Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco

10 Time-Saving Web Tools

When we think about how to be more “productive” in pushing bold ideas forward, much of the challenge is clearing out the clutter. Figuring out how to do the stuff we don’t like (e.g. admin tasks, finances, email) more efficiently, so we have more time for the stuff we love – the meaningful work that moves the needle on our creative projects and our businesses.

The good news is the future of the Internet is “less about the searching and more about the getting,” as WIRED editor-in-chief Chris Anderson wrote in a recent cover story. We now have tons of web apps at our fingertips that can minimize the amount of time we spend on the less glamorous details of making ideas happen.Here, we highlight 10 of our favorite web apps for streamlining crucial (but not particularly fun) day-to-day tasks, so you can get on with the important stuff.

1. Hipmunk: Book flights painlessly. was the go-to flight booking service until Hipmunk came along and added their genius “agony rating” to the mix. It uses a new algorithm to factor in both the price and the pain of the trip (direct flight? two layovers?) to rank the flight results. You can also conduct and compare multiple flight searches simultaneously.

2. NudgeMail: Hit the snooze button on distracting emails.

NudgeMail is a simple way to postpone responding to certain emails, while also ensuring you’ll be nagged to deal with them later. Just forward the email to NudgeMail indicating when you want it to be sent again in the “To” field (e.g.,, etc), and it will magically return to your inbox at that time. There’s no signup necessary, and it works with almost any email client or mobile device.

3. Xmarks: Sync your bookmarks across multiple devices.

Supporting all major browsers, Xmarks provides seamless bookmark syncing with an incredibly robust set of additional features, like password syncing, public bookmark sharing, and data backup and restore capabilities. And if you upgrade to the $1/month premium account, you can really go wild with uber-nerdy features like “open tab syncing.”

4. Upload and share large (or small) files efficiently.

With out of the picture, the remaining file sharing platforms all have issues: they cost too much, they’re too complicated, or they’re filled with schlocky ads. is clean, simple, free, and you don’t have to sign up for anything. You can even share your file link while the upload is still underway.

5. Track This: Track your packages with email, SMS, Facebook, or Twitter.

Have you ever found yourself ceaselessly refreshing the UPS, FedEx, etc website to try to find out when your package will arrive? Track This saves you the trouble by shooting you play-by-play updates from any of the major mail carriers via email, text, Facebook, or Twitter so you can rest easy (and updated).

6. Readability: Read blog posts and articles in an ad-free environment.

With roll-downs, pop-ups, and video ads, you sometimes need the focus of a zen master to read a mere blog post online. Readability cuts through the noise by zapping ads and creating a peaceful, distraction-free reading environment. The basic account is free; to get “read it later” and mobile functionality, it’s $5/month.

7. Billable: Create an invoice in 30 seconds.

For some creatives, invoicing is a task on par with going to the dentist. If you fall into this category, Billable is a (brain)dead simple and insanely efficient web app for generating invoices. Just fill out their online invoice template, and save it as a PDF or print. Don’t expect any bells or whistles though, Billable is not about customization, it’s about getting it done.

8. DaisyDisk: Find out what’s hogging your disk space.

If you’re a sucker for a sexy infographic, you’ll love DaisyDisk. The app scans your disk at light speed and then generates a gorgeous, color-coded, interactive data map that shows you what’s eating up all the space on your hard drive. While computer whizzes might be offended by its $20 price tag, it can definitely save some time for the less tech savvy among us. (Mac only.)

9. Build a personal website in about 2 minutes.

These days, not having a personal website is sort of like leaving the house without your pants on. But not everyone needs a rich portfolio site or a custom-coded blog. makes creating a personal “splash page” a no-brainer. You just slap up a photo, include a short bio, and decide which social media accounts you want to link to (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pandora, etc), and you’re in business.

10. Evernote: Put everything you want to remember in one place.

This app isn’t new, but we’re mentioning Evernote again because it’s really the ultimate platform for brain-dumping. Whether it’s meeting notes, a blog post in development, a snapshot, a receipt, or a paragraph from a website, you can plunk it into Evernote, add some tags so you can find it later, and you’re done. Since all of your stuff lives in the cloud, it’s always backed up and accessible from any computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

What Do You Use?

What web apps help you streamline your daily tasks?

More insights on: Time Management

Jocelyn K. Glei

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A writer and the founding editor of 99U, Jocelyn K. Glei is obsessed with understanding how work gives our lives meaning. She has authored three books about work, creativity, and business, including the Amazon bestsellers Manage Your Day-to-Day and Make Your Mark. Follow her @jkglei.
load comments (73)
  • @kylereed

    I use concentrate.
    it is a great app that really allows me to focus on the task at hand. It becomes a time savor because I actually get stuff done

  • eliaslange

    I use Wuala ( allot as all files get encrypted before they leave my notebook. But will give a shot. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anmol Bahl

    Springpad man! Amazing.

  • essay writing

    Thanks. It is really interesting post.

  • Josh is similar to just a little sexier

  • Txgt De
  • Mark Steven

    I’ve more or less freed myself of Microsoft, but am now firmly in the clutches of Google.

    My iGoogle home page now features some great widgets to keep me on top of my work:

    – Google Tasks
    – Google Calendar

    And because I’m in Internet Marketing / web development:

    – Twitter
    – Google Analytics (can’t resist pretty graphs on my home page)

    And of course in different tabs I’ve got collections of news feeds and things to keep me abreast of what’s happening in my field.

    Increasingly I find myself collaborating online these days using Google Docs – particularly using spreadsheets for project planning, feature lists and so on.

    There are a whole bunch of other brilliant tools (all of them web based) that I use for marketing, project management and information architecture, but I think that would be off topic….

    The point is, the more I’ve been able to shift to browser-based productivity, the more productive I’ve felt. I can access my stuff from my trusty Android phone, from my laptop, from my office PC, wherever.

    The trouble now is that 99% of my work is with me all the time, wherever I am, and I’ve had to become increasingly cunning about holidaying in low-reception areas to escape the demands of work (only partly kidding).

  • david jacoby — online file conversion – dope!

  • Jeen-yes Great app. Tried Evernote=SLOW

  • Stephan Zacharias

    If you use Gmail, you should check out http//

  • RichardCarter1

    Some of my favourite time savers are Remember The Milk, a list making service at… and the password management software Keypass at…. Free versions are available for both of these. You can also get a whole catalogue of free business resources at

  • Tamara Kuzminski

    I couldn’t live without

    It’s my combined to do list and inspiration/ideas notepad. Everything I ever think about goes in here, organised into a nice tree structure.

  • JPG Printing

     Very nice post, Thank you Guys!If you need premium business cards, postcards, brochures, flyers and more check our website 


    rockmelt! its not a web page but a browser which does most of my sharing and social media and tracking and rss needs! 

  • interior design decoration

    These are interesting time saving web tools to check out. Perhaps I will try to learn how to use nudgemail because I didn’t know much on organizing my e-mails. Although I haven’t check hipmunk, I was able to check out the good flight deals through subscribing to local airline. I would want to try the xmarks to browse with my recent bookmarks.

  • Anjie

    Amazing article thank you for the information being shared. Anyway try to check this for online gold buyers.

  • Nirav Gohel
  • Shane Hall

    For a number of years I have used an old version of MindMap’s MindManager version X5. This is a really easy-to-use brainstorming tool from 2005ish but, keeping it working with newer operating systems has been buggy to say the least. The new tools out there seem to battle for feature differentiation, thus over-complicating the tool’s usefulness. Then I found Mind42. Its an online MindMapping software that is exactly like the X5 version. Its really helpful: and really free!

  • Bakhrom

    very interesting list, thank you for share

  • larrytaylor

    Really time-saving tools and for me its cost-saving too. :)

  • Marco

    Interesting and cost-saving web tools.

  • Edward

    Thanks for sharing such a great list. One tool that I’d like to add is It has many collaborative features that organizes team and saves a lot of time.

  • Ralf Pytlik

    I recommend Lookeen. Lookeen is a search solution software that saves TIME (today – the most exclusive thing) day-for-day at work.

    In average people at work are searching about 25 % of the time a 8 hours it is nearly 2 hours…if you count for yourself how much a company owner is investing in one hour of your work time – it is very expensive for the companies that the people are loosing money – daily…with a team of 100 people it is more than 150.000 $ per year (!).

    Disclaimer: I´m working for Axonic, the vendor of Lookeen.

    Best regards

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