Welcome to the weekend! And a happy Labor Day holiday to my fellow Americans and our Canadian neighbours neighbors. In the name of the holiday, if not in the spirit thereof, I want to present a short list of websites I’ve found that can aid you in your labors, by saving time, frustration, or generally making your life more productive: basically, help with "Getting Things Done"!

1. Lifehacker (RSS)


The tagline at Lifehacker is "Tips and downloads for getting things done," which is probably the most cogent and descriptive summary for this site. Want to convert an old table into a chalkboard table? Need the straight dope on how to prepare your Mac for Snow Leopard? Looking for the latest tips on how to optimize Firefox? Go no further than Lifehacker. Every day, there are a dozen or more clear, concise articles on how to make your life easier, whether for Mac OS X, Window, Linux, downloads, or do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.

2. Smarterware (RSS)


Smarterware is the brainchild of Gina Trapani @Ginatrapani, one of the founding editors of Lifehacker. In her words, Smarterware is a place where she "takes notes on using your head (and great software) to get better at work and life." Gina is a Mac maven, a Google guru and Firefox fan (Better Gmail, BetterGReader), and all-around Very Smart Person.

3. Unclutterer (RSS)


Do you want to get (more) organized? Do you want to stay organized? If the answer to either of those questions is even a "qualified maybe," then Unclutterer is the blog for you! Whether you need to organize your garage (something I am in the process of doing this week!), clean up your kitchen, or avoid useless unitaskers, this site will give you plenty of tips on how to streamline both your space and your possessions to get more out of what you have.

4. CoolTools (RSS)

CoolTools is just one of the areas of interest of the very prolific Kevin Kelly. Each day, he’ll highlight one "cool tool," using reader submissions. KK’s definition is any "book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true…Items can be either old or new as long as they are wonderful. We only post things we like and ignore the rest." Now how cool is that?

5. Productivity 501 (RSS)

This site is all about increasing your personal productivity. The publishing schedule averages a post each week, so you aren’t going to get overwhelmed by "stuff I need to do NOW!" Instead, the articles are more thought-provoking, although you’ll also find the "how-to" articles as well. One of my favorites was this week’s "Top 5 Worst Productivity Ideas," including, for example, buying (yet more) software to increase your productivity. Think about that for a moment and you’ll see the point.

Wrapping Up

So there you are: Five cool websites to help you become more effective, efficient, and productive. But I want more! What are some of your favorite places for helping you to get things done smarter, faster, better? Share with us in the comments below.

  • Tami Aug 28, 2009, 11:38

    *gleeful at the chalkboard table link* Oh man, that could be the perfect solution to this old table we’ve got!
    .-= Tami´s latest blog post is If You Were A Vampire… =-.

  • Kestrel Aug 28, 2009, 11:41

    Woot! We have a small table our granddaughter uses when she visits; I’m seriously thinking it should be sanded smooth, primed and painted with chalkboard paint!

    Not positive, but I think you can find “whiteboard” paint as well. Not quite so good for a 5-year-old though, methinks. *wink*

  • Brajana Aug 28, 2009, 11:53

    All great sites! I’ve been following all of them except CoolTools for a long time, Unclutterer probably being my favourite, although Lifehacker is great for software/computery stuff.

    But… isn’t laboUr day weekend next weekend? At least for us neighboUrs to the North, it’s not until the 7th!
    .-= Brajana´s latest blog post is Highlights from the Blogosphere (8/21-8/27) =-.

    • Kestrel Aug 29, 2009, 00:04

      You’re right: I can’t read the calendar. I thought Monday was the 1st. /fail (It’s the same day for both of us: 1st Monday in September.)

  • Softi Aug 28, 2009, 16:19

    I am loving these friday fives Kes, keep up the awesome work! :)
    .-= Softi´s latest blog post is The Cat, otherwise known as Rocky =-.

    • Kestrel Aug 29, 2009, 00:05

      Thanks, Softi–glad you’re enjoying them! The challenge is going to be to continue to come up with interesting topics. I’m afraid more will appeal to smaller niches than otherwise, but we’ll see. :)

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