How often do you find yourself with weird breaks in your day—breaks that are too short to get any real work done, but too long to just sit there? If you’re like us, you probably just end up browsing Facebook during these moments. But not anymore!
We’ve put together a list of 55 sites for every mood, so that no matter what you feel like looking at, you’re guaranteed to spend those three minutes productively. Or at least, more productively than if you were liking your niece’s kindergarten graduation photos.
If You Need Some Inspiration
Here’s where the world’s top designers and illustrators go to show off what they’re working on.
You’ve probably browsed Kickstarter before, but have you ever used it for inspiration? Check out the Discover page to look at especially awesome projects.
Each May, The Webby Awards gives out its “Best of the Internet” awards in five major media categories: websites, interactive advertising and media, online film and video, mobile sites and apps, and social. Trust us—you’ll like what you find.
Behance was established as portfolio site for creatives. You can find amazing work in every field, from motion graphics and architecture to culinary arts and toy design.
On Information Is Beautiful, you’ll find infographics, charts, and diagrams that are both thought-provoking and visually stunning.
6. Product Hunt
Looking for cool, just-released apps, sites, and products? Look no further.
You definitely don’t have to be an industrial designer to appreciate the innovative, beautiful projects on Core77.
Milq lets you build and browse collections of culture. Save songs, video, and images, participate in culture-based discussions, and follow other people to see what they’re being inspired by.
This site is billed as “the ultimate buyer’s guide for men,” but we think anyone will appreciate the covetable creations featured on Uncrate.
10. The Best Designs
Browse gorgeous websites, design themes, and our favorite category, physical workspaces.
If You Want to Cheer Up
12. Positivity Blog
The tagline sums it up well: “Happiness and awesomeness tools that work in real life.”
This site’s mission is to make people smile, whether that’s accomplished through funny videos, touching stories, or—of course—cute animals.
If you believe in the power of positive thinking, this simple site will be your new favorite. Click the “Make Everything OK” button, watch the progress bar, and get a notification that “Everything is OK now.”
Every day, the site’s author publishes another universally awesome thing, like #180: tripping and realizing no one saw you.
This is perfect if you need to get something off your chest. Write an anonymous post, then watch a growing tally of the strangers who have read it.
17. CNN Heroes
Each week, CNN shares an everyday person acting like a superhero. It’s pretty darn heartwarming.
Click through these (actual funny) compliments until you feel better. Our favorites: “Everyone at the Laundromat thinks you have the cutest underwear” and “People behind you at movies think you are the perfect height.”
Just try it.
Don’t read any of the pieces on this site unless you want your co-workers to ask why you’re cracking up.
21. Gretchen Rubin
Rubin spent an entire year trying different things in an effort to be happier. She continues her quest on her site, sharing practical advice, good habits, and success stories.
If You Need Something to Make You Think
You’ll find plenty of food for thought in this massive list. Such as: If you want to receive less email, send less email.
Over 80,000 interviews with normal Americans have been preserved as part of this oral history project. Their stories are all different—except in their ability to make you think!
Did you know The Economist has an intelligence section? Now you do! Look for articles like “What in Today’s World Will Appall Our Grandchildren?”
25. The Listserve
Every day, one randomly chosen user gets the opportunity to send an email to all of the subscribers (23,375 people and growing!)
26. Science of Us
On this New York Magazine blog, you’ll find fascinating scientific explanations of everyday phenomena. Seriously, don’t let the word “scientific” scare you, it’s all presented in a very understandable and relevant way.
27. Hacker News
Read user-submitted links to “anything that gratifies one’s intellectual curiosity” on this entrepreneurship site run by startup incubator Y Combinator.
If you’ve got a math or science question—or you want to help someone with a math or science question—check out Brilliant. More than 1.5 million people use it as as a learning and teaching platform.
29. Big Think
Described as a “knowledge forum,” every video or article on Big Think is meant to be significant, relevant, and applicable.
30. What They See
This blog takes on the perspective of artwork in a museum to give you a feel for what that French mid-century realist statue would see. If it had eyes, of course.
Rather than having to browse tons of different sites to find the best information on, for example, the art and business of blogging, check out the expertly curated content on this site.
If You Want to Be Somewhat Productive
32. Standard Resume
Create a beautiful, clean resume that’s downloadable in seconds.
This simple but powerful web app was described in Slate as “the best note-taking and organizational program I’ve ever tried.”
Rather than using a an old Hotmail account, just use a Mailinator email address—there’s no sign-up required, and you can create any address you want.
35. Crazy Egg
Do you have your own site? With Crazy Egg’s free 30-day trial, you can download heatmaps of where your visitors are spending the most time. These reports are crazy useful—and fascinating!
To find local independent businesses near you, use Delocator’s handy search engine and map features.
Once you plug in what time you need to wake up, this “bedtime calculator” will tell you the best times to go to sleep to optimize your natural sleep cycles.
Skip the hassle of constantly giving out your WiFi password by making a QR code for your network, printing it out, and sticking it up on your wall. Your guests will get instant access by scanning the code with their phones.
39. 9 Favorite Books
Enjoy an ever-changing rotation of free books that you can download as a PDF.
Quickly format an entire list to match the first line. For organized people, this is a dream come true.
Enter your cell number to receive a daily text with your optimal route to work.
42. Name Shark
This app lets you quiz yourself on your contacts’ names, faces, and personal details—so you’ll never blank on who someone is again.
Freedom isn’t the first app- and internet-blocking service. However, it’s the first we’ve come across that lets you schedule distraction-free sessions in advance, meaning that you can make productivity a habit.
After this site gauges your personal reading speed, it’ll give you approximate reading times for more than 12 million books.
There’s nothing less appealing than a long list of hyperlinks. With LinkHubb, you can create aesthetically appealing collections of whatever you want to share.
With Honey, you’ll never have to manually look for coupon codes again—this extension scours the web for the best deals and automatically applies them at checkout.
For those who spend a lot of time on their computers (so, all of us), downloading this software is a no-brainer. It changes your screen’s display light to match the time of day, which will help you go to sleep when you finally power down.
If You Need Something to Talk About
Described as a “general interest news site,” Vox has set itself apart for its high-quality content and fresh voice. Of particular note: its “Card Stacks,” which demystify topics like the war on drugs and Obama’s climate plan.
49. Stack Exchange
With over 148 diverse communities, all populated by experts answering a variety of questions, it doesn’t matter what you’re interested in—you’ll find it here.
50. Hack a Day
These hacks are all cool, though we’re not sure how many of them you’ll end up putting to work. How to live in a sphere in the sky, anyone?
Amusing doodles of facts that’ll help you “fill the silence during an awkward pause.”
The search engine analyzed the world’s 2014 searches (there were more than a trillion!) and of course, put them online, along with some really neat visualizations of the data.
53. Pop-Up City
If you’ve ever wondered what the world will look like in five, 10, and 20 years, you’ll dig this urban trends site.
When people ask you a question Google totally could’ve answered, send them the link to the Google search results.
With more than 100 great conversation starters, this site is the perfect resource for becoming the most interesting conversationalist in the office.
Photo of man on phone courtesy of Shutterstock.