January 12, 2011 Reviews

Today is Wednesday. (Sorry, just confirming to myself, since Tuesday was Wednesday last week!) My topic for Wednesdays is Reviews. On the docket today – websites of interest, value, use and helpfulness too!

First up – www.iespell.com for Internet Explorer only.  Unless you have Mozilla (Firefox) as a browser, what you enter in forms, on Facebook, in blog comments and so forth, online, is not spell-checked. I am a good speller. Unfortunately I suffer from a serious malady called FFF. My dear friend Rabia and I named it thus many years ago, after realizing that this syndrome was common with those who spend hours on our computers, and type quickly. Oh. You want to know what FFF is? Well it isn’t curable, but it is treatable if you have iespell in your arsenal! FAT FINGER FARTS is the full name of this debilitating disorder. Iespell is a free program that allows you to right-click within the body of a message you have composed online (or a form you have filled out – you know, those contest entries you so avidly pursue…) and ask iespell to verify the spelling. It is quick, easy and provides countless hours of relief from worrying about making frequent spelling gaffes.

Another free program (which also has levels for which you can pay) is www.roboform.com. (available for several browsers). There are things you may already have that serve this purpose, which is to fill out forms, remember passwords and make online life a little easier. Norton, for instance, has a password tender, and a form filler-outer, so if you have Norton anti-virus protection, that will do. But many have either NO protection (gasp) or use other programs, which, while actually very good as virus protection, don’t provide any other bells and whistles. Check out roboform. As I get older, I find that I simply can’t conjure the silliest things – like my name, age and place of residence. And the 10-number library card ID I need to reserve books, the site-generated passwords that have no input from me, and the grocery card reward code are completely beyond my ability to remember. Thus, roboform serves a solid purpose, and is a mind-reliever! 

Like so many of us, one of your New Year “resolutions” may be organization. For me, it is a year-round struggle. 600 square feet times several hobbies, multiplied by a slew of books, DVDs, kitchen gadgets and collections equal no room, and no sensible order. I have come to rely on www.flylady.com for ideas and methods to clean up  my house and control the clutter. Funny, pithy, no-holds-barred, this site gives you step by step methods to clean your house, keep it clean, and organize as you go. If you go there, check out Baby Steps, so you aren’t too overwhelmed! Great stuff!

I recently latched on to another fun and beneficial site too – http://abowlfulloflemons.blogspot.com/. This site is really aimed at the cluttered and disorganized, giving specific ideas, while not usually requiring lots of fancy gizmos or “systems.” (A hint from there, check out Big Lots!)  The site owner also sells Shaklee products (She Sells Shaklee Down by the Seashore?) which may or may not be a problem for site visitors – she isn’t blatant about it, and her organizational ideas are top-notch.

Of course I can’t let a blog about great and useful websites slip to publication without mentioning sites that relate to books! I belong to two MARVELOUS book sites. My favorite is www.librarything.com. A great way to list your books, review them, and share in community with like-minded souls, the site owner(s) have a great sense of humor, and offer several ways to sign up for free books. Check out their Early Reviewer offerings for more. www.goodreads.com is another such site, with very similar benefits and modalities. I belong to both, because, after all, there is no such thing as too many books, (or too many reader sites,) right?

These sites are only a few of the many that I use often, enjoy, and find a part of my computer-based days. If you are a book buyer, but want to stay away from the big box stores, I suggest www.betterworldbooks.com or www.powells.com for your reading pleasures. Powell’s has a daily contest, called the Daily Dose. If you sign up for the program, then submit reviews, you can win gift certificates for books from Powell’s starting at $20. I won a $40 GC, and was a happy camper! Once in a while, on Wednesdays, (or Tuesdays if I get confused again!) I will give you some more ideas for trolling the internet for useful treasures. Until then – Happy Trails!


About ReaderWoman

Professional reader and researcher for writers - Reviewer and Editor for online book review sites - AVID reader (well, duh!) writer, crafter (sewing, jewelry, fiber art) photographer, herb gardener, love to learn new things - Married 3842 years, 2 "kids" (now 34 and 36) and two grands (13 and 15) Born and raised California Girl, with stints in Tennessee, learning to speak Southern, and Arizona, learning that living in a trailer is NOT fun! Enjoy conversations with wine and chocolate, long walks and being with hubby and family. Life is good!
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