consultant offers advice for personal and work productivity on his blog.
  19. Ian’s Messy Desk. Get suggestions ranging from risk-taking to mind-mapping to ways to keep a journal with this blog that offers ideas to boost productivity.

Productivity Specifically for Work

While many productivity blogs focus on both personal productivity and productivity at work, these blogs specialize in the work variety.

  1. Productivity Cafe. Learn tips to increase your productivity at work with the advice at this blog.
  2. Organize IT. This blog features organization, personal development, and more to help boost productivity at work to make more time for life.
  3. Business Hacks. From writing great resumes to effective note-taking, this blog offers great advice to creating a more productive work life.
  4. GTD Times. Authorized by David Allen, the founder of Getting Things Done, this blog focuses on GTD in a business environment and also provides a heavy dose of technology and GTD.
  5. The Queen of KAOS. For those who work at home, this blog offers tips for time management, productivity, working with kids in the house, goal-setting, and more.

Productivity for Creatives

If you are a creative type, these blogs are for you and offer plenty of suggestions for ways to work and live more productively.

  1. 43 Folders. This blog is devoted to helping spark creativity while increasing productivity at work.
  2. LifeClever. This blog for designers focuses on creativity and productivity in both life and work.
  3. LifeDev. Devoted to empowering creative types, topics include taking care of your body to boost your brain power and ways to boost creativity.
  4. Presentation Zen. If your professional life requires you make presentations, then you must read this blog. From technology to creativity, the tips here are invaluable.
  5. A List Apart. Web designers can find plenty of advice about creating effective websites with this blog.
  6. eirikso.com. Eirik Solheim approaches photography and marketing with a less-is-more approach that he shares with the posts in his blog.
  7. Escape from Cubical Nation. For those creatives trying to break out on their own, this blog offers constructive advice and suggestions to help make the switch to a productive and liberating work experience.
  8. David Seah. The explorative and insightful posts on this blog offer new ways for creatives to think about goals, productivity, and more.

Productivity with Technology

Technology provides so many ways to help people make the most of their time. These blogs provide great advice for ways to incorporate technology into your life to save time and work more efficiently.

  1. Lifehacker. With an emphasis on the high tech, this blog offers tons of suggestions for making work and life more productive.
  2. Gizmodo. While some technology works opposite of productivity, most of the fun gadgets and apps found here will help you live and work more productively–or at least more technically connected.
  3. Hack the Day. This blog promotes personal productivity, ideas for easier computer usage, and software to make life easier.
  4. My Stuff for Getting Things Done. This blog provides tips for getting things done with a special focus on lifehacks and technology.
  5. Smart Productivity. Written by a software engineer, this blog on productivity and GTD has a definite technological edge to it.
  6. Technotheory. This blog strives to bring technology to it’s readers in hopes of improving productivity and happiness.
  7. Did I Get Things Done. This GTD blog offers plenty of tech solutions to aid in your goal of getting it all done.
  8. Wild Apricot Blog. Productivity for organizations through technology is the theme of this blog.
  9. A simple matter of…. With a unique combination of productivity tips and programming tips, those who work in technology can gain plenty of helpful information.
  10. Signal vs. Noise. A blog of 37 Signals, the posts here cover a wide range including technology, design, simplicity, and the surrounding culture.

Entrepreneurship

Many of these blogs teach techniques for entrepreneurs that will help them become better at a specific aspect of the whole business. Some focus on copywriting, others on marketing, and others on communication. Follow this advice and your productivity and time saved will increase by doing things more efficiently and correctly.

  1. Dave Cheong. This software engineer is working towards entrepreneurship and offers plenty of tips to help your entrepreneurial endeavors as well.
  2. Copyblogger. If online marketing is your gig, then you won’t want to miss the copywriting tips available on this blog.
  3. How to Change the World. Guy Kawasaki writes this blog that helps entrepreneurs with topics such as the value of neatness, making the most of collaborative environments, and increasing the value of learning.
  4. Brand Autopsy. This marketing guru passes along plenty of advice to help you cut to the chase when it comes to marketing your products.
  5. Create Your Communications Experience. Bert Decker shares ways to effectively use communication (both written and spoken) to enhance your leadership and business.
  6. Seth’s Blog. Seth Godin offers practical and simple advice to implement effective marketing techniques for your business.
  7. Delightful Work. This blog covers ways to free up time, expressing yourself, putting your vision into practice and more as you move from employee to self-employed.
  8. Careerjolt. While not specifically for entrepreneurs, this blog does offer plenty of advice that business owners and managers alike can use.
  9. Learn This. Leadership, self-education, and successful living are the focus of this blog. Recent topics include humility of leadership, giving direction, and accepting mistakes.
  10. Productivity in Context. Stephen shares his knowledge for leadership, GTD, and productivity for those making their way in the business world.

Productivity in Academia

Whether you are a professor or grad student, you will find helpful information in these blogs especially designed to make your academic life more efficient, productive, and easier to live.

  1. Academic Productivity. Those in academia, whether instructor or student, will find helpful suggestions on increasing productivity, meeting deadlines, and more.
  2. Academhack. From access to inexpensive, yet legal, texts to the debate about wireless in the classroom to free academic email accounts, this blog doesn’t shy away from potentially controversial topics when making suggestions for academic productivity.
  3. Academic Commons. With a focus on technology and liberal arts education, this site seeks to connect those in academia with innovative ways to improve education.
  4. Academic Lifehacker. This blog provides tips and software to help make scholarship more efficient for both students and professors.
  5. Getting Things Done in Academia. Specifically for grad students, this blog offers suggestions for "creativity, scholarship, communication, and time management."
  6. High Touch. With an emphasis on technology and social media, this blog offers insight as well as tips for streamlining your processes.
  7. Productive Scholar. Backing up files, ways to use commute time efficiently, creating great presentations with LaTeX, and portable apps for students are some of the more recent posts on this blog.
  8. Tomorrow’s Professor Blog. MIT and Stanford have created this blog to help facilitate discussion on issues surrounding higher education.
  9. academic coach. Specifically geared toward grad students, recent grads seeking faculty positions, and tenure-track faculty, this blog offers news and advice about succeeding in the academic world.
  10. Professor Time’s Weblog. From creating a supply box that goes along to class with your laptop to grading strategies, this blog has great suggestions for saving time and being more productive.
  11. Proto-Scholar. With tips for productivity to learning to navigate the world of academia, this PhD student shares the journey and lessons learned.

For Students Only

These blogs are specifically for students and offer great suggestions for ways to make the most of your high school or college time and prepare you for a strong future.

  1. HackCollege. College students can learn plenty of helpful tips including helpful technology, surviving the first semester of college, and hangover-hacking.
  2. Gearfire. Learn how to print your own specialized paper, learn about great time-saving web tools, and even get efficient travel suggestions at this blog devoted to helping students succeed.
  3. School is a Game. Providing plenty of tips to help students compete and get ahead, this blog approaches school achievement as a game that you can win.
  4. studenthacks.com. Students can find study tips, productivity ideas, and more to help ensure scholastic success.
  5. Study Hacks. Get great ideas for ways to boost your productivity when it comes to your school work with ideas such as using free time wisely, learning what to quit, and how to get through difficult courses.
  6. Welcome to the Dr. Wizard Group. Dr. Wizard posts advice for college students in this blog.
  7. Grad Hacker. Specifically aimed at grad students, but offering great advice for anyone wanting to boost productivity, this blog offers lots of great suggestions.
  8. That College Kid. With an eye on technology, this blog features plenty of ways college students can work more efficiently.
  9. Surviving College. Ideas at this blog range from setting goals to keeping in touch to decorating with freebies.
  10. The Students’ Blog. From finding affordable workspaces to useful student websites to staying productive over the summer, this blog offers plenty of ideas to keep college students on track and working efficiently.
  11. University Scholar. Recently undergoing a facelift, this blog will focus on ways to get the most out of your education to prepare for your future.
  12. Zen College Life. From keeping healthy to helpful iPhone apps to rewards for reaching goals, this blog is devoted to simplifying college life.
  13. The Good Habits Blog. A spin-off of the book by the same name, this blog covers good habits that students can follow to help ensure their success.

Organization

Staying organized at home and at the office is a huge boost to productivity and time-management. Take the suggestions from these blogs to get rid of clutter, both physically and mentally, and keep your life organized.

  1. Unclutterer. Learn how to unclutter your space and keep it that way with topics covering issues such as downsizing your house, keeping photos organized, and real-life clutter make-overs.
  2. Apartment Therapy. Living in a small space doesn’t mean you have to live under a bunch of clutter. This blog offers stylish and useful ways to transform your small space.
  3. Remodelista. With a focus on simple, uncluttered living space, this blog offers suggestions as well as places to purchase items to keep your living space streamlined and functional.
  4. Everlasting Designs. This blog has the bonus of not only showing readers ways to simplify and declutter their surroundings, but their habits and attitudes as well.
  5. Virtually Organized. Find out how to get rid of clutter, stop procrastinating, better manage your time, and more at this blog.
  6. Get Organized Wizard. Learn how to organize all the different parts of your life with the suggestions from this professional organizer.
  7. The Organized Life. Get tips of the week archived at this blog, which is an extension of Emily Wilska’s website and business.
  8. Jeri’s Organizing & Decluttering News. From unwanted gifts to coat stands to organizing the bath tub, you’ll find plenty of ways to organize your living space with this blog.
  9. DiscoverOrganization.com. This blog offers simple suggestions for getting your mind in the right frame to sharpen your organizational skills. The posts prompt you to think about color, ways to organize your books, and suggestions for cleaning out your closets.
  10. Creative Organizing Blog. Get tips for creative ways to organize your space, suggestions for books to help organize your life, and more.
  11. It’s Not About Your Stuff. Understand the psychology behind why you clutter with the information and suggestions from this blog. While the posts here have slowed, the archives are timely and worth reading.
  12. The Clutter Diet Blog. Get tons of organizing tips from Lorie Marrero. Recent tips include how to manage "high calorie" clutter, planning ahead, and goal-setting.

Productivity through Inspiration

These blogs provide inspiration for your mind and soul so you can approach the daily tasks of your life in a centered state of mind. Find out how much more productively you work when your mind is at peace by reading these blogs.

  1. The Happiness Project. Finding your happiness will improve how you work and live. This blog reports Gretchen Rubin’s experiments to find the best ways of attaining happiness through practical living.
  2. My Bad Habits. Learn how to change from bad habits to good habits and stick with that change by reading the helpful advice at this blog.
  3. Pick the Brain. Personal productivity, motivation, and self-education are the focus of this blog.
  4. AlexShalman.com. The tips at this blog focus on self-improvement with topics that include ways to create your own success and reaching goals.
  5. Lyved. Focus on the positive with the articles found on this blog that offer suggestions for personal improvement in life and work.
  6. Illuminated Mind. Find your energy and inspiration from the posts at this blog that focus on following dreams, letting go of the unnecessary, and more.
  7. On Simplicity. Learn ways to simplify your life, both physically and mentally, and make the most of your time.
  8. Awake @ the Wheel. With topics such as the lie of needing a life purpose, choosing between money and living, and the power of less, this blog will help you find inspiration to make the best choices for your life.
  9. communicatrix. Living by the idea that people learn best through biography, this blogger shares her life lessons in hopes of educating and inspiring her readers.
  10. Share Yoga Blog. Find meditation, inspiration, yoga, and more at this blog.
  11. LessoninLife.com. This blog covers such a wide range that you can find tips for students, ways to build an emergency fund, relationship advice, and life lessons.
  12. Think Simple Now. Read about ways to simplify your life and achieve happiness with the tips at this blog.