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Five Websites That Can Improve Your Life

Updated on November 12, 2012
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In the vastness of cyberspace, sometimes it can be difficult to zero in on the websites that are truly user-friendly, enjoyable, helpful and informative. Below are short descriptions and links to several websites that I've found meet those criteria. Whether you are a writer or another kind of artist, someone in need of help managing and organizing goals, or just looking for some entertainment, I hope these sites will be beneficial.

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hitRECord

hitRECord.org is an open-collaborative production company headed by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, of "500 Days of Summer" and "The Dark Knight Rises" fame. Writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, editors, photographers and other creatively-driven folks can contribute. Members are encouraged to build on each other's works - a writer may post a short story, an artist may be inspired to create an illustration about that story and a musician may write a song about it, etc.

Due to the collaborative nature of the site, whatever is posted there is considered to be public domain, meaning the author does not retain copyright, so it's best to consider all the ramifications of that before posting. From time to time, hitRECord.org publishes books with stories and illustrations from contributors, and other products. Fifty percent of profits are distributed to those whose works were selected to be included in the product, and fifty percent remain with the production company.

It costs nothing to join this community of inspiring and amazingly talented artists, and it's a great opportunity to practice and improve upon creative writing and other skills in a supportive environment. Gordon-Levitt is providing an outlet for artists whose work might otherwise go unnoticed. So go for it - let your creativity run wild and 'Hit Record!' (For those who don't want to contribute, simply enjoy the array of talent on display.)

Dharma Seed

Dharmaseed.org shares the teachings of Theravada Buddhism in a way that's understandable and relatable in modern times. The website features a collection of teachings, or dharma talks, from more than 250 teachers. The talks are available for free for downloading or streaming as MP3s.

Regardless of whether a person practices Buddhism, this website features practical teachings that can be applied to everyday life, whatever the specific circumstances. There are thousands of topics available to browse. These include mindfulness, how to handle stressful situations, practicing listening in relationships, practicing self-compassion and coping with difficult emotions. Teachers and subjects are searchable on the website.

Dharma Seed is a non-profit organization that relies on donations to stay afloat, so those who visit the website frequently and benefit from it may want to consider making a small donation.

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Bucketlist

Making a bucket list, or a list of things you want to do, places you want go, and people you want to meet before you die, is very on trend these days, seemingly growing in popularity since the release of the 2007 film "Bucket List" starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

While the practice might seem hackneyed at best - aren't bucket lists so yesterday? - and macabre at worst, there's actually value in having a list of goals, big and small, in an organized format, and bucketlist.org makes it easy to do just that.

Creating an account is free, it's possible to stay anonymous through a username and, though interaction with the rest of the Bucketlist community is offered, it's not mandated. Lists can be organized however a member chooses, even alphabetically, and once an item is completed, it's easy to move it to the "completed" list.

Lists can be as serious or outrageous as the member wants. Real examples posted: feed a giraffe; foster a child; learn CPR; ride a penny farthing; find my Doppelganger; run naked in the snow.

The website makes it easy to organize goals, both short-term and long-term, life-changing and merely fun. It can be advantageous to use Bucketlist to identify which goals are possible now and which will need to wait. While it might not be possible to visit the Great Wall of China in the next two months, for example, starting those pottery classes might be doable. Becoming aware of personal goals and typing them out in list format helps clarify what one wants and what the next steps are to attain that. It's advisable to include both simple and complex goals, and work on the simplest ones now so that motivation is not lost. The more goals moved to the "completed" side, the more motivation to keep achieving goals.

The website even allows posting of photos and descriptions of the completed experience and the option of following other members whose lists provide inspiration.

Get Organized Wizard

Get Organized Wizard is a blog by life coach Michele Connolly and a website promoting her Get Organized Wizard products. Those who aren't interested in making a purchase need not worry - there's plenty of great advice about organization via Connolly's blog. Sign up for her free newsletter via email and receive a 76-page free workbook and start-up guide to organizing 12 key areas of life, including physical health, work, time and relationships.

Connolly, who holds degrees in business and psychology, covers a broad range of topics on her website and blog, which fall under the general headers of home organization, life management, time management and business and technology.

Blog topics include "10 Ways to Be Neat, Tidy and Organized - Every Day;" "12 Ways to Simplify Your Life;" "3 Ways to Declutter and Organize Your Home;" and "People Pleasing: How to Face the Fear of Disapproval."

This is great website for those who have difficulty getting thoughts and goals organized into a step-by-step, actionable plan.

HubPages

Many reading this article have likely already discovered HubPages, but for those who aren't familiar: HubPages is an online community for writers. It's the site you're on right now. Members post articles, or hubs, containing original and useful content, on a wide variety of topics. Hubs can include photos, quizzes, videos, maps and other extras. Writers, known as hubbers, can earn money for their work through advertising featured on their hubs by signing up for the HubPages Earnings Program.

In addition to providing writers with a great place to showcase their skills, HubPages is a wonderfully supportive community that can help any writer improve his or her craft, get advice and make terrific friends.

For those who aren't interested in writing, HubPages provides a wonderful resource for all kinds of topics, from home decor to gardening, from traveling to history, from health topics to poetry to recipes, and more. There are more than one million hubs on HubPages, so there's bound to be a hub on just about any topic. Explore away and be sure to leave a comment for hubbers you like and vote up the articles you enjoy!

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    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 3 years ago from Midwest

      great list, I look forward to exploring the Dharma seed site in particular. There are many tenets of Buddhism that resonate with me.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Glad you found it helpful!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      Dang, I already have a couple tabs open from your list suggestions. Thanks for sharing them - I very much enjoyed the read! Have a wonderful day.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Five Websites That Can Improve Your Life a great list and sounds most helpful to online workers.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by LongTimeMother and for the comment. They really are great sites. Hopey you get around to visiting at least one or two.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      An interesting list of sites to visit. Perhaps I should put visiting them all on my bucket list. lol.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy the websites!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Glad you posted this here, Crystal. I am going to check out a couple of the sites mentioned. Thanks!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      I agree Flourish Anyway. It's a really convenient way to keep track and it feels great to move stuff to the 'Done' column!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      I really like the idea of the bucketlist website. So many times folks have a mental list and forget about all the great things they want to do. We get so caught up in the minutia of life. What a great way to keep track.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading, Elias Zanetti.

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 4 years ago from Athens, Greece

      Interesting list, crystal. The hitrecord site sounds great and I'll check it out.

    • weightlossgossips profile image

      Lisa Joshua 4 years ago from Singapore

      Very interesting post.. I gonna checkout the hitRECORD.. Thank you.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Anselome! Hope you enjoy hitrecord and bucketlist.

    • Anselome profile image

      Steve Anselmo 4 years ago from Thunder Bay

      Great Hub Crystal! Great structure and detail. You're a wordsmith alright. I will definitely have to give hitrecord and bucketlist a visit.

      Stay excellent!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by moonlake!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I'll have to check these out. Thanks for the infomation. Voted up.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Victoria Lynn!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great list! I've never heard of the others besides HubPages! I need to check out the organizing site. Thanks so much! Many votes!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Fossillady. I'd highly recommend the Dharma Seed site.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Thanks for sharing something you believe would help improve other's lives. I thing I'll check out the Dharma Seed site. Have been meaning to be better informed about Buddism. Of course, voted up, useful and interesting!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by CyberShelley. I hope you find the web site helpful!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      Thank you for this information. Will definitely be stopping by Michele Conolly's Get Organised. Your time spent researching this is much appreciated. Up, interesting and useful.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Actually, I have visited stevepavlina.com and I do find his ideas to be helpful. His approach is a bit too militant for me, but there's a lot of value there. I've never visited zenhabits.net- sounds like it's worth a look!

    • homegymjock profile image

      homegymjock 4 years ago

      Please. Edit this post and add in stevepavlina.com , or zenhabits.net. They've changed my life. They're amazing. I began writing, built my own home gym and a website around building your own one. Wrote a book which I'm polishing right now, I also began writing articles here just because of those two websites. The amount of greatness they wield is breathtaking. You have to take a look!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      So glad you enjoyed the hub, vespawoolf! Thanks for stopping by!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I've never heard of these sites--this information is very useful. I'm going to take a look at hitRECord for curiosity at the very least. I like the idea of Get Organized Wizard because I need help getting organized! Thanks!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading Prasetio!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub. I had never heard about all of them before I read this hub. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

      Prasetio

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by wrenfrost56 and hope you enjoy the websites!

    • wrenfrost56 profile image

      wrenfrost56 4 years ago from U.K.

      Interesting hub crystal, I use hubpages :) and I have heard of bucket list but the others were new to me, I will have to go and check them out now. :)

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks so much alocsin!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I was going to say that I knew none of these sites until I came to your last entry, which was quite a surprise, but also a font of useful information. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks to you for your visit also epigramman. Love your work - what a prolific writer you are! Best wishes to you from (near) Hotlanta, also 12:22 p.m.!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      ...thank you Crystal for your lovely visit right now - and yes I often think of the internet as the proverbial tip of the iceberg - there is always something else out there we don't know about - almost like a parallel universe in a way - thank you for exploiting this idea and you have done some fine work and research here - sending you warm wishes and good thoughts from lake erie time ontario canada 12:22pm

      and I will use your informative hub as a reference guide.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading Mhatter99. I hope you find these suggestions helpful.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading hawaiianodysseus! So glad you found these suggestions helpful!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      interesting. I'll have to check them out. Thanks

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Crystal, I found three of the suggestions timely because I've been exercising my "thinking outside the box" muscles. Thanks for bringing these sites to our attention. Well-researched and written!

      Happy Holidays!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading Billy as always. I would recommend checking out hitRECord for sure. It's a great way to flex those creative writing muscles!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very interesting list, Crystal. I was especially interested in the first one, the hitRecord.com. I will be checking that out for sure.

      Thanks for the ideas and I hope you are well my friend.