Anyone who leans on the OCD side of things such as myself probably has a lot of bookmarks in their web browser. How would you feel if your computer crashed and you lost them all? Personally I would be devastated after cultivating them for years.

Fear not, there’s a solution, and it’s called Xmarks. This free service is tied to your web browser and syncs your bookmarks on demand (and every time you close the browser) to ensure your bookmarks are never lost. You can access them online wherever there’s an internet connection and restore them should you need to reinstall your operating system and/or web browser (or even if you decide to use a new browser and want to easily add your bookmarks to it).

This service has saved me more times than I can count, like the time I somehow inadvertently completely deleted a folder full of bookmarks in Firefox. That’s because Xmarks keeps a history of your bookmarks so you can restore what you’ve removed from the browser itself. I love this service and highly recommend it!



I recently wrote about the benefit of using an RSS feed reader to keep on top of content you’re interested in, and a perfect compliment to that is a great free program called Pocket. Available on the web and mobile devices, Pocket’s primary purpose is to house content you’re interested in reading. You can save your content from several sources directly into Pocket with just a few keystrokes.

For instance, let’s say you’re browsing your Twitter feed and you come across a tweet that contains a URL to an article that sounds interesting but you just don’t have the time or patience to read it right then and there. You could just hunt through your feed later and try to locate the link, or you could send that link over to Pocket and know it will be there when you have the time to read it.

I utilize Pocket as a way to keep on top of my Twitter feed and articles in Feedly that I’m interested in but don’t feel like dealing with at the exact moment they appear. When I’m at work with limited break time I’ll scroll through my feeds and just save articles to Pocket so that when I’m home later that evening I can log into Pocket and read all the articles at once. This works great for the deal sites I follow as well when I’m not near my computer and am able to print coupons immediately.

Once you mark an article as read in Pocket it still lives in your archive which is searchable (as is your inbox). It’s useful for saving stuff that you think you might want to reference later but don’t want to bookmark in a browser never to be accessed again.

If you decide to check out Pocket please feel free to come back here and comment on what you think about it. I love it and have been using it for a long time as it’s a perfect companion to Feedly. Sure, you can save articles in Feedly to be read later but I like Pocket as it’s the one stop place for all my articles regardless of their source (Feedly, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, the web, etc).



Have you ever heard of RSS feeds? RSS stands for real simple syndication. RSS uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information: blog entries, news headlines, audio, and/or video. Many websites, even personal blogs, have RSS feeds which you can subscribe to via a feed reader. Why would you want to do this? Why wouldn’t you? Instead of visiting your favorite websites manually to check for new content, the content is delivered to you via your feed reader.

Each reader has it’s own pros and cons. Prior to its demise, I was using Google Reader, and now I use Feedly. I’m subscribed to a ton of feeds – everything from personal blogs to self improvement & finance sites, to daily deal sites. Feedly is compatible with mobile devices and the data is synchronized across platforms so I can read feeds on the web, my tablet, or my phone and once that feed is marked as read it won’t appear in the application if I pick up my reading on another device.

In addition to having content delivered to you regularly, Feedly makes it easy to share content via social networks and email. If I come across an article I want my husband to read, I can email him the link straight from Feedly. Or I can post it to Facebook to share with with my friends (Twitter and Google+ are available options as well).

Feedly makes it easy to stay on top of my interests without spending a lot of time hunting down the content, and since it’s free, I highly recommend you give it a try. I’m willing to bet once you do you’ll never want to go back to using your bookmarks to visit your favorite sites again.



Have you heard of a website called camelcamelcamel? Perhaps not. This site gives you some fantastic insights into whether the price of something at Amazon.com is a good deal or not. All you have to do is the following:

1. Locate the item on Amazon.com
2. Copy the Amazon.com URL from the address bar of your browser.
3. Go to camelcamelcamel.com
4. Paste the Amazon URL into the search box.
5. Click the Find Products button.

Ta-da! Now you’re given a pricing history of that item you’re coveting and you can see whether the price Amazon is currently asking is really a good deal or not like in the below example (click to make larger). You can also gauge by the pricing history whether that item is likely to decrease in price anytime soon.


On top of that, you can have the site keep track of the price for you and email and/or send you a tweet via Twitter when the price reaches your desired amount. It’s as easy as filling out the Desired Price, Email, and/or Twitter boxes and clicking the Start Tracking button (click the image to make it larger).


You’ll get an email confirmation as well that leads back to your private tracking page so you can make adjustments or cancel the tracking once you’ve purchased the item.

I use this service all the time for big-ticket items to ensure that I’m not overspending on the things I want. You do have to have some patience, however, as sometimes it could be months before the item you want reaches your desired price. But it’s definitely worth it to save a few bucks on those items you don’t really need right away.


If you’re anything like me, you spend quite a bit of time on the internet each day. And if you’re also like me, you have multiple devices and are hit left and right each day by the number of apps out there all wanting space on your device. I’m either fortunate or cursed in that I have both Android and iOS devices for apps. And I actually live by both; my Galaxy S4 is my personal phone, but when I’m at home I primarily use my iPad. I also have an iPhone for work as well as another Android tablet.

I thought I would give a quick rundown of a few of the apps I use the most. These are available on both iOS and Android, and best of all they’re free. These apps can also be accessed from any good old fashioned web browser (that’ll be another article later, my favorite web browser).

So off we go!
Pinterest is hands down my favorite app today. I don’t really understand why more guys haven’t jumped on Pinterest. It’s perfect for our short attention span. It’s all pictures with only a little reading – what’s not to like about that?! Pinterest has everything categorized really well and with tag searches there’s something to find that interests you. I stick to many of the same categories; DIY, GEEK, HEALTH & FITNESS, FOOD AND DRINK and HUMOR. There is so much food pinned you can go for days looking through it all. The Mrs. and I have tried quite a few recipes with great success. There’s a social aspect to Pinterest as well. You can connect with your friends and see things they’ve pinned as well as find new people to follow who you’ve come across. There’s a tie-in with Facebook for easy sign-in as well as seeing who in your friends list are already on Pinterest. Check it out. Right now. Seriously, if you don’t already have it, GO!

If you’re a business professional I think a LinkedIn profile is a must-have. For those of you not familiar with LinkedIn, it’s like Facebook for your career. But you have to remember, this is all about you professionally, your career, and livelihood. There’s no discussion about how much fun you had drinking with your buddies last weekend. People (read: future employers) really do look at your profile. This is where you need to have your act together; time for your professional game face. LinkedIn is a great place to make connections, get your resume/profile out there, and keep in touch with industry news. Often, moving up in your career is about connections and networking; LinkedIn is a great place to keep you moving in the right direction.

Flipboard is a basically a news reader. Flipboard gets its name from the way you “flip” through the abbreviated article pages. It puts together news by category, i.e. Business, in a nice Readers Digest like format. As you go into a category, Flipboard gives you article after article, along with the beginning of the article. When one looks interesting, you just touch the article and head into the full read. Flipboard is the main way I receive news. I only have to read the articles of which I have interest. Flipboard is also customizable with what categories are shown and even has a nice tie-in with Facebook. It’s a really good way to organize your news.

Looking for a new notification sound or maybe a new ringtone? Zedge has it, including my current text message notification, a Minion saying “Bow Chicka Wow Wow”. It’s all user submitted and there’s a huge library of media for your devices. As I look at the app on my S4, there’s 11k wallpapers, nearly 2k live wallpapers, over 600k ringtones, and 124k notifications. Zedge is searchable, so if there’s something specific you’re looking for it’s easy to find. Everything is good quality and the wallpapers look great on my retina display iPad. If you’re savvy enough to make your own wallpapers or ringtones, upload and share them!

What about you? What are your favorite apps? Share some in the comments!


Last Pass

Trying to remember all the logins/passwords to all the sites you visit, particularly those you don’t go to daily, can be a nightmare. This is why I recommend using a service such as LastPass. Not only can you have it generate passwords that are more secure than what you’d come up with, but you can have it log you into certain sites automatically. The best part? It’s absolutely free! In fact, my only complaint is that you do have to sign up for their premium service (which is currently $12 per year) to have it work seamlessly with your iPhone or Android phone. That’s not to say you can’t access your passwords using your phone, it will just be a bit more painful to do so.

A bonus to using LastPass, which I just discovered recently, is that if you use Firefox and have the LastPass extension installed, it comes with a very easy to use form filler which is great if you’re like me and enjoy entering online sweepstakes. I had installed multiple extensions that were difficult to use and all this time all I had to do is set up a profile for forms in my LastPass extension and now it prompts me when there’s a form to fill out (and you can make unique profiles for each site)!


Today while I was editing some photos I took for a rescue organization I work with, I realized that my image processing software outputs file extensions in ALL CAPS (.JPG) instead of lowercase (.jpg) like I prefer. It’s not a big deal, but I like my file extensions in lowercase.

I wasn’t up to editing 35 files individually, so I took to Google and quickly found this very easy to follow tutorial on how to update the file extensions on all files within the same folder at once with one quick command.

Whether you’re comfortable with computers or not, I suggest you check it out because it’s super easy and may just come in handy one day!

Note regarding Method #1 on the site: The asterisk is a wildcard character which tells the system that any file name ending in the extension you specify should be changed to the new extension you specify.



The last entry centered around what you can do with Evernote, so I think a natural extension of that is Dropbox. Whereas with Evernote you can store all your notes, Dropbox lets you store all your files in the cloud so you can access them from the web, your computer, your phone, or your tablet. It’s a very handy service, and best of all, it’s free!

You can create as many folders and sub-folders as you like and you can even configure it so that every photo you take on your phone is automatically uploaded to Dropbox (although with the Photostream option on the iPhone you might not want to do this).

Your Dropbox folders are private by default but you can make them public to share files with friends/family, or even designate a particular file as shareable and provide a link to retrieve it. In addition, there are many apps that work seamlessly with Dropbox, such as Notesy which saves all your notes in a Dropbox folder.

Dropbox is a free service I couldn’t live without and I highly recommend it to keep your life organized. Once you install it, check out these articles for ideas on how to enhance your Dropbox experience:

Top 10 Dropbox Apps for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac OS X
Five Free Dropbox Tools You’re Not Using (But Should Be)
Dropbox Addons

Feel free to share your favorite ways to use Dropbox in the comments.