4 Websites I couldn’t live without

Little Conkers Small Business HelpersI know a lot of you are also small business owners, and I thought you might be interested in some of the websites that enable me to keep my sanity.

In this case, I’m not talking about the obvious sites that we all use as the foundations of our businesses – Hootsuite, Facebook, Pinterest, and so on – but some more obscure pages I’ve found that address particular needs and that you might not have come across.

These pages are ones I use on a daily or weekly basis. I tried to make a list of five, but no, it’s really these four that I consider essential in my everyday tasks!

1. Calendarpædia

This site is simply the only one you ever need for any calendar, diary or schedule.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 19.43.29If you’re like me, you need a different layout of calendar for different purposes. Sometimes days make sense down the side of the page: sometimes you want them across the top. Sometime you need a week to a page, two weeks to a page, one month to a page… Sometimes you need to know week numbers…  You might need to see the academic year, or the financial year… This site simply has every possible permutation you can imagine, and in both UK and US formats, and in Word or Excel depending on how you want to ustomise them, and in cheerful colours…  It’s just totally comprehensive, and that in itself is admirable. Plus it’s all presented in a clear, non-nonsense, easy to navigate format.

I use Calendarpedia all the time, and not just for my own business, but for family purposes, home education planning, and my ‘day job’ too!

2. Seajay’s Postal Calculator

This one is just for us in the UK, I’m afraid, but it’s brilliant if you want to get a proper Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 19.51.37handle on Royal Mail postage rates.

I always use this page, never the Royal Mail’s own pages, the reason being that on the Royal Mail’s own site, you have to stage-by-stage add a bunch of information, to finally get a specific price for one service, and you can’t easily see the criteria they’ve used. Eg: if my parcel were 5g lighter, would the rate be different? Seajay’s brilliant page lets you see what your item will cost to post at all the different rates, inland and internationally, in one single page, with the thresholds clearly indicated.

Massive thanks are due to Seajay for providing what I really think is a vital public service!

3. Every Time Zone

This is a page I discovered relatively recently, and it’s like having a light turned on for me!

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 19.57.04For some reason I have always had a complete ‘blind spot’ as far as time zone calculations
are concerned. I have just never been able to get my head around the ‘ahead’ or ‘behind’ idea. I can’t even understand it when the clocks change in the autumn and spring, other than getting my OH to tell me it’s “the good way” or “the bad way”.

I now realise, thanks to this website, that the problem is that I had no visual mechanism for understanding the time differences. It’s something you’re told, isn’t it, I’ve never seen it represented diagrammatically. And I’m a very visual learner.

Anyway, this simple website provides a graphic mechanism for finding out time equivalents around the world, and it has made scheduling communications to my global audience much, much easier!

4. TwitList Manager

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 19.56.01For me, this website plugs a bit of a gap in Twitter’s own interface, and the other Twitter tools/apps I use – Hootsuite and TweetDeck.It allows you to see your followers and the membership of your Twitter lists in a table format, so you can easily cross-reference and update your lists. It’s not easy in Twitter itself to answer the question “which lists have I put this person in” or “which of my friends have I not put in a list” and this site lets you see at a glance. It can be a bit slow and clunky, I’m not sure how often it’s maintained, but I forgive it that for the very specific service it provides.

I use many other websites and apps of course, but most of them much less frequently than the above – Rafflecopter, for example, and PicMonkey.

I’d love to know what other genius pages you return to time and again for your business needs – do drop me a line on Facebook or Twitter!