These are Few of my Favorite Tools – Remember the frustration and irritation if the internet is down or the computer is on the blink? Computers connected to the internet have become an indispensable part of our lives at the workplace, schools and even at home.
Not only does this provide access to vast amounts of information, this also provides avenues for entertainment, distraction and also wastage of time. A study reveals that if someone was spending only one minute visiting each and every pages of the network it would take him approximately 31 thousand years without any rest. Great online tools and applications are definitely like looking for needles in a huge haystack.Over the years some of the online applications I use have made life much easier. The information available on the web provides the perfect research ground wonderfully assisted by Google search. The more precise and relevant your search terms are, the more quickly you can find the information. It also allows for product comparisons and reviews to arrive at the best match for your requirements. Is it any wonder that we ask our children to ‘Google’ for answers to any questions that we cannot answer? Another service provided by Google is Gmail. I have created auto-forwards of all my email accounts to a Gmail account and this gives me the wonderful facility to back up all my email accounts at one place, easily searchable and accessible to me everywhere. Google only allows for a maximum of 10 MB attachments with an email and many a time scanned documents, photographs or other files maybe much larger. Dropbox.com, to the rescue, with a free 2 GB online storage which synchronizes your backup folder on your computer. One can also share folders with any person via email. You have to try this out today.
Life has changed for me with my son leaving home for college. Skype, an online tool with free video call facility is my sanity saver by filling the communications gap. It is currently my number one online tool. It’s a snap to download and install from www.skype.com and enables video, audio calls, chatting, file sharing and even desktop sharing absolutely free, PC to PC. The quality is good and it’s like being in my son’s dorm room. I can even ask him to make his bed and clean his room. No wonder one can see 10 million people or more logged in to Skype using it for personal and business use.
This is not a promotion for Skype, and is just an example of the various online tools available online that can simplify our daily lives. Many of our activities can now be moved offline to online for a faster and more efficient outcome. Another such activity is shopping, which can be quite a frustrating experience if you cannot get exactly what you need, such as books, music, electronic appliances etc. Online shopping in the comfort of your home without burning gas and rubber can be very productive. However, using your credit card online is always a risk. I find that Paypal is the best way to pay and widely accepted at most online stores. It’s great for buying books and music on Amazon and deals on eBay. What’s more, I can share the account with my son to now purchase his college books online too. A personal Paypal account is easy to setup and link to your personal credit card. The payment via Paypal does not reveal your credit card information and also allows for buyer protection and transaction resolution, if any.
Another regular online purchase is for airline tickets with global travel and airline sites providing a quick comparison of routing and ticket prices to enable an informed decision for holidays or other travel plans. I extensively use Google maps to find out my way even in my own city. Furthermore, it allows me to quickly locate hotels before I travel to gauge proximity and locality before I book to locate the most convenient hotel for my trip. Further daily uses on the web include learning to cook by watching Youtube videos and it has lessons and how to on almost everything.
The web is all pervasive and with new applications being launched every day, it is merely a matter of stumbling upon one that assists in day to activities from calendars, to do lists, budgeting, health advice and even homework. It is a treasure trove with its veritable snakes, traps and pitfalls for the unprepared. Be a savvy net user, read reviews and recommendations and only then test the applications or tools for use.