The internet is supposed to make our lives easier. In many ways, it does. If you’re under the age of thirty, you’ll probably struggle to remember a time when the internet didn’t exist, but your parents and older siblings do. There was once no such thing as social media, mobile internet, or even instant messaging. If you wanted to speak to somebody, you’d have to phone them. If you arranged to meet somebody, you’d have to show up because there was no way to let them know you were late or cancelling. If you wanted to know how your old friends from school were getting along with their lives, the only way to find out was to look them up in the phone book and go for a catch-up. The internet has brought us all closer together for better or for worse.
Despite all the benefits of fast, close communication, we’re still not using the internet as effectively as perhaps we should do. Rather than filling it with helpful information, we’ve largely filled it full of cat memes. There’s so much meaningless content on the internet that it’s hard to know where the helpful content is unless someone provides you with a handy reference guide. We’re going to try to do that now. Here are five incredibly useful websites that you probably didn’t even realise existed.
The Gutenberg Press revolutionised print media and made it available to everybody. Project Gutenberg aims to repeat that trick with digital media. We’ve all become accustomed to reading books on our digital screens thanks to the invention of the Kindle and the subsequent incorporation of the technology behind Kindle into smartphones and tablets. We can read books anywhere we like – all we need is something to read. That’s where Project Gutenberg comes in. It’s a database of almost one hundred thousand books encompassing all genres, ages, and languages. They’re presented in searchable form, and they’re available to read through the website free of charge. There’s no subscription fee and no charge per book. The people behind Project Gutenberg believe that the joy of reading should be accessible to everybody, so it tries to make sure that it is.
Millennials like to talk about the miseries of “adulting.” The word grates on some people, but we all know its meaning. Nobody enjoys the chores that come with adult life, and one of the biggest chores is looking after our money. Very few of us are good at it, and even those who are good at it often resent the time it takes to make sure every pound and penny is precisely where it needs to be. Mint can help with that. It’s an automatic money management tool, and it’s free of charge. It can’t entirely replace the services of a fully qualified accountant, but it can get your accounts into a presentable format, so the amount of work necessary from your accountant is minimal. Better than that, it can help you to monitor your spending and develop a better understanding of where your money is going. Money management needn’t be stressful so long as you have the right support, and much of that support can be provided by Mint.
It’s almost impossible to know whether the news you’re seeing on your television or reading on your preferred news website is biased. Some news channels lean towards the right, and others lean towards the left. The way the news is reported in one country is likely to have a totally different slant to the way it’s reported in another country. The only way to get a full picture of what’s really happening is by reading multiple news sources of every persuasion, but who’s got time to do that? Actually, everybody does because Upstract exists. This handy website is probably the best news aggregating tool on the internet. You may have heard of it under its previous name of Popurls. The site aggregates news from multiple sources and presents the gathered information on a single page in a digestible format. Somewhere between all of those clashing reports is the truth, and this page will help you to find it.
JustWatch is a website that the internet has needed for a very long time. It does for television viewers what casino comparison sites do for gamers. No self-respecting player spends money on a casino site without checking Sister-Site.co.uk first because without doing so, they’d have no way of knowing whether the promotions and deals available on one casino network are any better or worse than the deals on another. Swap “streaming service” for “casino network,” and you have the basic idea behind JustWatch. It tells you which television shows and movies are on which streaming services, and if they’re available on more than one service, it will tell you where you can find it for the lowest price. There’s no longer any need to scroll through Amazon Prime, Netflix endlessly, and Disney Plus, wondering which one of them hosts the movie you’re itching to see – all the information you need is right here.
Have you ever encountered the issue of needing to send a file somewhere but not being able to because of file attachment limits? Your first instinct might be to “zip” the file to make it easier to send, but there are times when no amount of compression can get the job done. Uploading the file to Google Drive or Dropbox might be a possibility, but only if you have a valid account with either platform and enough storage space to spare. There is a solution, though – you can use Wormhole. The Wormhole app will allow you to share files of any size with anybody you like directly through a web browser, protected by end-to-end encryption to ensure that you, your data, and the recipient of your data all remain safe. You can even share whole folders if you want to, which is something that would never be possible through email attachments.
All five of these websites and apps are designed to make our lives a little bit easier, so now we’ve shared them with you, we hope your life will become that little bit easier, too!