useful web tools

Every so often I come across a tool that makes my life significantly easier.  Here are a few tools I use when browsing the web that I love.

{click on any picture in the post for a larger view} {}

You’re trying to check gmail.  It doesn’t seem to be loading.  Is it just you?  Or is Gmail down?  Go to this website, type in the URL, and let it check for you.  It’s better than asking a friend on Facebook or Twitter whether they can access their Gmail. {}

Can’t find your cell phone and don’t have a landline?  Type your phone number into this website, and it will call your phone for you.  I use this one more than I should–any time I use my cell phone on the couch, I invariably drop it down in the cushions.



control+shift+T {PC} | command+shift+T {Mac}

Did you just close a tab that you wish you hadn’t?  You could go to your history and open it back up, or you can click command+shift+T.  It opens up the most recently closed tab.  You can open the last ten closed tabs. It’s just like opening a new tab, but you also hold shift down at the same time.

If you close a whole window of tabs Chrome (but not Firefox), you can control+shift+T and get the whole window back.  If you have to force quit your computer, and had a bunch of tabs open in Chrome, you can get them back when your computer starts up again.  Just open Chrome, and click command+shift+T.  It’s magic.  I love it.


Google Reader is going away in July 2013.  I’m still working on finding a replacement I like as well.  I’ll update this when I do!

Google Reader {}

I read a lot of blogs: at least a hundred.  I used to bookmark blogs in categories (home, recipes, crafts, organizing, etc.), and open them all every couple of days.  It was less than efficient.

Now, I use Google Reader to organize my blogs.  If you have a Google account (Gmail, etc.), you can easily set up a Google Reader account.

Just go to, and click “SUBSCRIBE.”

Type in the name of the blog you want to follow, for example:,, or, then click “ADD.”


You should get a yellow bar at the top that tells you you have been subscribed to the blog.

If it didn’t work, you’ll have to go through the website itself.

If you get this message

 go to the blog you’re trying to follow.  Look for an RSS link or button, or maybe a +Google button.

If they have a +Google button, click on it, and then choose “Add to Google Reader”

If they have an RSS, click on that button


Then choose “Subscribe with Google.”  You may have to click on the +Google button first.

Now.  Now! Here’s the best part.  Go to your Google Reader Settings

And click on “Goodies.”  Click on the yellow “Next” button and drag it to your bookmarks bar.

Now!  Open a new tab, and click the new “Next” bookmark.  It will bring you to the newest (or oldest–change it in the settings) blog post from any of the blogs you read.  With one click, you can read your blogs, without tons of bookmarks, or typing in URLs.

I set Google Reader as my home page, though I almost never go to it.  When I open a new tab in Chrome, it gives me the new tab form, not my home page.  But, when I come across a blog I think might be interesting, I copy the URL, click the home button, and subscribe to the blog right away in Google Reader.  I do accumulate quite a few blogs this way, but I’m equally unsentimental about unsubscribing from a blog.  If I click the “Next” button and come to a blog post that is boring or irrelevant to me, I do a quick mental scan to see if this blog has been boring or irrelevant for a while.  If so, I click on the home button, find the blog in my Google Reader, and unsubscribe.


That’s it for now.  Those are the tools I use most often and find to be the most helpful in my day-to-day online life.

What are your tips and tricks for navigating online?  I’m always looking for cool new tools!


Did you find a typo in the post?  Let me know here.

One thought on “useful web tools

  1. Pingback: Link Round-Up | Week Wrap-Up | June 8-14 | Eliza Everyday

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