Four boring but useful websites

Posted by admin on May 27, 2010 in lists, technology |

opening-times1

There are many things in life that are boring but necessary. These include taking out the garbage, having a cleaning rota  if you share a house, and making sure you see the dentist once or twice a year. To go with those lovely mundane chores I have a selection of yawn inducing websites for you to peruse, that will nonetheless prove invaluable should you need any of their services. Entertainment definitely not included, but service is free.

Opening Times

It’s 10.50pm on a Saturday, you’re starving for a pizza, yet reluctant to pay an over inflated price for a grease ridden delivery. You know there’s a Tesco just round the corner, but will it be open? After ten minutes of debating it ‘Maybe’ ‘Maybe not’ ‘Umm’ you decide to search for it online. Once you’ve navigated through the Tesco website, narrowed you locale down by town and borough and then edited out the metro versions, whaddya know? It’s 12.01 and it’s most definitely shut.

Opening Times lists the various local businesses in your area and will give you a definite¬†yes/no and till what time for anywhere you should choose to go. You’d be surprised how useful this is when nipping out for some emergency ice cream/toilet roll, but it most definitely comes under ‘boring’ in terms of websites.

Plug sockets abroad

I travel a LOT, both with work and for personal pleasure. An average year sees at least six trips away (if not more) and I travel so much I actually have a dedicated ‘travel draw’, full of miniature toiletries (airport friendly) and those annoying padlocks you use when you feel your hotel room isn’t secure. Add to that a variety of electrical adapter chargers and you have a veritable mess on your hands. No matter how often I go to Europe or the USA, I always get confused- is it round or pointy? Then take foreign places like Thailand into the equation and it’s case of taking extra ‘just in case’ I got it wrong. Electrical Outlet is a great site for those who are equally scatterbrained as not only does it list what you can use in each country- it does so WITH pictures. Hey, I’m easy to please OK?

Travel Doctor

Hmm, I’m starting to feel like I need a holiday- which is probably due to the large amount of travel related websites in this line up. Travel Doctor is a useful guide to the various vaccinations you’ll need when travelling, and splits them down by region as well, dividing them into the different parts of the country you’re going to, rather than a blanket vaccination for the whole place.

It also rates the vaccinations you need to get on a scale, which neurotic needle phobics like me appreciate. It gives you different ratings- M= mandatory, R= recommended, but not necessary and C= must show certificate. You also get a breakdown of WHY you need the vaccine as some places have some really horrible diseases you don’t want to catch.

PDF my URL

As a journo who specializes in providing online content, most of my work exists online. It’s handy when showing people my portfolio as all I need to do is give them a couple of web addresses and voila, they hate me or love me, but less useful when going into meetings or pitching in person. I was recently asked to provide a portfolio of my work to a potential new client, and I had many head scratching moments over that. Once I’d got over the ‘I work online. Online! How do they expect that to translate that into a binder??’ I went to work, and whaddya know- most online stuff looks HORRIBLE when printed out- the formatting is all wrong, banner ads mess up the pages and it looks messy and nasty.

The I discovered this great website- PDF my URL. Sure, it won’t turn your pages into beautifully laid out spreads but it WILL give you a page to print out that looks normal, and is a great way to safely store any features you’re particularly proud of. I love the fact that it’s SOOO easy to use- no sign up, no email address, just cut and paste your URL into the window and you get a neat PDF of your chosen page.

If you can think of anything similarly useful but dull, please let me know below!

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