Tag Archives: Top 10

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Getting a job—whether it’s your first or your tenth—isn’t easy, even if you have all the right skills and experience. Luckily there are a few tools that, once you have them and use them, can boost your chances of landing not just any job, but one you’ll enjoy.

10. Free Resume Templates

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

The first step to a better job is a better resume. If you have one and it just needs a little layout and design love, or you want something simple to give you a jumpstart, check out Google Docs’ free resume templates, which we’ve highlighted before, or these free resume templates for Microsoft Word. If you’d rather try something that lets you fill in the blanks, try a resume builder like ineedaresu.me. Once you have that awesome resume, make sure it’s well formatted to get you past applicant screening systems and robots.

9. A Better Resume Builder

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Speaking of a resume builder, if you’re a creative professional, or you just like the idea of a modern resume, you can go all out with a builder tool like the previously mentioned EnhanCV or a similar tool we’ve highlighted, Sumry. If those are too modern for you, CV Maker is a bit more down to earth and simple, and produces resumes that look a bit more traditional. Which is right for you largely depends on your style, and the industry you’re trying to get a job in.

Similarly, if you want a jumpstart without typing in a ton of information, consider LinkedIn’s resume builder. It works really well, and if for some reason it doesn’t, Creddle is another service that will build a resume for you based on your LinkedIn profile—which should, we hope, be indicative of your experience and skills.

8. Company Review Sites (like Glassdoor)

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Before you go blindly hunting for job titles you’d like to have, or even companies you’d like to work at, make sure to check out what current employees are saying about them over at Glassdoor. The site is invaluable for job searchers eager to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to work at a company, in a specific role, and how much you can expect to make if you get an offer. Even if you’re familiar with it in general, it’s worth looking at.

At the same time, don’t limit yourself to just Glassdoor. If you’re a woman looking for a company that’s not full of garbage people, consider checking out FairyGodboss, a site dedicated to giving women a place to discuss issues that matter to them in a company, and rating their employers accordingly. If you’re concerned with work/life balance and making sure a potential employer respects yours, WorkDifferent works hard to make sure they only work with and highlight companies that actually care about their employees.

7. Salary Comparison Sites (like Salary.com)

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Speaking of learning how much you’ll make when you get that offer, make sure you do your homework on how much you’re worth before you hit the interview circuit. Salary.com and PayScale.com (as well as previously mentioned Glassdoor) all provide valuable information on how much you can expect a given job to pay, based on where you live, and other companies in the same field. For even more information, check out Comparably, a new service that crowdsources the information and lets submitters stay anonymous, so no one has to worry they’ll get in trouble for publicizing their company’s pay rates.

6. Field-Specific Job Boards

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

So you have a new resume, you have some compensation in mind, and you’re ready to go looking for a new gig. Before you throw your resume up on the major job boards (which you should do, to be clear) like Indeed and CareerBuilder, and hope for the best, you should also look into job boards and sites that are specific to your industry or niche.

For example, previously mentioned LanceList is a great tool for collecting openings on various freelance job boards, while MediaBistro is pretty much essential for anyone in the writing, journalism, or new media fields and HealtheCareers is useful for people looking for jobs in health care and medical fields.

5. Contact Managers that Remind You to Follow Up

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

When you do apply for a new job, or you email back and forth with a hiring manager, recruiter, or HR professional, your next step is to make sure you keep the conversation going and keep talking—even if you’re not terribly sure you’re going to get the job, you never know when someone will be useful in your professional network. Pick up a contacts app that will help you remember to follow up—or encourage you to reach out to your contacts—on a regular basis.

Previously mentioned JobHero is great for this, and it helps organize your entire job search to boot. NextCall is also useful for this, and it can help you remember to follow up with lots of people, not just job prospects. Also, remember, a reminder is just that—you don’t have to follow up if you don’t think it’s right, and you certainly don’t have to be annoying when you do.

4. A “Work Diary”

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

The value of keeping a work diary goes well beyond just getting a new job, but once you’re on the hunt for one, you’ll be glad you have one. A work diary can help you keep track of your successes (and avoid your past mistakes,) keep you motivated, and also help you identify your biggest achievements so you can use them to argue for a raise—or in this context, flesh out your resume with glowing achievements and clearly explain to a hiring manager why you’re the right person for the job. Trust us, start yours today.

3. A Job Explorer or Career Finder

Don’t get stuck in thinking that because you’re always done a specific job that you always have to do a specific job, or that it’s all your qualified for. Job explorers like the one at Glassdoor or previously mentioned MySkills My Future can help you find jobs you may have never thought would be right for you, but do make use of the skills and experience you have in the jobs you’ve worked.

You never know, you might find a great job option that you’d never considered before—but might be just what you need to give yourself a career tune up or shake yourself out of a career rut.

2. Social Media

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

You probably know that good presence on Facebook and Twitter are important to landing a good job—and that you can even find jobs through social media by connecting with the companies you want to work for. Those are all great things, and you should definitely do them, but social networks can actually do much more for your job search.

For example, consider joining industry groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to chat with other people in the field you’re in and working in different companies to connect, share stories, and talk about the skills needed to get new jobs and get promoted. If you don’t see any, start one—or take it a step further and start a MeetUp group in your area and connect with other professionals in your area.

1. A Strong Professional Network

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Probably the best and most effective tool you can have in your arsenal to land a new or better job is a strong professional network, full of people who know your skills and capabilities, and can open doors or vouch for you. If you don’t have one, it’s time to get started building one. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a gross, self-promoting process to build one. After all, a professional network is just a group of working adults willing to help each other out with work-related stuff when they can. Keep that in mind, and don’t forget to network down, too.

Not sure how strong your network is? Try the “layoff test,” or “if I got laid off today, which ten people would I call to talk to?” If you don’t have ten people, it’s time to make some calls, step up your networking game, and of course, make sure you reach out to friends and colleagues and see how you can help them, so maybe they’ll return the favor when you need it.


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Title illustration by Fruzsina Kuhári. Additional photos by Frederik Rubensson and the Everett Collection (Shutterstock).

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Getting a job—whether it’s your first or your tenth—isn’t easy, even if you have all the right skills and experience. Luckily there are a few tools that, once you have them and use them, can boost your chances of landing not just any job, but one you’ll enjoy.

10. Free Resume Templates

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

The first step to a better job is a better resume. If you have one and it just needs a little layout and design love, or you want something simple to give you a jumpstart, check out Google Docs’ free resume templates, which we’ve highlighted before, or these free resume templates for Microsoft Word. If you’d rather try something that lets you fill in the blanks, try a resume builder like ineedaresu.me. Once you have that awesome resume, make sure it’s well formatted to get you past applicant screening systems and robots.

9. A Better Resume Builder

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Speaking of a resume builder, if you’re a creative professional, or you just like the idea of a modern resume, you can go all out with a builder tool like the previously mentioned EnhanCV or a similar tool we’ve highlighted, Sumry. If those are too modern for you, CV Maker is a bit more down to earth and simple, and produces resumes that look a bit more traditional. Which is right for you largely depends on your style, and the industry you’re trying to get a job in.

Similarly, if you want a jumpstart without typing in a ton of information, consider LinkedIn’s resume builder. It works really well, and if for some reason it doesn’t, Creddle is another service that will build a resume for you based on your LinkedIn profile—which should, we hope, be indicative of your experience and skills.

8. Company Review Sites (like Glassdoor)

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Before you go blindly hunting for job titles you’d like to have, or even companies you’d like to work at, make sure to check out what current employees are saying about them over at Glassdoor. The site is invaluable for job searchers eager to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to work at a company, in a specific role, and how much you can expect to make if you get an offer. Even if you’re familiar with it in general, it’s worth looking at.

At the same time, don’t limit yourself to just Glassdoor. If you’re a woman looking for a company that’s not full of garbage people, consider checking out FairyGodboss, a site dedicated to giving women a place to discuss issues that matter to them in a company, and rating their employers accordingly. If you’re concerned with work/life balance and making sure a potential employer respects yours, WorkDifferent works hard to make sure they only work with and highlight companies that actually care about their employees.

7. Salary Comparison Sites (like Salary.com)

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Speaking of learning how much you’ll make when you get that offer, make sure you do your homework on how much you’re worth before you hit the interview circuit. Salary.com and PayScale.com (as well as previously mentioned Glassdoor) all provide valuable information on how much you can expect a given job to pay, based on where you live, and other companies in the same field. For even more information, check out Comparably, a new service that crowdsources the information and lets submitters stay anonymous, so no one has to worry they’ll get in trouble for publicizing their company’s pay rates.

6. Field-Specific Job Boards

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

So you have a new resume, you have some compensation in mind, and you’re ready to go looking for a new gig. Before you throw your resume up on the major job boards (which you should do, to be clear) like Indeed and CareerBuilder, and hope for the best, you should also look into job boards and sites that are specific to your industry or niche.

For example, previously mentioned LanceList is a great tool for collecting openings on various freelance job boards, while MediaBistro is pretty much essential for anyone in the writing, journalism, or new media fields and HealtheCareers is useful for people looking for jobs in health care and medical fields.

5. Contact Managers that Remind You to Follow Up

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

When you do apply for a new job, or you email back and forth with a hiring manager, recruiter, or HR professional, your next step is to make sure you keep the conversation going and keep talking—even if you’re not terribly sure you’re going to get the job, you never know when someone will be useful in your professional network. Pick up a contacts app that will help you remember to follow up—or encourage you to reach out to your contacts—on a regular basis.

Previously mentioned JobHero is great for this, and it helps organize your entire job search to boot. NextCall is also useful for this, and it can help you remember to follow up with lots of people, not just job prospects. Also, remember, a reminder is just that—you don’t have to follow up if you don’t think it’s right, and you certainly don’t have to be annoying when you do.

4. A “Work Diary”

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

The value of keeping a work diary goes well beyond just getting a new job, but once you’re on the hunt for one, you’ll be glad you have one. A work diary can help you keep track of your successes (and avoid your past mistakes,) keep you motivated, and also help you identify your biggest achievements so you can use them to argue for a raise—or in this context, flesh out your resume with glowing achievements and clearly explain to a hiring manager why you’re the right person for the job. Trust us, start yours today.

3. A Job Explorer or Career Finder

Don’t get stuck in thinking that because you’re always done a specific job that you always have to do a specific job, or that it’s all your qualified for. Job explorers like the one at Glassdoor or previously mentioned MySkills My Future can help you find jobs you may have never thought would be right for you, but do make use of the skills and experience you have in the jobs you’ve worked.

You never know, you might find a great job option that you’d never considered before—but might be just what you need to give yourself a career tune up or shake yourself out of a career rut.

2. Social Media

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

You probably know that good presence on Facebook and Twitter are important to landing a good job—and that you can even find jobs through social media by connecting with the companies you want to work for. Those are all great things, and you should definitely do them, but social networks can actually do much more for your job search.

For example, consider joining industry groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to chat with other people in the field you’re in and working in different companies to connect, share stories, and talk about the skills needed to get new jobs and get promoted. If you don’t see any, start one—or take it a step further and start a MeetUp group in your area and connect with other professionals in your area.

1. A Strong Professional Network

Top 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Job Search

Probably the best and most effective tool you can have in your arsenal to land a new or better job is a strong professional network, full of people who know your skills and capabilities, and can open doors or vouch for you. If you don’t have one, it’s time to get started building one. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a gross, self-promoting process to build one. After all, a professional network is just a group of working adults willing to help each other out with work-related stuff when they can. Keep that in mind, and don’t forget to network down, too.

Not sure how strong your network is? Try the “layoff test,” or “if I got laid off today, which ten people would I call to talk to?” If you don’t have ten people, it’s time to make some calls, step up your networking game, and of course, make sure you reach out to friends and colleagues and see how you can help them, so maybe they’ll return the favor when you need it.


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Title illustration by Fruzsina Kuhári. Additional photos by Frederik Rubensson and the Everett Collection (Shutterstock).

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

3D printing is a great way to create something truly personal, make your awesome ideas reality, or just make perfect replacements for broken parts or components. If you’re stumped for ideas though, here are 10 great resources for you to get inspired, or just find something you’d like to have printed yourself.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-make-3d…

You don’t have to own a 3D printer to get into 3D printing. There are tons of ways to get access to a printer for your own ideas or designs, and even more if you’re a true beginner and want to learn the ins and outs of the process. But what if you need a little inspiration for what you can do with 3D printing, whether you get your own printer or find someone to print for you? Read on.

http://lifehacker.com/the-best-free-…

10. Shapeways

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

Part marketplace, part clearing house for awesome projects, Shapeways lets you do three big things: upload and print your own designs, hire someone to design something for you that you’d like to have 3D printed, or get inspired by the multitude of projects already available on the site, or find something awesome you’d like to print yourself, have printed and shipped to you, or tweak to suit your needs.

It doesn’t hurt that Shapeways was also your favorite 3D printing service the last time we asked you for your favorites. The community there is huge, the number of projects in their database is massive, and the gallery of inspiring things other people have made (and sell) is incredible to browse.

http://lifehacker.com/five-best-3d-p…

9. Thingiverse

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

Thingiverse is less of a marketplace (although there’s plenty for sale if you make connections with other makers), and more of a showroom for all of the awesome projects, plans, and other creations of makers just like you—other people interested in 3D printing and who have made great things, want to make great things, or just need inspiration. Best of all, almost all of the designs on the site are available free and open source to the public, via Creative Commons or GNU GPL. There are even mobile apps for the community, available for iOS and Android.

Browse everything and you’ll see a combination of completed projects, early sketched out plans, and raw ideas looking for some honing around the edges. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find collections designed to inspire, (it’s worth mentioning that Thingiverse is owned by Makerbot Industries), or browse by project categories like video games, hobby items, gadgets, household, and more to see what you can make. If you’re not sure what exactly you can 3D print, you’ll find something there to get the gears turning, and if you find something you like, you can download it and get it printed yourself.

8. Instructables

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

Instructables is home to all manner of projects, from woodworking or cooking to electronics or 3D printing. It can be tough to drill down just to the 3D printing projects, but 3D printed components pop up in some of the most unusual places when you’re looking around Instructables. Maybe someone 3D printed part of their IKEA hacked camera jig. Maybe there’s a whole 3D printing contest, encouraging makers to submit their own designs and inspiration.

In any case, if you’re looking for awesome things to 3D print, or maybe you’re looking for your own DIY projects and would love to fit 3D printing into them, Instructables is a great place to look. We love them, and even when you find bad or badly executed projects, you’ll find tons of inspiration.

7. 3DShook

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

3DShook is a marketplace of items that can be 3D printed at home, or anywhere you have access to a printer. Many of the patterns and schematics are for sale, and the site has a subscription service where you can get items in their catalog printed for you whenever you like. The team behind 3DShook praises their catalog on being curated and vetted, so while other sites have a wide open community and tons of open source schematics, 3DShook schematics are exclusive, closed, and only available from them—not to mention can be printed, has been printed, and will likely work out the way you want.

Of course, that’s a double-edged sword. You do have to pay to get something printed, and all of their schematics come at a cost unless it’s in their “trial gallery” of items you can print yourself. All that said, their catalog is rich and huge, so even if you don’t find something you want them to print—or something you want to download and print—you’ll find some inspiration for your own projects.

6. Pinshape

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

Pinshape is another gallery of community-driven, user-submitted collection of 3D printing projects and schematics, many of which are freely available to download, and a few others are available for a couple of bucks. The site also hosts contests, forums, and has a huge community of makers both with their own printers and without, all of whom are eager to share their schematics, ideas, and help one another perfect their projects. If you have your own design you’d like to share, the service welcomes all-comers, and if you want to sell it, well, you can do that too.

Pinshape’s community is its biggest asset though, so even if you’re just trying to get into 3D printing or looking to see what people can do with their own printers, it’s a good site to join and browse, and a great community of fellow makers you can get to know.

5. Wevolver

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

Focused a little less to “everything” and a little more to “electronics and other complex projects,” Wevolver is primarily a community of makers. The goal of the service is to give aspiring makers a place they can share files, get feedback, and meet the people who can inspire and help them make their ideas reality. Unlike some of the other sites that are more marketplaces or just galleries, Wevolver is a community first, and a sharing service second.

Most of the projects people at Wevolver talk about though are a bit more advanced than some of the more hobby-friendly 3D printing projects the other services here host. You’ll find robotics projects, drone building and piloting projects, complicated electronics projects and setups, and of course, 3D printing the whole way there, from people who have built their own printers or are using printers to make some truly amazing and complicated things. You’ll find communities around 3D printed robotic prostheses, autonomous robots, custom UAVs, and more.

4. Youmagine

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

With over 1200 open source 3D printing projects you can download, customize, and remix to make your own, Youmagine is all community and all designs, without the baggage that sometimes comes with being associated with a 3D printing service. Like many of the other services here, individuals and groups (like our friends, Adafruit!) submit their designs to the site complete with schematics and instructions so you can make it your own.

You can also make curated collections of your own favorite prints and projects, so you can build something of an inspiration board for yourself if you find projects you’re interested in, but can’t make right now. Of course, you can also browse other user collections for even more inspiration—and when you’re ready to print or make something of you own, you can download the plans and make it, or use those plans to build something of your own.

3. Cults

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

Cults is a little more artistic and eccentric than some of the other options here. Their catalog contains schematics and plans that range from the uniquely useful to the near- abstract, but they’re all interesting and fun. You’ll find plenty of figurines, toys and hobby items, household decorations, and other fun projects, many of which are just there to admire, and others for sale for a few dollars here or there. There are even jewelry items you can print, tools like camera mounts and doorstops, and even some more adult-themed items as well. If you’re interested in the more offbeat and interesting side of 3D printing, the service is well worth checking out.

2. A Nearby Hackerspace or Makerspace

If you’re an aspiring maker at all, you should definitely seek out a hackerspace or makerspace in your community, check out the perks and tools available to members, and sign up if you see what you like. Not only will you have access to the tools required to make your ideas reality, you’ll also join an instant community of like-minded, local creators who can (and often will anyway) show off their own projects, inspire you with their expertise, or help you with your ideas. There’s a lot to learn by looking at web site, but there’s even more to learn by joining a group of people like you.

http://lifehacker.com/5912598/how-to…

1. Your Local Library

Top 10 Places to Find Awesome Things to 3D Print

If you don’t have a hackerspace nearby, odds are your local library has a 3D printer you can try out, and hopefully there are more than a few people on staff who can help you get started with one.

Check with your local library first to make sure a printer is available, and if there is one, if anyone can show you how to use it. Some local libraries even host group sessions or classes to help people get familiar with 3D printing, design their own items, and sign up for times to get their print job done. You can hang out and watch, or come pick it up, but in either case, it’s another great way to join a community of makers and build something great and unique.

Illustration by Fruzsina Kuhári. Additional photos by Ruth Ellison and FryskLab.

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

A substantial PC upgrade, or even a better workspace, doesn’t have to be a huge project that drains your time and energy. If you can order the parts, there are several worthwhile improvements you can make that’ll pay off big when it’s time to work (or play). Here are some of them.

10. Switch to a New, Better Case

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

This one’s for the PC builders out there. Even if you keep all of the same components, there’s nothing like a brand new case to give your computer—and your desk—a new lease on life. Maybe you’d like some more easily accessible USB ports, or maybe you bought a huge case back in the day and now you’d rather have a space-saving model.

http://lifehacker.com/5994570/five-b…

As long as you buy smart and don’t let a new case spiral into building a new PC, you can have your cake and eat it too. If you need some suggestions, we have our favorite PC cases here, and our favorite small form-factor PC cases here to get you started. You can (and should) also check out what the folks at Logical Increments suggests based on your budget, and what’s popular over on PCPartPicker.

http://lifehacker.com/5951431/five-b…

9. Upgrade Your Display

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

A new display, bigger display, or additional display can make all the difference in your productivity (or not, but it’ll definitely make your desk cooler.) Whether you’re rocking an old 22" display you’ve had forever, don’t even have an external display, or could use the screen real estate that a 4K display could offer, now’s a good time to upgrade.

http://lifehacker.com/ultrawide-vs-d…

Even if you don’t want to go full 4K, there are plenty of affordable, large panels that could give you more room to work. You could always go with an ultrawide display instead of multiple panels, or you can pick up a large, solid budget LED display to give your desk a facelift and a utility boost.

http://lifehacker.com/five-best-budg…

8. Get a New Keyboard and Mouse

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

You use your keyboard and mouse every day, and there’s no easier way to give yourself that “new computer” feeling than to upgrade them both. Sure, your PC’s innards will be the same as they’ve always been, but new peripherals, especially ones you’ve had your eyes on, can make a huge difference.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-choose-…

If you’ve been using the keyboard and mouse that came with your computer, now’s a good time to upgrade to a new one. Maybe give a mechanical keyboard a try (we love them around here), or pick up a sleek new gaming keyboard (and mouse). They’re fun for play, sure, but they can also help you get real work done. If you need some mouse suggestions, we’ve always been big fans of Logitech’s Performance MX, but the new MX Master is a fitting successor to it. It’s not your only option, though!

http://lifehacker.com/logitech-mouse…

7. Upgrade your Graphics Card

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

Again, this is for the desktop PC owners (and builders) here, but a graphics card upgrade can be a big improvement for a PC that’s starting to show its age (or slow down when you try to unwind and play some video games!) Of course, it’s not always a smart investment, so you should make sure you think hard before rushing out to buy whatever card everyone’s shouting about these days. Still, if yours is due for an upgrade and you’ll actually benefit from the upgrade, it’s easy to find even budget-friendly cards that will make the most of that new display we mentioned earlier, and speed up your system’s performance in your favorite games.

http://lifehacker.com/5883376/what-h…

6. Give Yourself the Gift of Better Audio

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

Whether you like to listen to music, or you record audio for podcasts, streams, or just do the occasional Skype call or Hangout with coworkers, a new pair of speakers or headphones (and we have some suggestions in the headphone department,) and a microphone can go a long long way toward making sure your audio is crystal clear. Best of all, they don’t cost a fortune, and installation is easy enough to do in a couple of minutes.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-make-su…

We’re big fans of the Blue Yeti, but if that’s not your style, here are some of our other picks. If you’re still not sure, check out our guide to choosing the best microphone for you, or check out some of our favorite headsets with attached microphones if that’s more your speed.

When it comes to speakers, you have plenty of options, from simple bookshelf speakers you can connect to anything, great desktop speaker systems designed for PCs, to full 5.1 surround systems. Choose what works for you and your space, but anything will be an upgrade over the speakers that came with your PC, or whatever’s built into your laptop.

5. Add a New, HD Camera

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

If you’re thinking about doing video streams, or just want your visuals to match the crystal clear audio you got from that last upgrade, a new camera is in order. Odds are whatever camera is built into your laptop may not be the best, and certainly isn’t adjustable. A new, HD-capable camera will make sure everyone can see you clearly and you’re not a fuzzy blob on-screen when you fire up a Skype call, or try to do a Google Hangout with friends or coworkers when you work from home. Worst case, if you don’t have a camera at all, you probably have a good one on your phone. We have guides to turn your iOS device or Android phone into a PC-connected webcam.

http://lifehacker.com/5961369/five-b…

4. Add More Convenient Power (Strips)

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

When you set up your desk the first time, odds are you didn’t include all the power you’d need to connect everything you have now. Maybe you added some power strips later, or worse, you’re daisy-chaining power strips together for some reason. Stop that and get yourself a good surge protector, or better yet, a good UPS to protect your gear. Then tack on a long, server-style power strip to connect to it and give you all the power you need for all your gear. It’s a better solution than big, bulky power strips hanging off the walls, and your cables will be easier to manage.

http://lifehacker.com/long-server-ro…

3. Upgrade Your Power Supply

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

Now we’re getting serious. Upgrading your power supply may take a little time (no more than transplanting all of your gear to a new case, however!) but if you’re rocking the one that came with your case when you built your PC, one that’s way too underpowered for the gear you’ve crammed into your build, or you’re experiencing strange and quirky problems with your system, it might be time for an upgrade. Don’t expect to save money on energy though, that’s not what this is about—it’s about stability and giving you enough juice to run everything you want to run. Get thee to a power supply calculator and make sure the one you buy can support your system.

http://lifehacker.com/5970985/why-hi…

2. Add more RAM

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

We’ve said before that most modern systems probably won’t benefit from more than around 4GB of RAM, but that doesn’t mean that yours won’t be an outlier. If you don’t have that much, or you do memory intensive tasks, high-end gaming, or use virtualization software to test software or experiment, you’ll need more—a lot more. For everyday use though, 16GB is the new ceiling. Plus, while RAM isn’t as cheap as it used to be, it’s still cheap enough that in some cases it makes more sense to just max out your motherboard and call it a day.

http://lifehacker.com/performance-te…

However, just make sure you’re not spending more on RAM than you would on other, better and more valuable upgrades to your system. More RAM isn’t a silver bullet to better performance, but if your system is hurting for memory, you probably know it already, so full speed ahead.

1. Install an (or Upgrade Your) SSD

Top 10 PC and Workspace Upgrades You Can Do in an Afternoon

If you have a computer built at all in the past few years, your boot drive is probably already an SSD. That’s great! You may want another one—bigger SSDs are cheaper now than they’ve ever been, and even if you already have one, if it’s super old and slow, there’s nothing wrong with upgrading to a newer, faster one. Even if you have a laptop, your drive is probably easy to swap out and replace, and the benefits will show themselves the first time you reboot your machine.

http://co-op.kinja.com/five-best-soli…

If you need some help picking a good one, here are some suggestions, and of course, you can always find some good picks at Logical Increments and make sure they’re compatible with your gear at PCPartPicker. When it comes time to actually do the installation, make sure you take your files and settings with you, and optimize it for performance.

http://lifehacker.com/5837543/how-to…


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Illustration by Fruzsina Kuhári. Photos by TJStamp, Brett Morrison, Kevin Pham, Matthew Keefe, yoppy, Murat Tanyel, danrock, Yutaka Tsutano, and Intel Free Press.

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Everyone loves a clean, tidy home, but cleaning sucks. Big cleans are a pain, and smaller cleaning sessions make sense, but who has time? Here are some ways to streamline the big cleans when you have to do them, and make the little ones even easier to do regularly.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-streaml…

10. Make a Schedule (and Stick to It!)

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

If you’re struggling to keep things tidy, the biggest thing you can do (and equally the smallest, aside from actually cleaning things) is to make a schedule for your big and small cleanings, and stick to it.

http://lifehacker.com/5273978/use-a-…

This sample schedule from Real Simple is broken into weekly, monthly, three-to-six month, and even yearly periods, and is a great one to get started with. Even if there isn’t much to tidy on a day you’ve scheduled a big clean, do what you can and enjoy the results. With small cleans, do the same. As long as you make it a habit, the rest will come naturally. You don’t even have to set aside a lot of time for it: even 20 minutes is more than enough.

http://lifehacker.com/316251/follow-…

9. Get the Right Tools for the Job

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

As much as we love telling you all about how vinegar and baking soda can make just about anything go from grimy to glistening, sometimes they’re just not the right tools for the job—or at least not the tools that’ll get the job done quickly. If you value your time as much as your money, you’ll probably want to grab the tools that make cleaning as easy as possible.

http://lifehacker.com/5861821/how-to…

From the time-saving wonder that is the Magic Eraser, the surprising ease of dusting with a proper duster instead of a cloth, to actually investing in a proper anti-mildew spray instead of just spritzing the shower with vinegar and hoping for the best, using the right tools makes a huge difference. Even if one of those tools is a little robot friend who’ll do a lot of it for you.

http://lifehacker.com/the-best-produ…

8. Set Up Staging Areas for Clutter

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

One thing that stops a lot of people from cleaning is that you’ll inevitably need a place to put the stuff you’re cleaning while you clean under it, around it, and organize it. Needing clean space before you start cleaning isn’t a catch-22; you just have to solve for the problem first.

http://lifehacker.com/5941340/create…

Make a plan of attack, set up a few staging areas (or “clutter buckets”) where you can move the items you’re cleaning temporarily, and give yourself the freedom to use them. Once you have a space you can move your clutter to, you’re free to clean freely without worrying “where’s all this stuff going to go while I’m cleaning?”

http://lifehacker.com/5681698/create…

7. Do One Room at a Time

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Part of forming that attack plan we mentioned is making sure that you only take on what you can handle in specific cleaning sessions. Don’t overcommit and think you’re going to do your whole apartment in one afternoon, or the whole house in a single day. You may be able to cover the distance, but you’ll be tired, stressed, and nothing will be as clean as you’d really like it to be. Stick to one room or space in your home at a time and focus on it. Like any goal, you want housecleaning to be bite-sized and doable without being so monolithic you’ll never actually do it.

http://lifehacker.com/5967278/how-to…

This also lets you spend as much or as little time in any one area as you need to. You can clean your whole bedroom in 10 minutes if it comes down to it, you can do larger spaces in 20 minutes. If those things are possible for people who are probably already clean, imagine what you can do with just a few more minutes.

http://lifehacker.com/5876139/clean-…

6. Clean in Bursts

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

When you do get down to actually picking up the gear, putting on some gloves, plugging in the vaccuum, and getting things done, make sure you clean in short bursts—only a few minutes at a time. There’s a reason why those “one room” guides are only 10 or 20 minutes. If you go on too long, you’ll burn out, get tired, get sweaty and uncomfortable, and just give up on the whole thing. Even if you do power through, you’ll never want to do it again.

http://lifehacker.com/294770/keep-yo…

Keeping things short and giving yourself plenty of breaks also lets you get things done without getting stressed out, and it also trains you to get a lot done in a short period of time, so you can feel accomplished while you sit down for a few minutes before you get up and tackle something else.

http://lifehacker.com/5839936/clean-…

5. Let Your Appliances Clean For You

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Remember, getting things clean doesn’t have to mean doing all the work yourself. We’ve talked about some great lazy ways to let other devices clean for you while you do the stuff you can’t get away from doing manually. You can toss everything from keyboards and stove ventilation hood filters to light fixture covers and vacuum cleaner attachments into the dishwasher. Then turn around and let your washing machine refresh your pillows for you while you do other things, and then let it refresh your towels while it washes them when the pillows are done.

http://lifehacker.com/top-10-lazy-ye…

4. Let Time Clean For You

Aside from the appliances you already have and the right gear for the job, time is you best friend when it comes to cleaning your house. Whenever possible, start some cleaning task in one place, then let it work on autopilot while you go do something else.

http://lifehacker.com/5829673/how-to…

Normally multitasking isn’t ideal, but since you don’t need to focus on the shower head while you’re vacuuming the floor, why not wrap it up in a cleaning solution and let it clean itself? Let the oven clean itself overnight with a pot of boiling water and some ammonia in it and you can wipe up the grime when it’s done (just don’t use the self-cleaning feature!) Do the same with your microwave—put in some lemon water, fire it up, and walk away while you clean something else in the kitchen. Spray down the shower and toilet with bleach or cleaning solution, then leave it alone while you wipe down the mirror and bathroom countertops.

3. Fake It When You Have To

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

There’s nothing wrong with doing the absolute minimum to give you some peace of mind if you don’t have the time or the willpower to actually do a deep clean.

http://lifehacker.com/5185773/how-to…

Quick brush-ups, tidy-ups, and well, just hiding everything that should be out of sight and covering up your clutter is just fine for those work weeks that are just out of control, or those days where you’re sick or just dead tired. Cut yourself some slack when you need to and show some self-compassion. Not only is it good for you, it’ll help you rebound and tackle the job again when you have the time or energy.

http://lifehacker.com/5907670/fake-a…

2. Get Help When You Need It

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of others when it comes to cleaning. If you’re stuck thinking that you’re the only one who can do all the housecleaning—especially if you live with a spouse or roomies, give yourself a break and get everyone else involved. We’ve even outlined some age-appropriate chores for kids to help out with.

http://lifehacker.com/the-chores-kid…

For those big cleans, it makes the whole thing go by faster (not to mention it makes the small cleans easier later), and for the regular, smaller cleaning jobs it means you can be free of it entirely. Don’t shoulder the whole burden yourself.

1. Pay to Make the Problem Go Away

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Sometimes money really can buy happiness—and when it can, you should spend it. In some cases, maybe it’s just better to ignore the problem entirely, or just dedicate yourself to those small, periodic cleans, and let someone else come in and handle the big ones and deep cleans that you really don’t have the time or willpower to do.

http://lifehacker.com/5859755/when-m…

You’ve said in the past that a housecleaner is overwhelmingly worth the money, provided you have it to spend. After all, you have to value your time as well as your money, and that time and energy saved (not to mention the mental relief) can, in some cases, be priceless. If you can’t get help, or that help isn’t enough, and you can’t do it yourself, never think you’re stuck—someone out there is willing to do it for you if you’re willing to part with the money to have it done.

http://lifehacker.com/is-hiring-a-ho…

Illustration by Tina Mailhot-Roberge. Photos by Tim Regan, Morgan, Melissa Barrett, Maarten Takens, Dana Robinson, Kodomut, and condesign.


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Everyone loves a clean, tidy home, but cleaning sucks. Big cleans are a pain, and smaller cleaning sessions make sense, but who has time? Here are some ways to streamline the big cleans when you have to do them, and make the little ones even easier to do regularly.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-streaml…

10. Make a Schedule (and Stick to It!)

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

If you’re struggling to keep things tidy, the biggest thing you can do (and equally the smallest, aside from actually cleaning things) is to make a schedule for your big and small cleanings, and stick to it.

http://lifehacker.com/5273978/use-a-…

This sample schedule from Real Simple is broken into weekly, monthly, three-to-six month, and even yearly periods, and is a great one to get started with. Even if there isn’t much to tidy on a day you’ve scheduled a big clean, do what you can and enjoy the results. With small cleans, do the same. As long as you make it a habit, the rest will come naturally. You don’t even have to set aside a lot of time for it: even 20 minutes is more than enough.

http://lifehacker.com/316251/follow-…

9. Get the Right Tools for the Job

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

As much as we love telling you all about how vinegar and baking soda can make just about anything go from grimy to glistening, sometimes they’re just not the right tools for the job—or at least not the tools that’ll get the job done quickly. If you value your time as much as your money, you’ll probably want to grab the tools that make cleaning as easy as possible.

http://lifehacker.com/5861821/how-to…

From the time-saving wonder that is the Magic Eraser, the surprising ease of dusting with a proper duster instead of a cloth, to actually investing in a proper anti-mildew spray instead of just spritzing the shower with vinegar and hoping for the best, using the right tools makes a huge difference. Even if one of those tools is a little robot friend who’ll do a lot of it for you.

http://lifehacker.com/the-best-produ…

8. Set Up Staging Areas for Clutter

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

One thing that stops a lot of people from cleaning is that you’ll inevitably need a place to put the stuff you’re cleaning while you clean under it, around it, and organize it. Needing clean space before you start cleaning isn’t a catch-22; you just have to solve for the problem first.

http://lifehacker.com/5941340/create…

Make a plan of attack, set up a few staging areas (or “clutter buckets”) where you can move the items you’re cleaning temporarily, and give yourself the freedom to use them. Once you have a space you can move your clutter to, you’re free to clean freely without worrying “where’s all this stuff going to go while I’m cleaning?”

http://lifehacker.com/5681698/create…

7. Do One Room at a Time

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Part of forming that attack plan we mentioned is making sure that you only take on what you can handle in specific cleaning sessions. Don’t overcommit and think you’re going to do your whole apartment in one afternoon, or the whole house in a single day. You may be able to cover the distance, but you’ll be tired, stressed, and nothing will be as clean as you’d really like it to be. Stick to one room or space in your home at a time and focus on it. Like any goal, you want housecleaning to be bite-sized and doable without being so monolithic you’ll never actually do it.

http://lifehacker.com/5967278/how-to…

This also lets you spend as much or as little time in any one area as you need to. You can clean your whole bedroom in 10 minutes if it comes down to it, you can do larger spaces in 20 minutes. If those things are possible for people who are probably already clean, imagine what you can do with just a few more minutes.

http://lifehacker.com/5876139/clean-…

6. Clean in Bursts

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

When you do get down to actually picking up the gear, putting on some gloves, plugging in the vaccuum, and getting things done, make sure you clean in short bursts—only a few minutes at a time. There’s a reason why those “one room” guides are only 10 or 20 minutes. If you go on too long, you’ll burn out, get tired, get sweaty and uncomfortable, and just give up on the whole thing. Even if you do power through, you’ll never want to do it again.

http://lifehacker.com/294770/keep-yo…

Keeping things short and giving yourself plenty of breaks also lets you get things done without getting stressed out, and it also trains you to get a lot done in a short period of time, so you can feel accomplished while you sit down for a few minutes before you get up and tackle something else.

http://lifehacker.com/5839936/clean-…

5. Let Your Appliances Clean For You

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Remember, getting things clean doesn’t have to mean doing all the work yourself. We’ve talked about some great lazy ways to let other devices clean for you while you do the stuff you can’t get away from doing manually. You can toss everything from keyboards and stove ventilation hood filters to light fixture covers and vacuum cleaner attachments into the dishwasher. Then turn around and let your washing machine refresh your pillows for you while you do other things, and then let it refresh your towels while it washes them when the pillows are done.

http://lifehacker.com/top-10-lazy-ye…

4. Let Time Clean For You

Aside from the appliances you already have and the right gear for the job, time is you best friend when it comes to cleaning your house. Whenever possible, start some cleaning task in one place, then let it work on autopilot while you go do something else.

http://lifehacker.com/5829673/how-to…

Normally multitasking isn’t ideal, but since you don’t need to focus on the shower head while you’re vacuuming the floor, why not wrap it up in a cleaning solution and let it clean itself? Let the oven clean itself overnight with a pot of boiling water and some ammonia in it and you can wipe up the grime when it’s done (just don’t use the self-cleaning feature!) Do the same with your microwave—put in some lemon water, fire it up, and walk away while you clean something else in the kitchen. Spray down the shower and toilet with bleach or cleaning solution, then leave it alone while you wipe down the mirror and bathroom countertops.

3. Fake It When You Have To

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

There’s nothing wrong with doing the absolute minimum to give you some peace of mind if you don’t have the time or the willpower to actually do a deep clean.

http://lifehacker.com/5185773/how-to…

Quick brush-ups, tidy-ups, and well, just hiding everything that should be out of sight and covering up your clutter is just fine for those work weeks that are just out of control, or those days where you’re sick or just dead tired. Cut yourself some slack when you need to and show some self-compassion. Not only is it good for you, it’ll help you rebound and tackle the job again when you have the time or energy.

http://lifehacker.com/5907670/fake-a…

2. Get Help When You Need It

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of others when it comes to cleaning. If you’re stuck thinking that you’re the only one who can do all the housecleaning—especially if you live with a spouse or roomies, give yourself a break and get everyone else involved. We’ve even outlined some age-appropriate chores for kids to help out with.

http://lifehacker.com/the-chores-kid…

For those big cleans, it makes the whole thing go by faster (not to mention it makes the small cleans easier later), and for the regular, smaller cleaning jobs it means you can be free of it entirely. Don’t shoulder the whole burden yourself.

1. Pay to Make the Problem Go Away

Top 10 Ways to Finally Conquer Your Housecleaning

Sometimes money really can buy happiness—and when it can, you should spend it. In some cases, maybe it’s just better to ignore the problem entirely, or just dedicate yourself to those small, periodic cleans, and let someone else come in and handle the big ones and deep cleans that you really don’t have the time or willpower to do.

http://lifehacker.com/5859755/when-m…

You’ve said in the past that a housecleaner is overwhelmingly worth the money, provided you have it to spend. After all, you have to value your time as well as your money, and that time and energy saved (not to mention the mental relief) can, in some cases, be priceless. If you can’t get help, or that help isn’t enough, and you can’t do it yourself, never think you’re stuck—someone out there is willing to do it for you if you’re willing to part with the money to have it done.

http://lifehacker.com/is-hiring-a-ho…

Illustration by Tina Mailhot-Roberge. Photos by Tim Regan, Morgan, Melissa Barrett, Maarten Takens, Dana Robinson, Kodomut, and condesign.


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.