Friday, January 25, 2008 at 12:42am by Site Administrator
Chores, by definition, are rarely fun. No one wants to do them, but everyone has to get them done. Fortunately, we live in an age that values using technology to streamline everyday life, so there are many services out there designed to make your chores less of a chore, and we’ve profiled 25 of them here.
- Banking: These days, many people rarely have to step foot into a "real bank," preferring instead to perform banking transactions online.
- Bills: Just like online banking, paying your bills online is now easier than ever. It’s hard to find a bill that you can’t pay online, and many banks offer a one-stop place to do it all.
- Grocery shopping: Netgrocer, Peapod, and even brick-and-mortar stores like Albertsons and Safeway have ventured into online grocery store territory. Many shoppers find this method to be cost effective and time saving because of the organization it offers.
- Taxes: Individuals within a specific income limit can use Free File from the IRS to prepare their taxes online. Others beyond this limit can use widely available alternatives like H&R Block, TurboTax, and TaxACT.
- Travel planning: Whether you’re checking out fares or researching the best places to go, the Internet is an increasingly popular place to go for travel advice.
- Photo sharing: While sharing photos may not feel like a chore for some, people with children and/or far flung family members often find that their loved ones are no longer satisfied with an annual holiday card photo. Keeping up with this chore is easy when you use one of the many photo sharing sites online.
- Update your family: Beyond photos, you can use emails, newsletters, and blogs as a great way to keep your loved ones up to date on family happenings without going to too much trouble.
- Get movie listings: The days of picking up the newspaper for movie listings are all but gone. Now, you can look up showtimes online, while at the same time reading reviews and viewing trailers to help you decide on the best pick. You can even use movie sites to find free sneak previews, deals, and more.
- Plan a party: Online services make it really easy to plan a party online. You can send out invitations, consider themes, get ideas, and more, all with a few clicks of your mouse.
- Get directions: Your key map has been taken down a notch by the plethora of online mapping services available today. Using these services, you can get detailed, turn-by-turn directions, often with helpful add-ons like highway preferences, gas station price comparisons, and business directories. You can even send directions to Grandma via email or links.
- Renew government documents: Many local governments offer online renewal and registration for driver’s licenses, plates, and more, saving you a trip to the office.
- Shop: Hitting the mall and other shopping centers is a dreaded experience for some, but with online shopping you can skip the crowds and often find better deals to boot.
- Ship a package: With many shipping services, you can calculate rates, print documents, and pay for the shipment, all online. Often, all that’s left is a drop off, but you can usually pay to have your package picked up if they’re not stopping by already.
- Nag others about doing chores: Getting others to do work is just as much a chore as regular ones. Services like Monkey On Your Back automate the nagging process for you.
- Order pizza: Nearly every major pizza chain now has online ordering, so you don’t have to rummage through your junk drawer for a coupon anymore. Rather, their specials and deals are cleanly presented on the ordering page.
- Comparison shopping: Before the advent of e-commerce, comparison shopping was a costly venture, both in time and gas money. But now, all you have to do is go to one of the many sites that tracks prices to find the best deal out there.
- Clip coupons: Often paired up with comparison shopping sites, coupon sites track the best deals, both online and off. You’ll usually find coupon codes or printable coupons that can be taken to brick-and-mortar stores.
- Check out the news: If you’re not a newshound, keeping up to date on the latest in current events may feel like a chore, especially if you’re tuning into overhyped TV news or flipping through old-fashioned newspapers. Reading the news is more streamlined than ever online, with organized categories, RSS feeds, and newsgroups.
- Check out the weather: No longer do you have to wait until your local news burns through the latest fires and murders to figure out what you need to wear tomorrow. Learning about weather in your area or where you’ll be traveling is as easy as entering a zip code or metro area into a web site.
- Find a doctor: Through doctor directories, you can literally shop around for your physician. These sites make it easy to learn about their education, insurance details, and even read reviews to find out about what others have experienced with the doctor.
- Get recipes: You don’t have to read women’s magazines or drag out cookbooks to learn how to cook tasty concoctions anymore. There is a seemingly endless supply of recipes online that are easily categorized, searchable, and reviewed by other cooks.
- Research your health: Whether you’re in search of helpful pregnancy information or curious about alternative treatments, the Internet is full of useful resources that offer helpful tips and create talking points you can bring to your doctor.
- Research DIY projects: Whether you’re the do-it-yourself type, or just forced into servitude by your spouse, you can find loads of great ideas and step-by-step instructions for projects online.
- Reserve and renew library books: Save yourself a trip to the library, or snag the latest Harry Potter before some punk kid gets their hands on it by using online library services. Many local library systems offer online catalogs, reservations, and account services designed to make your life just a little bit easier.
- Set up utilities: Moving is a chore, not just because of the mass of stuff you have to load and unload, but because you have to go through the process of setting up services to your home all over again. Luckily, most of this can be accomplished online, either one by one through your providers, or using services that do the work for you, and even offer comparison shopping.
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