I'm running a little behind schedule today and I don't have time to write a full blog post. So instead, I'm going to suggest a small challenge for the weekend: set aside an hour or two this weekend and try out some new software. It can be work-related or something fun, but if we don't set aside time periodically to try new things, it's easy to get in a technological rut and fall behind.
Maybe there's something you've been meaning to play around with but you just haven't found the time. If not, here are some ideas:
Note: We've mentioned most of these on this blog before, but I assume that many of you didn't actually take the time to try them all out.
Google Voice - https://www.google.com/voice
This is a free service Google offers. It's basically a phone number that goes through Google (instead of a phone company) and you get great filtering and voicemail options. We use Google Voice for the main phone line at Less Annoying Software.
Grooveshark - http://grooveshark.org/
If you want to own music, you should buy it from a music store or Amazon or iTunes (but for real, don't use iTunes). If you just want to listen to a specific song or artist, Grooveshark is the place to go. You just type in what you want to hear, and the site plays it for you. It's free, legal, and they have just about every song/artist I've ever searched for.
Mint - http://www.mint.com/
Mint is a free personal finance application. You just give them some basic info about your banking and investment accounts, and they download a bunch of data (don't worry, they never actually touch your money). Then you can view reports about your spending, set future budgets, and even have Mint alert you if anything out of the ordinary happens in any of your accounts.
Dropbox - https://www.dropbox.com/
Don't you wish everything on your computer was automatically backed up online? And wouldn't it be nice if the files on your different computers all synced automatically? Dropbox makes that happen. They have a free account with 2 GB of online storage or you can pay $10/month per 50 GB (definitely worth it in my opinion).
Quora - http://www.quora.com/
You may remember my post about Q&A sites. Well Quora is my favorite one. You can set up a free account and start reading, asking and answering questions about whatever topics interest you. It might seem silly at first, but it can get pretty addictive.