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20 incredibly useful websites you wish you knew earlier

20 incredibly useful websites you wish you knew earlier
© Jemastock | Dreamstime.com

Do you have a specific need or problem? With more than a million websites you can visit now with a click of a button, there's bound to be something that you can use to solve your tech issue. That's why Kim put together this list of some of the most useful sites.

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Most of the time, smaller websites are like hidden gems just waiting to be discovered, you just have to know where to look. Some of these sites are so useful, you can't believe you haven't heard of them before!

So Kim did all the work for you. Here's a big list of incredibly useful websites that you wish knew earlier.

1. Print webpages minus the clutter

Printing an article straight from the web can be frustrating. Ads, links, images and all that extra text can ruin an otherwise perfect page. This clutter is not just unnecessary, it's a waste of ink and paper too.

Thankfully, there's an easy way to clean up all that unwanted junk.

CleanPrint is a free print tool that will save you precious printer ink, paper and money by keeping your printed webpages tidy and clean.

Simply install the CleanPrint browser extension, press its menu button and it will automatically trim the output and delete the extra information for easy printing.

Not only that, you can tweak your print output further by manually deleting the sections you don't want and by adjusting the font size. If you want to get rid of wasted ink and paper, CleanPrint is a must-have.

Click here to clean up online articles before printing them.

2. Send a fax straight from your computer

Email and messaging apps may be the preferred means of sending documents now but the humble fax machine is still sticking around. While it is slowly being phased out, there are still plenty of businesses that use it. In fact, people in the legal, finance and medical industries still rely on fax machines for essential documents.

But what about the regular people like us? Not everyone has access to a fax machine.

If you absolutely need to send out a fax, you don't have to rush out to the nearest FedEx. Just do it from home with this useful site!

With FaxZero, you can send faxes completely free from your computer. You can attach up to three documents (up to five free faxes a day), with a total fax limit of three pages, including the cover page. Note: There will be an ad on the cover page.

For both business and personal use, you can now send a fax without a fax machine! Click here to try FaxZero now.

3.  Get your gadget's manual for free

Keeping your gadget's printed manual around can be handy especially when you're trying to look up a quick fix. But not everyone keeps their manuals and they often end up in the trash can.

Thankfully, all of these manuals are available online nowadays, you just need to know where to look.

If you're ever in need of a gadget's manual, check and see if it's available on ManualsLib. There are manuals for more than 40,000 different brands, 1.5 million different products and more than 2 million PDF manuals for major brands and manufacturers like Apple, LG, Sony, GE and many more.

It has information on everything you'll need, from your smartphone to your refrigerator. Best of all, access to all of the manuals are free!

Just visit ManualsLib, enter the product or brand name into the search bar. From there, you'll be taken to the manual and hopefully connected to the information you need.

Click here to search ManualsLib for all your manual needs.

4.   Send self-destructing notes to anyone

Ever wished you can send a confidential self-destructing note to anyone ala Mission Impossible?

Type a note, send it, then have it destroy itself after it's read. Well, get your Ethan Hunt mask out because this cool site will let you do just that.

Privnote is a web tool that lets you write notes that can self-destruct (virtually, of course) after a recipient reads them. You can also do scheduled self-destructs instead and have your notes expire after a set time.

Simply write your note on the site, pick your self-destruct method then send out the link as desired. It's as easy as that.

Start writing your own self-destructing notes now with this cool web tool.

5.  An easy way to delete any online account or profile

There are dozens of sites that I have accounts on that contain bits and pieces of my information. But guess what? They have the same scoop on you. Most sites will have your email address, username and password at a minimum. This could be a problem if any of the sites have a data breach.

There are steps you can take to keep yourself protected. I recommend getting rid of old, unwanted and unused accounts. Just wipe the slate clean.

Sound like a tough thing to tackle? Sure, every site has different rules on how to close your account, and some are more difficult to get rid of than others. The good news is, this cool site can help with that.

AccountKiller is a free site that has a collection of direct links and instructions on how to easily delete your accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Google, Groupon and hundreds of other sites and services. With its color-coding system, you can see at a glance if a site will be easy or hard to leave.

Deleting your online accounts doesn't need to be a chore. Try this useful tool to get rid of your unwanted online accounts.

6.  Paper templates you can print for free

Although it's now preferable to save our notes and papers on our smartphones and apps, there's still that occasional need to write some of it on hard copies. School assignments, music scores, budget plans, decorations, there's always a need for those old-style sheets.

With Printable Paper, you can download and print more than a thousand varieties of old-school templates for free. Choose from lined notebook paper, graphing paper, monthly budget spreadsheets, music sheets - any throwback paper sheet you can imagine, Printable Paper has them all.

If you need to relive the old glory days of printed paper sheets, click here to visit Printable Paper now.

7.   Web-based photo editor that's a cinch to use

In this age of social media and photo sharing, stylistic individuality is almost a must. Filters, effects, borders and stickers can transform an average photograph into a spectacular work of art if done right.

For those quick spontaneous artistic photo edits, try Pixlr's web apps. They're all browser-based so you don't need to download or install extra software. (It does require the Flash plugin to run, though.)

For starters, you can start with Pixlr Express. It is the web-based brother of Pixlr desktop with almost the same set of tools, effects and filters.

For more advanced photo editing, try Pixlr Editor. It is an advanced photo editor with layering support and a complete set of tools similar to other software like GIMP. For experienced photo editors, Pixlr Editor is a great web-based alternative.

Click here to create your inspired photo creations with Pixlr.

8.  Learn how to create your own apps

Creating apps is a great project for anyone, whether for fun or business and it's one good skill to have in this highly digital world we live in.

If you want to learn how to create your own apps but you don't know where to start, here's a useful site you can visit to get you going.

It's MIT's App Inventor and it has step-by-step guides and tutorials to start your app creation journey. You don't even need coding knowledge to get started! Just select one of the site's guides, install the necessary programs and you can start building and sharing your very own apps in no time.

Who knows? If you have an excellent app idea, you might strike gold and even create the next viral hit. Click here to start creating your very own app with App Inventor.

9.  Create your own professional-looking resume

You only get one chance to make a first impression. When you're applying for jobs, that means you have to create a killer resume that's organized the right way and looks good, too.

If you're looking for a way to stand out from the pool of job applicants, give this free resume site a try.

CVMaker lets you choose from a vast range of professionally created resume templates, save them and print them anytime. You can even select different resume templates for different types of job applications and have them handy when they're needed. Just edit any template as you wish then save on the fly.

If you want to create fast, professional-looking resumes that can make good first impressions, click here to give CVMaker a try!

10. Download thousands of free fonts

We all love fonts. Especially unique fonts that make websites and posters and flyers stand out. If you're getting creative, you might want to go hunting for the perfect new font (or more than one) for your project.

Many sites charge for fonts, and if you're going to use a font for a commercial purpose, rather than personal use, you'll likely have to pay for it. But did you know that Google has its very own site for free fonts?

Google Fonts is a collection of free fonts that you can download and use for free. From exotic to edgy fonts, Google has you covered! Just hit the "quick use" button of any font that you may fancy and start using it for your projects, papers or websites.

Click here to add some font flair to your work with Google Fonts.

11. Create your home in 2D and see it in 3D

You probably have an idea of what your dream home will look like, right?

With the blueprint outlined inside your head - the floor plan, the number of rooms, even the type of furniture and appliances, all the way down to the type of paint or wallpaper you're going to adorn it with, you just can't wait to make that dream a reality.

Don't you just wish there's a way to render your construction or remodeling ideas into something that's in three-dimensional space?

With EasyHome Homestyler, you can. This free site lets you design, build, visualize then render your dream house. You can even virtually walk around it!

Simply design a floor plan, populate it with doors, windows, furniture, appliances, and even people and then experience it in a real-time 3-D space! And if you want to visualize your virtual home design in a more pleasing, real-world setting, you can try rendering a snapshot of a specific view. Now that's cool!

To start designing and visualizing your dream house with Homestyler, just click here visit its homepage. There's no place like home - your virtual home!

12. Send files that are too big to email

Let's face it, file sizes are getting too big. We now have to contend with high-resolution photos, ultra-high definition videos, and uncompressed audio files even when we're out and about. Even modern mobile apps can take gigabytes of data these days.

So what can you do if you need to send out a lengthy HD video or a big application file but it is deemed too big by your email program?

Here's a free solution - a free online tool called WeTransfer.

WeTransfer lets you share files of up to 2 GB in size with its free service and it's very simple to use.

Here's how: Go to the site, select the free option, then click "Add your files" to upload them from your computer. Enter both your email and your recipient’s email, an optional message and hit the “Transfer” button to start the process.

Now wait while WeTransfer uploads the file (or files) and when it's done, it will send an email to the receiver with the link to download the files. Easy as that.

Click here to send out those gigantic files now with WeTransfer.

13.  Free program to help you manage your time

With the internet, social media, YouTube, game apps and other marvels of the digital age at your fingertips, it's easy to get distracted by things you actually need to do. You might decide to take a break for a second and end up wasting the whole day.

If you've ever reached the end of the day and wondered where the time went, take a look at this site.

RescueTime will show you how long you spent working in your programs, how long you were using your browser and even what sites you visited.

A handy graph shows how long you spent on each thing so you know your weaknesses to avoid. You can get an overall productivity score and weekly summary email for quick measures of how you're doing. There's even an option to set daily goals so you know what you need to work on.

Click here to manage your daily schedules with RescueTime.

14. Free sounds to melt that stress away

Have you ever been at your job and just wanted to get away? Maybe your co-workers won't stop talking or are just making too much noise, keeping you from concentrating and making your deadline. Don't worry, here's a free site that can help you melt that stress away.

A Soft Murmur has a collection of calming sounds and mixes that you can play for free. Choose from a variety of sounds you can mix and match - rain, thunder, waves, wind, fire, birds, crickets, coffee shop, singing bowl, and white noise.

It even has individual volume sliders for each sound so you can create your perfect mix of serenity. You can then save and share your own mixes with friends.

When the going gets tough, click here and give A Soft Murmur a try for instant stress relief.

15. Fun game that drops you somewhere in the world

Take a break with this surprisingly fun online game you can play by yourself or with friends.

It's called GeoGuessr and it drops you on a random map location and you have to guess where in the world you are.

The game uses Google Maps' images to show you the surrounding area. For clues, you can navigate around these images to see people, roads and anything else that can be used to give you an idea of your whereabouts.

Once you begin to play, you have five rounds. Each round you're dropped in a new location and you have to guess where it is. The closer you are to being correct, the higher the score that you receive.

Beware though. GeoGuessr is quite addictive. You can get lost for hours just exploring the maps, figuring out where you are.

Are you up to the challenge? Click here to play this amazingly simple but quite entertaining exploration game.

16. Search Craigslist, eBay and Amazon all at once

When you're looking for an item, doing multiple searches on various online shopping and classified ads sites is a hassle. Having multiple browser tabs and websites open while searching for one item is tedious and quite aggravating.

SearchTempest eliminates this problem. This handy search engine lets you look up multiple classified ads in one easy search. Just enter your ZIP code, your search keywords and it will crawl through eBay, Amazon, and eBay for relevant results.

If the price is right, you'll find the exact item you're looking for in no time at all.

Even better, SearchTempest also has a section called AutoTempest that lets you search eBay, Craigslist, Cars.com, Auto Trader, Cars Direct and Oodle all at once for car listings.

Take the hassle out of online shopping. Click here to search through multiple shopping sites in one click!

17. Test your vision at home with this free web tool

Do you sometimes mess with your eyes to read signs properly? Does your vision go fuzzy when you read? Maybe it's difficult for you to drive at night. Whatever the case may be, you should begin by testing your vision online.

Essilor.com allows you to check for things like myopia or hyperopia, test both your near and far vision, find out if you could have astigmatism or daltonism (color-blindness). The tests are quick and easy and shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes to complete them all.

Although the site states that the test has no diagnostic value, it's a quick way to know if it's time to consult with a vision care professional for a detailed eye examination.

For a quick and easy eye test, visit this free online vision test now.

18. Replace lost military awards and medals

Recognitions from the U.S. military such as medals, decorations, and awards are often considered as historical mementos and priceless family heirlooms.

Although the honor that these military medals represent should endure forever, the physical medals themselves may not. They can be misplaced, lost, stolen or simply begin to show their age over time.

The U.S. military understands the importance of this legacy to families and it offers replacement medals, decorations, and awards available to decorated veterans and their families.

Just visit the National Archives Veterans' Service Records page and this site has all the information you'll need for replacing your family's lost military awards.

Click here to replace your family's lost military awards and heirlooms now.

19. Save big on surplus and confiscated items

Have you ever wondered where confiscated items from airport security end up? On average, the TSA seizes an estimated 750,000 items a year. That's a lot of stuff with nowhere to go.

When people voluntarily surrender certain belongings such as knives or sports equipment, they become available on GovDeals.com. It's an online auction site that gathers confiscated or surplus items from government agencies.

You will be amazed by some of the things up for bid. Last time I checked, I found retired police cars in working condition, a collection of lost Bluetooth headsets, an old hockey arena scoreboard and even traffic lights! There are plenty of practical items listed on the site too, from working automobiles to generators to motorhomes and RVs.

With GovDeals.com, you just don't know what hidden gems you might find. Click here to save big on government surplus and confiscated items.

20. See how much crime takes place in your neighborhood

No matter how pristine a neighborhood is, you shouldn't assume that it's free of crime.

Whether you're searching through real estate listings to find a new home, or have lived in the same neighborhood for over a decade, you're probably wondering: Is this neighborhood safe?

There's an easy way to find out. A site called SpotCrime collects public data from police agencies and plots it on a map, giving you access to timely information about reported crimes in an area.

With SpotCrime, you can find safety information for an entire city or town anywhere in the country, and many other countries worldwide. You can also narrow it down to see reported crimes in a particular neighborhood or ZIP code, even on the street you live on.

Ready to get a safety snapshot of any particular area? Click here to visit SpotCrime for an instant report.

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