Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


5 Websites That Will Make Your Life Easier

As I move through life, I like to find easier ways of doing monotonous, frustrating, or time-consuming things. In particular, I like things I can do from my phone, or my iPad when I have a few minutes to spare.

If you think picking up the phone to place a pizza order is too old-school, then you'll be delighted to know there are an abundance of websites that cater to your daily needs. Life is hectic enough, so take a weight off your shoulders by letting technology do the work. Whether you need to pass an upcoming test or are craving Ben & Jerry's at 2am, these websites have you covered:

Ship Items From Home

If you hate standing in line, you probably dread going to the post office. Good news: the United States Postal Service lets you ship items without ever setting foot in a post office. You can get shipping supplies for free online and have them sent directly to your home, then you can package up your items and schedule a free package pickup from the official U.S Postal Service website. You simply fill out an online form, choose the time and date of the pickup and include the weight or amount of your packages. Keep in mind that you can only schedule pickups Monday through Saturday and that same-day pickup is not available after 2 p.m. on the day of the pickup. Still, it's a small price to pay to avoid spending your precious free time at the post office.

Practice Your Driving Skills Online

I've got a couple of teens working on their driving permits / driver's licenses right now. Who can forget that well-loved rite of passage? OK... maybe it's not well-loved, but it doesn't have to be painful either. Online driving tests can help you practice your skills behind the wheel on days when you aren't able to convince your parents to take you for a spin. However, knowing how to drive a car is just one part of the driving exam everyone must endure and the written test is the first step toward getting that shiny new license. Free online permit practice tests are available, and you can choose the one specific to your state to prepare for the real thing come test day. Stop wasting your time memorizing the DMV manual and instead improve your knowledge with interactive practice tests.

Place Late Night Delivery Orders

Ever get the urge for a late night snack but don't feel like going out? Nighttime Nosh may be just what you're looking for. It's a late night delivery service (open until 4 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) delivers beer and wine (subject to ID verification, of course), ice cream, personal care items, and even party supplies. This is the Internet at its finest, ladies and gents. Unfortunately, this amazing service is currently only available in Tempe, Arizona, but don't lose hope! You can still order food at any hour of the day with GrubHub, a website that finds late night delivery restaurants near you. And if you live in the Hollywood area, Pink Dot can deliver everything from groceries to booze straight to your door.

Skip Waiting on Hold

Everyone hates waiting on hold. Now you don't have to with FastCustomer. This amazingly useful website has a customer service agent call you when you're next in line. The site has over 3,000 companies on its list and, with a simple click of a button, lets you claim your spot. You can also view the approximate wait time of a business, the average minutes on hold per day for a particular company and its customer rating. Additionally, if you own a smartphone you can download the Fast Customer app or text a company's name to (936) CALL-PLS to take advantage of this free service.

Set An Alarm Clock on Your Computer

Lost your phone? Don't want to buy an alarm clock? Have access to a computer? Well then, you're in luck. Online Clock is a free service that simulates an alarm clock, complete with radio functions and a digital display. The website also lets you set a timer, stopwatch and countdown. And unlike traditional digital alarm clocks, you can set a custom background which includes options like rain, fireplace and lava lamp. If you're still not convinced, consider this alarm clock your ideal wake up call. Chances are, your computer is far away from your bed, far enough away that you'll be forced to get up if you want to turn your alarm off.

I hope these ideas are helpful. I'm getting back into the swing of things and plan more frequent posts here including more productivity tips like these, Some info on smartwatches (including the Apple Watch), and some camping gadgets I've been experimenting with. Stay tuned!