Top Ten Online Utilities
If you run a small business like I do, you don't have a large staff, so you have to figure out how to do things yourself. You also don't have a lot of time so you have to figure out to do things quickly and efficiently. This article lists my top ten online utilities.
Number 10 - TimeandDate.com
TimeandDate.com is an excellent utility. It has time zone maps for the world and a world clock. If you want to know what time it is, just type in the name of the city or country you are interested in. If you type in "Berlin" it will give you the time in Berlin Germany. If you type in Germany, it will give you a list of cities to choose from. This came in handy for a business meeting a few years ago. We had a conference call with an executive in Germany. That year the daylight saving time ended a week earlier in Germany than it did in the United States. We had our phone meeting during the week in between those dates. This helped clear up the confusion. You can also bring up a calendar for any year between 1 and 3999 A.D. By specifying a 1776 you can see that the Declaration of Independence was signed on a Thursday.
Number 9 - Online Translator
By using translation2.paralink.com you can easily translate between many different languages. For example, if you type in "Hello" and translate to Spanish, it comes back with "Hola". We had a customer come into Circle City Bicycles that spoke Spanish but no English. We used this translator to converse with him successfully. It's not perfect and sometimes the sentences are phrased a bit oddly, but it's plenty good enough to get the point across.
Number 8 - AcronymFinder.com
Doesn't it drive you crazy when you're reading something that uses an abbreviation and you have no idea what it stands for? With Acronym Finder you can find possible meanings. Just type in the acronym and click the Find button. Since the same acronyms can have different meainings, you can filter the results into these categories:
- Information Technology
- Military & Government
- Science & Medicine
- Organizations / Schools
- Business & Finance
- Slang & Pop Culture
Number 7 - WhatIsMyScreenResolution.com
If someone asks you what your screen resolution is, do you know how to find it? With this utility it's easy - just go to WhatIsMyScreenResolution.com and it will tell you.
Number 6 - MailTester.com
Let's say you wrote down someone's email and you're not entirely sure if you got it right. You can go to MailTester.com, type it in, and see if it's a legitimate email address. You won't know if it goes to the right person, but you will at least know that the email address exists.
Number 5 - PicResize
I have software on my computer I use to resize graphics, but PicResize is a very handy utility if you don't. Just upload your photo, and then you can crop it with your mouse or scale it up or down. There are also some other things you can do. In the example below, the deer is heading to the left. If I click on "Flip Horizontal", I can make him head to the right. You can output your graphic in any of these formats:
Number 4 - Units Converter
Units Converter is very handy if you need to convert units, such as from light years to millimeters. It is simple to use and can convert all types of units, such as those for:
Number 3 - MailChimp
If you want to start a small newsletter, MailChimp is great. It's easy to use, once you get the hang of it (You may want to go to YouTube and search "MailChimp Tutorials"). The best part of it is that it's completely free as long as you have less than 2,000 subscribers and send out less than 12,000 emails per month. I use it to send out my Circle City Bicycles newsletter.
Number 2 - Online OCR
The other day someone sent me a scanned pdf document when I was expecting a Word document that I could edit. I went online and and found OnlineOCR.net (OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition). I submitted the file and it converted it to a Word document, which saved me a lot re-typing. The steps are pretty easy:
- Upload File (5 mb limit)
- Select Language
- Select Output Format (Word, Excel or plain text)
- Click Convert
Number 1 - Zamzar.com
Zamzar.com converts videos, images and audio from one format to another. It's a very handy tool when you have the right content in the wrong format. Like Online OCR, the steps are easy:
- Upload File (100 MB limit)
- Choose Output format
- Enter your email
- Click convert
They will send you a link to download your output file when the conversion is complete. The can convert image, video, document, music and ebook files in a wide variety of formats.
New Additions for 2015
Here's a couple more free online utilities for 2015:
Dropbox can be a very useful tool when you have a lot of data (usually images or video) to send to someone, and want to avoid blowing up their mailbox. Sign up for Dropbox and you get 2 GB of space to store files. That allows you to upload files into Dropbox, and your friends can download them from there.
With ZipInfo you can enter the city & state to get the zip code(s), or enter a zip code to get the city and state. You can also get information like county, time zone, area code and population. I like the population feature. When news people on TV refer to a place as a "small town," I like to look it up & see what its population. My idea of a small town is one with a population under 1,000. newscasters, who all live in big cities, use the term on cities which are considerably larger.