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100 Terrific Productivity Tools for the Bored or Unemployed


By Meredith Walker

Whether you’re bored out of your mind at the office or don’t have an office to go to, there’s no reason to sit around idly when there’s so much you could potentially be getting done. With the web at your fingertips, you can find numerous ways to keep your mind and body engaged and active. These 100 tools will help you get busy doing just about anything from organizing your DVD collection to planning your potential future, giving you no excuse to be bored or unemployed for long. Of course, unemployed individuals who wish to improve their job prospects may pursue an education from affordable online colleges that offer online bachelors degrees.

Organizing Your Life

If you’ve got nothing else to do why not organize your life? These tools will help you manage everything from chores to your fitness routine.

  1. Backpack: Whether you’re organizing business prospects or just your own personal affairs, this tool can help manage schedules, documents, discussions and more.
  2. Mindomo: If your mind is buzzing and you can’t seem to get a clear picture of an idea that is forming, try out this mind-mapping tool to lay out your thoughts and get them organized into a coherent picture.
  3. Stuffopolis: With this site you’ll be able to organize and track just about anything you own.
  4. Chore Buster: Make dividing up the chores in your household easier with this helpful tool that keeps track of who’s in charge of what.
  5. Inbox Organizer: Is your inbox full of spam, junk and other flotsam and jetsam? This tool can help you clean it up and get you organized.
  6. Manage My Ideas: Use this site to keep track of all your moments of inspiration so when it comes time to use them you’ll know just where they are.
  7. Daily Plate: Without a job to keep you busy it can be easy to fall into unhealthy eating habits. This site will help you track and monitor what you’re putting into your body and how much activity you’re doing.
  8. MyHomePoint: Check out this tool to organize your home and your family in one easy place with schedules, calendars and much more.
  9. GiftBox: Have a million birthday and holiday wish lists? This tool will help you organize them and make sure everyone gets just what they want.
  10. We Gotta Eat: With this tool you’ll be able to record and share all your recipes for easy access and the ability to generate shopping lists to match your cooking needs.
  11. SimplifID: Here you can create an account and use it to log into all of your password-required sites, making your life a lot simpler.
  12. What Bills?: Make sure you never forget to pay a bill again with this tool that tracks and helps you to pay everything from your mortgage to the electric bill.
  13. OurWeddingDay: It’s hard to imagine being bored if you have a wedding coming up, and this tool can help you make sure that everything is planned, ready and wonderful for the big day.
  14. LibraryThing: Enter in your entire library to this site and you’ll be able to track, make notes and share your favorite reads.
  15. allmythings: Use this tool to make a list of all the things you own. You never know when you might need it for insurance purposes.

Resume and Job Search

Not a fan of being unemployed? These tools will help you to spend your new found free time more productively searching for a new source of income. While taking advantage of these tools, keep in mind that an online master’s or bachelor’s degree could be the ultimate resume booster.

  1. Gramlee: Make sure your resume and cover letter is free of spelling and grammar errors by submitting it through this site first.
  2. Side Job Track: Just because you don’t have full-time work doesn’t mean you can’t work on the side. This tool will help you keep tabs on your work and who knows, maybe small jobs could turn into a big career.
  3. Worksolver: With this site you can network, manage your resume and other important information and keep track of interviews.
  4. JibberJobber: This site is designed to help you manage all aspects of your career, from finding a job to keeping great connections.
  5. Virtual Job Coach: Here you’ll find a job search engine, resume builder, contact management, to-do list and much more to keep you on track.
  6. PayScale: Do you know how much your job skills are worth? Check out this site to find out just how much you should be making.
  7. Career Value Tool: Give this site a visit to learn what it is you value most in your career. It could help point you in the right direction.
  8. Indeed: Search for jobs in your area using this tool that scours multiple other sites for the best listings.
  9. JobPile: This site will make it easier to search for a job, with aggregation of numerous job boards for the best positions available.
  10. Juju: This job search engine is sure to streamline your job search.

Socializing and Networking

Whether you want to make connections that can help you get a job or just want to keep in touch with those distant cousins, these great tools can make it fast and easy.

  1. LinkedIn: This site is a great place to make career contacts and get in touch with old coworkers and people who may be able to find you work.
  2. BigContacts: Check out this tool to better manage your business contacts, keep track of clients and ensure you never miss an appointment.
  3. Skype: Chat with friends, family and potential employers with this web-based calling tool.
  4. MyFamily.com: Here you can build your own private website so that your family can share photos, memories and more without it being public.
  5. Ning: Whether you want to network with other recently unemployed individuals or just keep in touch with old friends, this site is perfect for creating a customized social network.
  6. Amiglia: This site serves as a virtual family tree, photo album and great way to keep in touch with all those you love.
  7. Socializr: If you’ve got nothing else to do, why not plan a family picnic or a get together of old friends. This site makes it easy and efficient.
  8. Zvents: Check out this site to find out what’s going on in your area so you can stop being bored and get out of the house.
  9. Facebook: With Facebook, users can create a profile that will allow them to manage personal contacts or get their business name out there.
  10. MyHeritage: Sign up for this site and you’ll be able to build a family tree that will allow you to keep in touch with all of your relatives, close and distant.
  11. Ryze: This business networking site can help you make new contacts and reconnect with old ones.
  12. Fast Pitch: Have a great idea? This tool will help you get in touch with businesses and potential investors so you can sell your idea and start making money.
  13. Xing: This global site is designed to help professionals connect and may be able to help you find a new job.
  14. GroupLoop: Whether you want to keep your family in touch or your ultimate frisbee team, this site makes it easy to chat, send messages and arrange meet ups.

Hobbies and Fun

Book lovers, crafters, golfers and more will find great ways to stay active in their hobbies and leisure activities with these tools.

  1. CraftMemo: With this tool you’ll be able to list and keep track of the supplies and finished products you have on hand, ideal for everything from beading to making birdhouses.
  2. TripHub: Taking a trip doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and this great site makes it easy to plan for a getaway with lots of other friends.
  3. team snap: Organize your recreational teams, whether you play soccer, baseball or kickball, with this helpful tool.
  4. RubyChip: Spend your free time planning your next big poker night with the help of this online tool.
  5. GoodReads: List and share your literary favorites on this site. You’ll meet others who share your passion and find great suggestions for new books.
  6. WhatshouldIreadnext.com: Check out this site to find a suggestion for a great book to read to pass your time.
  7. LivingSocial: This site can help you catalog everything you do from your favorite ski spots to the beer you like to drink. You’ll be able to read what others posted as well and maybe get some ideas of new things to try.
  8. TournEase: If you love to play golf, this site makes it a whole lot simpler to set up a tournament, whether for your favorite charitable cause or just for fun with the guys.
  9. DOPPLR: Learn more about cities around the world and how you can visit them through this site.
  10. Closet Assistant: Unsure what to wear? Want help putting together great outfits? This site can help you through, step-by-step so you’ll look great for a date or a day at the beach.

Browsing the Web

For those who prefer to spend their free time a little more lazily, there’s always web browsing. These tools will help you do it as productively as possible whether you want to buy a new suit or leave yourself a note about potential entrepreneurial endeavors.

  1. Google Reader: Organize all your favorite RSS feeds into one easily-accessible place so you can waste time more efficiently.
  2. diigo: Sign up for this site and you’ll be able to highlight and sticky the web. Better yet, you can access your notes on any computer or iPhone.
  3. Delicious: With this site you can not only keep up on what others think are newsworthy, interesting sites, but add your suggestions own as well.
  4. NetVibes: Make your web browsing easy by creating a catch-all start page with this site that allows you to access all your important stuff at once.
  5. iPaper: With this tool you’ll be able to read .doc files right from your browser.
  6. MyStickies: Leave yourself virtual stickies all over the web with this fun and easy-to-use tool.
  7. Notefish: This tool is a great way to do research on the web, whether you’re trying to find a new job or plan a trip to somewhere exotic. You’ll be able to save, annotate and organize all your data and keep it stored in one simple place.
  8. Pocket Manila: Check out this online notebook to jot down your ideas, sketch out art or anything else you can think of.
  9. SecondBrain: This site combines the content you create from over 20 social networking sites into one easy and searchable mass of data.
  10. PriceScan: Make sure you’re getting the best deal possible on anything you’re buying on the web by checking this site before hitting purchase.
  11. Coupons.com: Find out what coupons are out there for just about every product you could want.

Creativity

Since you don’t have anything else to do, why not embrace your inner artist? These tools will help you create art, write and even share your work with the world (and potential employers) when you’re done. While utilizing these tools, you may want to consider the best online degrees in art and design to help you cultivate your creative abilities.

  1. Zhura: This free software will help you start writing that play, TV show or movie you’ve never gotten around to writing.
  2. Aviary: With vector editing, image editing, and visual laboratories, this site is a great place to explore your creative side and create great images.
  3. Issuu: Check out this site to publish your own images, documents and writings and see what others are putting up as well.
  4. WordPress: With a little free time on your hands why not start blogging? WordPress is a free and popular place to start.
  5. Audacity: This tool allows you to mix, edit and tweak your audio files.
  6. Coroflot: Use this site to publish your portfolio and find potential clients.
  7. ComicLife: Jazz up your photos and get creative on the Web with this fun tool that lets you add text, create stories and more.
  8. GoAnimate: If you’re interested in animation, why not create your own with this awesome online tool.
  9. Writer: This tool acts like an online typewriter, storing and saving what you write as you write it so you don’t have to worry about losing an afternoon’s work.
  10. NaNoWriMo: Think you can write a novel? This site challenges you to do it in only one month. You won’t be alone as thousands work at this challenge every year.

To-Do Lists

If you’ve got nothing to do, why not make a list of the things you want to do? You can lay out the steps to finding a new job or just fun things you’d like to do in your free time.

  1. Remember the Milk: Divide your tasks up into work, personal and study to keep track of all aspects of your life that need doing.
  2. Nutshell: With nutshell you can search the web, take notes and manage a simple to-do list all from one place.
  3. OrchestrateHQ<: This task manager makes is easy to keep track of everything you’d like to get done this week, month or year.
  4. Ta-da List: This easy list tool can be a simple way to make and share your to-dos, goals and desires.
  5. The Online CEO: Manage your life like a business with this easy-to-use productivity tool that gives you points for completing tasks.
  6. TaskThis!: Create tasks, add notes and publish them in an RSS feed with this tool.
  7. Toodledo: This to-do list can help you get organized, motivated and get more productive with access to your data from anywhere.
  8. ListPool: With list pool you can not only create lists of things you want to get done but share them with others as well.
  9. Todoist: The simple interface and built in calendar of this tool makes it a great choice for keeping track of all your tasks.
  10. Nozbe: Keep track of everything you’ve got going on with this tool. You can take it mobile as well, for task tracking on the go.

Setting Goals and Planning

Just because you don’t have anything to do right now doesn’t mean you want it to always be that way. These great tools will help you start planning for your future, whether that means setting goals for finding new work, planning your wedding, or just figuring out what to do next week.

  1. Joe’s Goals: Whether you’ve decided today is the day you’re going to stop smoking or want to start spending more time on your hobbies, this site can help you stick to your goals and follow through.
  2. 43 Things: With this site you can list your personal goals and get support from others who have the same ones.
  3. LifeTango: Check out the tools on this site to brainstorm, get motivated and set goals.
  4. Ben Franklin’s Virtue Chart: Go old school and work towards having better virtues like temperance, silence, industry and frugality with this downloadable PDF.
  5. eLifePlans: Set goals, get coached by others and find personal and outside motivation on this site.
  6. Goals Together: There’s no reason to feel alone in working towards any goal as this site proves. You’ll get support from friends, family and other users no matter what you want to start or stop doing.
  7. Goalmigo: Meet up with others who have similar goals and work together to meet them on this site.
  8. SuperViva: A bit like a virtual "bucket list", this site will allow you to record them, meet others who feel similarly and check them off as you accomplish them.
  9. MyProgress: Mark every day that passes on this great and visual tool for goal maintenance.
  10. Don’t Break the Chain: This is an incredibly simple tool, but an effective one. If you’ve gone three weeks without breaking your resolution why start now? Here you’ll get motivation and help persevering towards your goals.

Learn Something New

Online classes or DIY projects can be a great way to pass the time if you’ve got nothing to do and a great way to improve your skills if you’re in the market for a job. These resources can help you to learn a wide variety of things, from simple car maintenance to astrophysics.

  1. iTunesU: Just download iTunes and you’ll be ready to get started with the lessons on iTunesU that range from language learning to lectures at world-class colleges and universities.
  2. OCW Finder: OpenCourseware can be a great way to learn about college-level material without having to actually attend college. Check out this search engine to match you up with courses on subjects you’re interested in.
  3. NanoLearning: Give these tiny learning modules a try when you want to learn more about something but don’t want to spend hours doing it.
  4. Instructables: On Instructables you’ll find videos that will show you how to do a variety of things from the practical to the entertaining.
  5. LiveMocha: For many, learning another language can be a valuable skill to add to a resume. This resource will allow you to try out your language skills with a native speaker, so both you and they can learn to speak more fluently.
  6. VideoJug: Check out this how-to site to learn about simple things like eating ethnic foods correctly, styling your hair and even how to do well on college tests.
  7. GoogleScholar: This site is a great resource for doing research or searching for more information on a subject that interests you. Best of all, all the results are scholarly materials so you won’t have to worry about credibility.
  8. Library of Congress: Take advantage of those tax dollars by using the resources provided by the Library of Congress. You can read about American history, see photographs and thousands of source documents.
  9. Newsvine: Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up with what’s going on in the world. This site will give you frequent updates on the important news out there.
  10. Project Gutenberg: Here you’ll be able to read hundreds of famous and widely-acclaimed books without ever leaving your chair.

May 26th, 2009 written by Staff Writers

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