Tag Archives: Weekend Roundup

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 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

When you’re looking for a new job, there’s a lot that can go wrong, from formatting your resume improperly to being tripped up by questions during the job interview. Watch out for these 10 common mistakes job applicants often make.

10. Not Starting Your Job Search Soon Enough

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

The biggest mistake is not looking for a new job soon enough. You should keep looking for a new job, even if you have one you like and perhaps don’t want to quit. Start your job search at least 18 months or so after starting your new job. Gone are the days of pensions for decades of employee loyalty or people staying at one job for more than a few years. Whatever your job, stay on your toes so you’ll be ready for your next job search.

9. Responding to Want Ads and Job Boards

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Online job boards can help you find the keywords for your resume and criteria companies are looking for. But for landing a specific job? They’re not usually so helpful, and are more often a waste of time. Be careful, because sometimes they’re not even legitimate job ads. You’re better off reaching out to your network—perhaps using LinkedIn—than spending a ton of time applying to online job listings.

8. Sending Unsolicited Resumes

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

If you’ve found a company you’re interested in working for and the contact information for someone who works there, that’s a great thing. But don’t just send your resume out of the blue (“Hey can you find me a job at your company I’d be a fit for?”). It’s one of the most common job search mistakes you can make. Ask your contact for advice before applying for a position normally there—if they offer to pass along a recommendation or your resume, that’s great. But let them decide to do it or not.

7. Not Keeping Your Job Search a Secret

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

In some cases, it might make sense to tell your boss you’re thinking of leaving—if your manager might be willing to change the things that are bothering you. But this depends highly on your boss, and in most cases, you should keep your job search under wraps. You can make your search private even if the company checks up on employees. Make sure you change this LinkedIn setting before you start updating your profile for the job hunt.

6. Not Cleaning Up Your Online Profiles

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Most people are aware that potential employers check candidates’ social media profiles, and yet many applicants still get rejected because of their poor online profiles. Sometimes it’s not over inappropriate content, but other things like poor communication skills or sharing information about previous employers. Spruce up your social network profiles, and make sure there’s nothing posted there that might put you in a bad light.

5. Sending Generic Resumes

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

It might seem like too much work, but you should tailor your resume for the job and your profession. Remember that both hiring managers and computerized screening systems look to see if your resume matches the position. Use the keywords from the job listing in your resume. A service like Resunate can help or just create resume templates to avoid sending out the same resume everywhere. Know the key words that are best for your field.

4. Showing Up to the Interview Unprepared

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

You’ve got to ace the interview to get the job, but according to hiring managers, too many job applicants aren’t prepared for things like describing situations where they’ve succeeded or failed—or don’t even look interested. Watch your body language, come prepared with questions for the company, and be ready to respond to the most common job interview questions. Here’s a job interview sheet that can help you prep. Also, get to the interview about 15 minutes early, not too early.

3. Not Researching the Company

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

This was a biggie when I asked hiring managers what they wished job applicants knew. Know the company’s narrative before you apply: their pain points, values, and industry trends. This will help you figure out if the company is a cultural fit for you, and it will also show your interviewer that you really care about the job and your potential future at the company.

2. Not Using Your Network

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” rings true to a great extent. Your contacts—and the people they know—are your best source for a new job, since the majority of jobs aren’t even advertised. In some industries, such as computer security and management consulting, networking matters even a great deal more. It’s awkward to reach out to people when you’re looking for a job, but someone in your network could be a great referral. You could use a trade show to network your way into a new job, the LinkedIn “back door” method, or just, you know, pick up the phone or send an email. If you haven’t talked to a reference in a long time, just be transparent about why you’re reaching out.

1. Underestimating Your Worth

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Even when the job market is tough, you shouldn’t automatically accept any job offer (unless, perhaps, you’re in dire need of a job right now). The only way to make sure a job offer is fair is to know how much your skills and experience are worth. Know what salary to ask for in a new job by using a salary search site like PayScale or Glassdoor. That way you can avoid lowball offers and negotiate your salary. You should have a minimum salary you’d be willing to accept, and aim for getting a higher salary and/or better benefits than you’re currently getting. The biggest salary negotiation mistake is not doing it, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. Remember that you have and will be earning your income.

Illustration by Fruzsina Kuhári.


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 ourWeekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

When you’re looking for a new job, there’s a lot that can go wrong, from formatting your resume improperly to being tripped up by questions during the job interview. Watch out for these 10 common mistakes job applicants often make.

10. Not Starting Your Job Search Soon Enough

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

The biggest mistake is not looking for a new job soon enough. You should keep looking for a new job, even if you have one you like and perhaps don’t want to quit. Start your job search at least 18 months or so after starting your new job. Gone are the days of pensions for decades of employee loyalty or people staying at one job for more than a few years. Whatever your job, stay on your toes so you’ll be ready for your next job search.

9. Responding to Want Ads and Job Boards

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Online job boards can help you find the keywords for your resume and criteria companies are looking for. But for landing a specific job? They’re not usually so helpful, and are more often a waste of time. Be careful, because sometimes they’re not even legitimate job ads. You’re better off reaching out to your network—perhaps using LinkedIn—than spending a ton of time applying to online job listings.

8. Sending Unsolicited Resumes

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

If you’ve found a company you’re interested in working for and the contact information for someone who works there, that’s a great thing. But don’t just send your resume out of the blue (“Hey can you find me a job at your company I’d be a fit for?”). It’s one of the most common job search mistakes you can make. Ask your contact for advice before applying for a position normally there—if they offer to pass along a recommendation or your resume, that’s great. But let them decide to do it or not.

7. Not Keeping Your Job Search a Secret

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

In some cases, it might make sense to tell your boss you’re thinking of leaving—if your manager might be willing to change the things that are bothering you. But this depends highly on your boss, and in most cases, you should keep your job search under wraps. You can make your search private even if the company checks up on employees. Make sure you change this LinkedIn setting before you start updating your profile for the job hunt.

6. Not Cleaning Up Your Online Profiles

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Most people are aware that potential employers check candidates’ social media profiles, and yet many applicants still get rejected because of their poor online profiles. Sometimes it’s not over inappropriate content, but other things like poor communication skills or sharing information about previous employers. Spruce up your social network profiles, and make sure there’s nothing posted there that might put you in a bad light.

5. Sending Generic Resumes

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

It might seem like too much work, but you should tailor your resume for the job and your profession. Remember that both hiring managers and computerized screening systems look to see if your resume matches the position. Use the keywords from the job listing in your resume. A service like Resunate can help or just create resume templates to avoid sending out the same resume everywhere. Know the key words that are best for your field.

4. Showing Up to the Interview Unprepared

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

You’ve got to ace the interview to get the job, but according to hiring managers, too many job applicants aren’t prepared for things like describing situations where they’ve succeeded or failed—or don’t even look interested. Watch your body language, come prepared with questions for the company, and be ready to respond to the most common job interview questions. Here’s a job interview sheet that can help you prep. Also, get to the interview about 15 minutes early, not too early.

3. Not Researching the Company

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

This was a biggie when I asked hiring managers what they wished job applicants knew. Know the company’s narrative before you apply: their pain points, values, and industry trends. This will help you figure out if the company is a cultural fit for you, and it will also show your interviewer that you really care about the job and your potential future at the company.

2. Not Using Your Network

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” rings true to a great extent. Your contacts—and the people they know—are your best source for a new job, since the majority of jobs aren’t even advertised. In some industries, such as computer security and management consulting, networking matters even a great deal more. It’s awkward to reach out to people when you’re looking for a job, but someone in your network could be a great referral. You could use a trade show to network your way into a new job, the LinkedIn “back door” method, or just, you know, pick up the phone or send an email. If you haven’t talked to a reference in a long time, just be transparent about why you’re reaching out.

1. Underestimating Your Worth

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Even when the job market is tough, you shouldn’t automatically accept any job offer (unless, perhaps, you’re in dire need of a job right now). The only way to make sure a job offer is fair is to know how much your skills and experience are worth. Know what salary to ask for in a new job by using a salary search site like PayScale or Glassdoor. That way you can avoid lowball offers and negotiate your salary. You should have a minimum salary you’d be willing to accept, and aim for getting a higher salary and/or better benefits than you’re currently getting. The biggest salary negotiation mistake is not doing it, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. Remember that you have and will be earning your income.

Illustration by Fruzsina Kuhári.


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 ourWeekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

When you’re looking for a new job, there’s a lot that can go wrong, from formatting your resume improperly to being tripped up by questions during the job interview. Watch out for these 10 common mistakes job applicants often make.

10. Not Starting Your Job Search Soon Enough

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

The biggest mistake is not looking for a new job soon enough. You should keep looking for a new job, even if you have one you like and perhaps don’t want to quit. Start your job search at least 18 months or so after starting your new job. Gone are the days of pensions for decades of employee loyalty or people staying at one job for more than a few years. Whatever your job, stay on your toes so you’ll be ready for your next job search.

9. Responding to Want Ads and Job Boards

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Online job boards can help you find the keywords for your resume and criteria companies are looking for. But for landing a specific job? They’re not usually so helpful, and are more often a waste of time. Be careful, because sometimes they’re not even legitimate job ads. You’re better off reaching out to your network—perhaps using LinkedIn—than spending a ton of time applying to online job listings.

8. Sending Unsolicited Resumes

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

If you’ve found a company you’re interested in working for and the contact information for someone who works there, that’s a great thing. But don’t just send your resume out of the blue (“Hey can you find me a job at your company I’d be a fit for?”). It’s one of the most common job search mistakes you can make. Ask your contact for advice before applying for a position normally there—if they offer to pass along a recommendation or your resume, that’s great. But let them decide to do it or not.

7. Not Keeping Your Job Search a Secret

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

In some cases, it might make sense to tell your boss you’re thinking of leaving—if your manager might be willing to change the things that are bothering you. But this depends highly on your boss, and in most cases, you should keep your job search under wraps. You can make your search private even if the company checks up on employees. Make sure you change this LinkedIn setting before you start updating your profile for the job hunt.

6. Not Cleaning Up Your Online Profiles

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Most people are aware that potential employers check candidates’ social media profiles, and yet many applicants still get rejected because of their poor online profiles. Sometimes it’s not over inappropriate content, but other things like poor communication skills or sharing information about previous employers. Spruce up your social network profiles, and make sure there’s nothing posted there that might put you in a bad light.

5. Sending Generic Resumes

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

It might seem like too much work, but you should tailor your resume for the job and your profession. Remember that both hiring managers and computerized screening systems look to see if your resume matches the position. Use the keywords from the job listing in your resume. A service like Resunate can help or just create resume templates to avoid sending out the same resume everywhere. Know the key words that are best for your field.

4. Showing Up to the Interview Unprepared

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

You’ve got to ace the interview to get the job, but according to hiring managers, too many job applicants aren’t prepared for things like describing situations where they’ve succeeded or failed—or don’t even look interested. Watch your body language, come prepared with questions for the company, and be ready to respond to the most common job interview questions. Here’s a job interview sheet that can help you prep. Also, get to the interview about 15 minutes early, not too early.

3. Not Researching the Company

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

This was a biggie when I asked hiring managers what they wished job applicants knew. Know the company’s narrative before you apply: their pain points, values, and industry trends. This will help you figure out if the company is a cultural fit for you, and it will also show your interviewer that you really care about the job and your potential future at the company.

2. Not Using Your Network

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” rings true to a great extent. Your contacts—and the people they know—are your best source for a new job, since the majority of jobs aren’t even advertised. In some industries, such as computer security and management consulting, networking matters even a great deal more. It’s awkward to reach out to people when you’re looking for a job, but someone in your network could be a great referral. You could use a trade show to network your way into a new job, the LinkedIn “back door” method, or just, you know, pick up the phone or send an email. If you haven’t talked to a reference in a long time, just be transparent about why you’re reaching out.

1. Underestimating Your Worth

Top 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Job Search

Even when the job market is tough, you shouldn’t automatically accept any job offer (unless, perhaps, you’re in dire need of a job right now). The only way to make sure a job offer is fair is to know how much your skills and experience are worth. Know what salary to ask for in a new job by using a salary search site like PayScale or Glassdoor. That way you can avoid lowball offers and negotiate your salary. You should have a minimum salary you’d be willing to accept, and aim for getting a higher salary and/or better benefits than you’re currently getting. The biggest salary negotiation mistake is not doing it, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. Remember that you have and will be earning your income.

Illustration by Fruzsina Kuhári.


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 ourWeekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

You need to outfit your kitchen because, well, you don’t plan on eating out or ordering takeout for the rest of your life. The good news is you don’t need special kitchen appliances, such as a food processor, stand mixer, or blender to make great food at home. The bad news is you do need certain gear. Here’s a checklist to get you started.

10. A Fire Extinguisher

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Least sexy—and hopefully least needed—kitchen tool of all: a fire extinguisher. Submitted by Lifehacker reader John Hall on our post about buying kitchen upgrades, I think we can all agree this is a no-brainer. Also: Know how to put out a kitchen fire, whether you have an extinguisher or not.

9. Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

When following recipes, you’re going to need measuring cups and spoons—and mixing bowls come in handy too. Have these essential tools at the ready by mounting them in your kitchen cabinets. At the very least you’ll want to make consistent measurements whenever you cook, perhaps even by using drawn measurements on clear food storage containers.

8. Quality Dish Towels

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Germy as they are, dish towels or kitchen towels are the stalwarts of the kitchen. They wipe off counters, cover rising bread dough, chill wine fast, and can even substitute for oven mitts and potholders. (But we suggest splurging on pot holders too.)

7. A Colander

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

How are you going to drain your pasta, filter out cereal dust, collect drip-free ice, or make Thai sticky rice without a colander? Sure, you can use an aluminum pie plate as an emergency colander, but this multi-purpose tool belongs in every kitchen. People who have worked in restaurant kitchens agree.

6. Tongs

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

That moment when you first use a tong is special. Suddenly you have powers you never had before, like pulling hot dogs out of a beer bath, flipping chicken breasts without getting burned, squeezing the last bit of juice out of a lemon, and getting an item off of a shelf too high to reach otherwise.

5. Scissors/Shears

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

You already have a knife, so why do you need scissors in the kitchen? Basically, convenience and time savings. Kitchen shears can slice pizza more easily and quickly chop up herbs. If you get poultry shears, they can help you spatchcock or cut up a turkey or chicken in no time too.

4. Thermometer

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Some foods require you to use a thermometer for the best results. For example, when deep frying or sous-viding foods, making candy, or figuring out if a roast is done. Cooking is science, so you want to make sure you’re getting the most accurate and precise temperature when cooking.

3. Cutting Board

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

You’re going to need a cutting board too. [The Sweethome](http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-c… found that the best cutting board is the Prepworks Cutting Board—less than a $20 investment. If you get a wood cutting board and maintain it with oil every month, the cutting board can serve you and look good all year round.

2. Pots & Pans

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Cookware is also an obvious choice when stocking your kitchen, but that doesn’t mean choosing those pots and pans is easy. Avoid rookie pots shopping mistakes, don’t worry about burnt enamel on the pans, and focus on the main types of pans you’ll need: a stainless steel pan, a nonstick pan, a cast iron skillet, and a big pot or Dutch oven for soups and stews. Heck, you can even use a wok.

1. Knives

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

You only need four types of knives in your kitchen, perhaps carbon steel knives. It’s fine if you want to upgrade your kitchen knife collection. However, the most important thing is to stick with the basics and remember to keep your knives in good condition. You’ll work more safely and efficiently in the kitchen as a result.

We left out so many cool and useful kitchen tools here, like the fish spatula, bench scraper, kitchen scale, Dutch oven, rice cooker, and more. Still, the list above is a decent enough starter kitchen (sans microwave, toaster oven, and coffeemaker, of course). Add on for your own cooking needs.

Illustration Fruzsina Kuhári.


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 ourWeekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

You need to outfit your kitchen because, well, you don’t plan on eating out or ordering takeout for the rest of your life. The good news is you don’t need special kitchen appliances, such as a food processor, stand mixer, or blender to make great food at home. The bad news is you do need certain gear. Here’s a checklist to get you started.

10. A Fire Extinguisher

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Least sexy—and hopefully least needed—kitchen tool of all: a fire extinguisher. Submitted by Lifehacker reader John Hall on our post about buying kitchen upgrades, I think we can all agree this is a no-brainer. Also: Know how to put out a kitchen fire, whether you have an extinguisher or not.

9. Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

When following recipes, you’re going to need measuring cups and spoons—and mixing bowls come in handy too. Have these essential tools at the ready by mounting them in your kitchen cabinets. At the very least you’ll want to make consistent measurements whenever you cook, perhaps even by using drawn measurements on clear food storage containers.

8. Quality Dish Towels

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Germy as they are, dish towels or kitchen towels are the stalwarts of the kitchen. They wipe off counters, cover rising bread dough, chill wine fast, and can even substitute for oven mitts and potholders. (But we suggest splurging on pot holders too.)

7. A Colander

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

How are you going to drain your pasta, filter out cereal dust, collect drip-free ice, or make Thai sticky rice without a colander? Sure, you can use an aluminum pie plate as an emergency colander, but this multi-purpose tool belongs in every kitchen. People who have worked in restaurant kitchens agree.

6. Tongs

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

That moment when you first use a tong is special. Suddenly you have powers you never had before, like pulling hot dogs out of a beer bath, flipping chicken breasts without getting burned, squeezing the last bit of juice out of a lemon, and getting an item off of a shelf too high to reach otherwise.

5. Scissors/Shears

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

You already have a knife, so why do you need scissors in the kitchen? Basically, convenience and time savings. Kitchen shears can slice pizza more easily and quickly chop up herbs. If you get poultry shears, they can help you spatchcock or cut up a turkey or chicken in no time too.

4. Thermometer

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Some foods require you to use a thermometer for the best results. For example, when deep frying or sous-viding foods, making candy, or figuring out if a roast is done. Cooking is science, so you want to make sure you’re getting the most accurate and precise temperature when cooking.

3. Cutting Board

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

You’re going to need a cutting board too. [The Sweethome](http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-c… found that the best cutting board is the Prepworks Cutting Board—less than a $20 investment. If you get a wood cutting board and maintain it with oil every month, the cutting board can serve you and look good all year round.

2. Pots & Pans

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Cookware is also an obvious choice when stocking your kitchen, but that doesn’t mean choosing those pots and pans is easy. Avoid rookie pots shopping mistakes, don’t worry about burnt enamel on the pans, and focus on the main types of pans you’ll need: a stainless steel pan, a nonstick pan, a cast iron skillet, and a big pot or Dutch oven for soups and stews. Heck, you can even use a wok.

1. Knives

Top 10 Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

You only need four types of knives in your kitchen, perhaps carbon steel knives. It’s fine if you want to upgrade your kitchen knife collection. However, the most important thing is to stick with the basics and remember to keep your knives in good condition. You’ll work more safely and efficiently in the kitchen as a result.

We left out so many cool and useful kitchen tools here, like the fish spatula, bench scraper, kitchen scale, Dutch oven, rice cooker, and more. Still, the list above is a decent enough starter kitchen (sans microwave, toaster oven, and coffeemaker, of course). Add on for your own cooking needs.

Illustration Fruzsina Kuhári.


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 ourWeekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Top 10 Moving Tricks for a Fast, Painless Move

Top 10 Moving Tricks for a Fast, Painless Move

Moving can be fun, but packing sucks. The luster and optimism of a new home quickly diminishes when you’re busy shoving your stuff in boxes so it doesn’t break on the way. Here are some tips to make it all easier.

Full disclosure, I’m moving right now, so consider this a dose of “physician, heal thyself,” but these are some of the tricks that have helped me so far—and some things to remember for your next move as well.

10. Get an Early Start

It’s easy to say “don’t wait until the last minute” to start packing and planning for your move, but that’s not really enough. Instead, get an early start. When I started packing for this move, it was probably well over a month in advance, and I don’t regret it one bit. Starting early gives you the freedom to move boxes around your house so they’re not in your way, take your time and pace yourself, and above all, avoid that panicked crunch the week before (or even the night before) you move where you stay up until 4am packing, knowing the movers will show up at 9am, and you have a full, long day ahead of you. Surprisingly, the video above from Buzzfeed actually has some good tips in it too. Don’t do it to yourself.

9. Get Good Boxes, for Free or Otherwise

Top 10 Moving Tricks for a Fast, Painless Move

Don’t try to move all of your prized possessions in a beat up Amazon boxes that have already been through the system once on their way to you. You don’t have to pay for boxes—there are plenty of people looking to get rid of their boxes on Craigslist and local Freecycle forums. You can score good, quality boxes from your office or from local businesses like liquor stores and bookstores without paying a dime. U-Haul even has a customer connect forum where people can exchange boxes for free.

http://twocents.lifehacker.com/moving-on-a-ti…

However, the downside to getting all of your boxes for free is that you don’t know what comes with them. All manner of pests love to hitch a ride on cardboard boxes and would be happy to make your belongings their new home, so if you are willing to pay, it may be worth it for your peace of mind. It’s more important that you get quality boxes than that you get free boxes.

8. Purge Before You Start Packing, and Purge As You Go

Top 10 Moving Tricks for a Fast, Painless Move

It’s never too early to start throwing away the crap you don’t want to move. Seriously—do it as soon as you know you’re going to move, and then don’t stop chucking the nonsense until the day the movers show up. As our own Thorin Klosowski noted when he moved across country, he had a lot of stuff, and the best thing you can do is throw it all away or sell it, and then recoup what you actually need on the other end.

http://lifehacker.com/seven-things-i…

You could even do what he did—have a going away garage sale/party and invite all your friends to come take or buy everything you want to get rid of. If you really wanted, you could even host your own estate sale and really clean house.

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Don’t get caught up in the scarcity mindset. If you sell the used things you have and don’t want to take, you’ll have money to replace them—or at least the things you actually want—when you get to your destination. Best of all, if you start early, you don’t have to scrounge up boxes only to find out you’re short later. Before it goes into the box, ask yourself: Do I really need this? Should I come with me, or should I replace it later? Can I afford to replace it? Let the answers there guide you.

7. Clean While You Pack

Top 10 Moving Tricks for a Fast, Painless Move

The last thing you’ll want to do when you get to your beautiful new home is clean while you or your movers are bringing everything in. They’ll want to know where you want your bookshelves, and you’ll be busily trying to wipe off years’ old dust that you could have handled before you left your old place. Clean as you go, your future self will thank you past self when moving day shows up.

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Besides, odds are you’ll be tired when you get to your destination, and you’ll be happier moving clean furniture into a new, clean space. Give yourself that treat, at least.

6. Label Everything and Keep Your Own Inventory

Top 10 Moving Tricks for a Fast, Painless Move

If you’re moving across town, or even across state, your movers may not keep an inventory of your belongings—they’ll just toss it on an empty truck, and then empty that truck of all your things on the other end of your move. That’s fine, but you should still label all of your boxes and keep your own inventory (I’ve been using a spreadsheet, like many of you, but I do like Home Inventory for this purpose too.) of what’s in them, for your own sake, and for the sake of any insurance or homeowner’s/renter’s insurance you have. If you’re hardcore, you can even use QR codes to manage your inventory and keep things digital and private so even the movers don’t know what’s in what box.

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It’s even more important if you’re moving across state lines and you’re trusting your movers to be above board (with luck, you’ve chosen wisely and picked good, trustworthy movers). They should keep and provide you with their own inventory of your belongings, but only you’ll know what’s in each box, and if one of them goes missing, you’ll be able to replace exactly what was lost, file a police report if it’s particularly valuable, and of course, file an insurance claim for the value of the items inside.

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5. Ship Stuff To Your New Home (If It’s Cheaper than Moving It)

Top 10 Moving Tricks for a Fast, Painless Move

You know what’s easier than hauling your own stuff down to the back of a van, then driving the van, and then hauling it back up to your apartment? Paying someone to do all that lifting for you Especially if it turns out it’s cheaper to have someone haul your junk than for you to do it yourself, or even pay movers to do it for you. Like we mentioned in our budget moving guide:

Boxes containing books are among the heaviest ones to move. Once you’ve gone through your personal library and identified books to donate or sell, box up the keepers and send them via Media Mail through the U.S. Postal Service.

While they might take a little longer to arrive at their destination, you can’t beat the price: a 20-pound box of books only costs $11.55 to ship. Your savings on moving your books may take some of the sting off other expenses.

Now, you’re not going to save a ton of money here if you have lots of books, and don’t expect to just offload everything to FedEx or USPS and expect to turn the mail or courier service into your own low-rent movers, but for some things—even particularly important things—they may be better than letting movers handle it, or even trying to transport it yourself.

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4. Save All Of Your Receipts

Top 10 Moving Tricks for a Fast, Painless Move

If you’re moving for work, because you got a new job, or your job moved locations, and you move farther than 50 miles, you can deduct many of your moving expenses. Save those receipts!

Seriously—save them all. Maybe you bought boxes instead of getting them for free, or you paid to have movers haul your stuff. Maybe you shipped books USPS, or you bought rolls of tape and bubble wrap to make sure everything survived the move. You might be surprised what’s acceptable to deduct, but don’t go wild. Check this guide from the IRS and our primer to which expenses are deductible to make sure you deduct the right things come tax time the year after you move, and you’ll get a break from Uncle Sam without worrying about an audit down the line.

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3. Pack Like You’re Going on Vacation

Once you start packing, there’s a point where you’ll go from “everything fits perfectly in these boxes” to “just toss it all in the box it’s gotta go.” That’s fine, but keep some basic packing tips in mind as you progress. You’ll save space and time by packing everything like you’re going on vacation, and that means doing things like rolling your shirts and towels, using the bundle method to wrap things like shoes inside jackets and so on.

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After all, you can probably get a week or two’s belongings into bags small enough you can carry them on an airplane. No one loves living out of a suitcase, but if there’s a time to do it, it’s when you’re moving. You want the freedom to live comfortably while unpacking your things at your own pace. Plus, you won’t go scrambling around your apartment for that one box with that one thing you absolutely need in it that you swore you’d unpack as soon as you arrived—only to find it on the bottom of a stack of other boxes.

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2. Save Your Important, Necessary Items for a “First Night” Box

Top 10 Moving Tricks for a Fast, Painless Move

In the same vein as packing like you’re going on vacation, save the items that you think are most delicate or that you’ll need sooner rather than later when you arrive in your new home, and put them in a “first night” box. This is a tip we’ve mentioned before, but it’s still really important and can’t be understated.

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Whether it’s toiletries you don’t want to pack in a suitcase or carry-all, a toolkit for reassembling furniture or hanging art, or cooking essentials like your coffee maker, if you’ll want as soon as possible put it in that “first night” box. Oh, and make sure to keep some toilet paper in your carry-all, or put that in the same box.

1. Sell or Donate Your Boxes—and Anything Else—Afterward

Top 10 Moving Tricks for a Fast, Painless Move

Once you’ve arrived at your wonderful new home and you’re unpacking, unwrapping all of your safely-transported everything, and doing the endless loads of laundry that come with using clothes and blankets as packing material, you’ll have a lot of slightly used (and other more heavily beaten up) boxes you want to get rid of. You may even have some personal items you’re wondering why you bothered to move. Now’s a good time to get rid of all of it.

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Seriously, right after a move is a great time to do yet another purge, this time selling your crap for cash that’ll help you recoup your moving expenses and live happier in your new home. The Penny Hoarder has some tips on how to make some dough selling or recycling your leftover moving boxes at sites like Container Exchanger or BoxCycle—that is if you don’t just put them up for sale on Craigslist.

Either way, someone’s probably moving, and someone will pay you for your gently used boxes, even if you got them for free. Donating is great, but movers are expensive, you know. Once you’re all cleaned up and have a little money in your pocket, you can get down to the business of making yourself at home in your new home.

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Title illustration by Nick Criscuolo. Photo by Becky Stern. Illustration by Jim Cooke. Photos by Adam Dachis, Mike Mozart, David Boeke, Gustavo Frazao (Shutterstock), and Sarah Clark.

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.