99 Sites That Every Professional Should Know About and Use
September is Professional Development Month at The Muse! Check in all month for ways to boost your skills, get ahead at work, and be the best professional you can possibly be.
With an endless number of sites, tools, and resources out there, how do you know what’s worth your time? Well, we know just how busy you are, so we did the legwork for you and found 99 websites that’ll add value to your life and your career, guaranteed.
Organize Your Work
Trello helps you manage all your ideas and due dates and keeps track of what you’re in the process of completing. Plus, it looks nice—it’s like the Pinterest of to-do lists.
Think Google Docs—only better for collaboration. Invite as many people as you want to contribute to your docs, or set them to private so they’re just yours.
What is it about a coffee shop that gives you such laser focus? Coffitivity streams the background noises of a coffee shop so you can get your creativity A-game on.
FaxZero lets you send and receive faxes through your email—because nobody likes the fax machine.
RescueTime lets you monitor how you spend your time on your computer and mobile devices. (The truth is sometimes ugly, but necessary.)
You know all those email newsletters that you accidentally opted into, but don’t really read? Use this site to clear out your inbox.
A to-do list manager with several key bonuses: You can sync it with your all your devices, share tasks with others, and get email or text reminders of things you need to get done.
Springpad lets you organize all of your notes, favorite websites, and online inspiration into different folders. It gets bonus points for looking nice, too.
Forming a new habit isn’t easy, so HabitForge keeps track of how well you’re doing with simple reminders and check-ins.
Evernote helps you remember everything using text, photo or audio notes, and clippings of websites.
How does that email (or any of your writing!) come off to readers? Plug it into this ingenious app to get the breakdown.
Streamline Your Life
The greatest RSS reader on the market right now, Feedly is the place to keep up with all the latest from your favorite blogs and publications.
Don’t have time to read that great post your friend just put on Twitter? Send it to Pocket where you’ll be able to read it later—even offline on your phone while you’re commuting home!
TaskRabbit helps you open up time in your schedule by making it easy to outsource any task you really don’t want to do, from running errands to planning the details of your next vacay.
Standing for “if this then that,” IFTTT helps different apps, online programs, and services work together to make your life way easier. Think getting the weather texted to you every morning or having your photos automatically save to Dropbox.
Lifehacker is always coming up with solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had. From how to handle tech woes to the most pro productivity tips, you’re sure to find it here.
Scheduling doctor’s appointments is one of those things that seems to never quite get done. ZocDoc makes it simple to stay healthy by allowing you to schedule and manage your appointments online.
Need some help around the house? Handybook makes it easy for you to book cleaners, plumbers, movers, and the like—all online.
Whether you’re stuck late at the office or just don’t feel like cooking when you get home, Seamless is there for you with super-streamlined online takeout ordering.
Learn New Skills
Whether you’re trying to pick up a new creative hobby or boost your creative career, this site broadcasts live classes by accomplished professionals in each field.
This Apple “App of the Year” will help you learn a new language—for free. If you’re super-busy (and we know you are), this is a great one for your commute, a few minutes on your lunch break, or between commercials on your lazy day.
We talk a lot about the importance of networking and professional development, and Eventbrite is one of our go-to places to find out about upcoming conferences and events.
23. Conference Bites
You know those one-liners that you hear at a conference that get you seriously inspired? Conference Bites rounds those up for you.
Skillcrush is dead-on with its philosophy that digital skills will help you no matter what you do. The site’s free email bootcamp is a great way to polish your tech skills.
Skillshare has classes on everything from fashion design to HTML to branding. The classes are a project-based format with accomplished teachers, so we’re sure you’ll never be bored.
Codeacademy breaks down learning to code into small, manageable lessons, so you don’t need hours to get started. Even better news? It’s free.
With courses from Yale, Stanford, and more, you know Coursera gives you access to top-notch learning. Classes are several weeks long, and free.
Think of it as a professional development search engine, helping you find both online and in-person classes and conferences.
Editor’s note: This site is no longer available.
Udemy has a mix of free and paid online classes with a huge range of subjects. Though the paid classes can be pricey, there’s a solid rating system so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Media professionals (or those looking to break into the field) will find Mediabistro to be an awesome resource on everything from event planning to travel writing to grammar.
31. Muse University
At Muse University, we help you find out what you want to do with your life, and then be awesome at it. Our free classes for professionals at every stage are delivered straight to your inbox so you can check out the lessons at the time that works for you.
Expand Your Brain
The place to go to learn about the social issues that matter most. Chock-full of viral videos and images, you’ll be entertained and growing your brain.
Need to get majorly inspired? Head over to TED to hear inspiring talks from people doing big things in the world—the perfect spark to keep working on whatever it is you’re passionate about.
Sporcle is still the best place on the internet for testing your knowledge. You can take quizzes on any topic imaginable, which is a pretty fun way to learn new things (and also to challenge your co-workers to see who knows more about obscure TV references or countries of the world).
Lumosity is like a gym for your brain. Using the site’s fun games, you’ll be able to keep your brain sharp and even improve certain functions, like memory, problem solving, and thinking on your feet.
When you have a question and your Google abilities don’t seem to be getting you any closer to the answer? Quora is the place to go. You can crowdsource answers to any question or browse other people’s questions to learn a thing or two.
37. Mental Floss
Every day, Mental Floss publishes articles with the most interesting facts and information about things you didn’t even know you wanted to know. From pop culture and geeky information to science and history, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest.
FACTSlides allows you to click through a variety of random facts that not only feed your curiosity, but are also perfect fodder for the break room. For example, did you know that UPS delivery trucks save 10 million gallons of gas every year by making no left turns?
GOOD is a community of people trying to live well and do good. Follow different change-makers for a steady stream of ideas for things to read and activities to do to make your life even better.
Make your mark on the world by starting or signing petitions in support of issues you care about. It’s so easy, you can take action during your coffee break.
Head over to 99U for great strategies for turning your ideas into action. From a daily stream of articles to videos of talks from the site’s annual conference, you’ll leave ready to make your ideas happen.
Medium is like an online think tank where people can share their best stories and workshop their biggest ideas. Reading a few articles on here is a great way to get yourself thinking.
Goodreads is the social network for the bibliophiles of the world. You can save books you want to read, rate and comment on books you’ve finished, and even keep up with what your friends are reading when you’re looking for a recommendation.
Foster Your Creativity
When Squarespace says it’s “giving voice to ideas,” it’s not kidding. Having your own personal site is awesome for your career, and Squarespace makes it easy.
45. Creative Market
Your go-to place if you need to download anything from fonts to WordPress themes for your personal website. Or, if you need to add a creative boost to your day.
Create your own infographic to deliver visual news, or expand your brain with info from the gallery of those already on the site.
Showcase your own design work, or discover what some seriously creative people are making out there.
Don’t count Pinterest out if you’re not planning your wedding—there are endless creative possibilities to browse and discover. Get inspired by anything from tech and gadgets to travel destinations.
The best way to gather your thoughts? Using a mind map on Bubbl.us. Save it for later to continue the thought process, or print or email it to help you stay organized.
Want to expand your creative mind? The Creativity Post has high-quality articles on innovation, creativity, and imagination.
51. Inspiration Grid
Updated daily, Inspiration Grid fulfills your daily need to look at something beautiful and awesome—including architecture, art, design, and more.
Need a photo for a design project? Check out Flickr’s Creative Commons archives to find beautiful photos you can use (or just get wanderlust browsing amazingly beautiful destinations).
Manage Your Career
On the serious job hunt, and applying to more positions than you can count? Huntsy streamlines the process by keeping your applications in order and your to-dos on track.
When anyone in your network makes the news, Newsle makes sure you know. In other words, it’s a networker’s best friend.
Um, enough said.
The coolest, easiest way to transform your resume from a piece of paper to an interactive work of art.
The absolute easiest way to get a personal website up and running in minutes.
Whether you’re negotiating a salary or asking for a raise, PayScale is the best source of data out there to find out what positions pay in different areas.
Do you know your MBTI type? If not, find out now: It can provide clues into everything from how you work to what kinds of positions will make you happy.
The internet never forgets, which becomes a problem when you’re looking for a new gig and those photos from Cabo are splattered all over your social media profiles. Luckily, Simplewash makes it easy to clean ’em right up.
Similarly, MyPermissions makes it easy to scan what apps have access to your email and social media profiles, so you can better control what you’re putting out for the world to see.
62. The Muse
Manage Your Money
A daily publication targeting ambitious women, DailyWorth offers tips for everyone on saving, spending, advancing, earning, and entrepreneurship.
Go for the smart, savvy financial advice, stay for the awesome and (very) reasonably priced personal financial planning services.
Keeping track of all the perks and discounts from your various credit cards, professional organizations, and memberships can be tough, but Larky’s online dashboard makes it easy.
Link your credit cards, bank accounts, and loans to the site (yes, it’s safe), and you’ll have a total online system that tracks your spending, saving, and financial health.
Want to get started with investing? SigFig makes the process simple, fun, and personalized to your risk tolerance.
Self-described as “premium investment management for everyone,” FutureAdvisor not only helps you set up your portfolio, it reviews and rebalances your investments to help you achieve your goals.
69. Wise Bread
If you’re looking to cut your costs, head to Wise Bread for tons of tips on how to “live large on a small budget.”
70. She Negotiates
Sure, the name says “she,” but we think anyone in the world can benefit from the negotiation advice, worksheets, and research-backed advice offered here by negotiation gurus Victoria Pynchon and Lisa Gates.
The most complete site for everything money-related on the web, from markets and investing to your personal spending.
Achieve Work-Life Balance
Greatist is the go-to source for all things health and happiness. The advice site is all about having a healthy body and mind and gives great tips for the worker who needs a little break.
73. Third Metric
One of Arianna Huffington’s personal projects, Third Metric is a great source to help you redefine career success beyond just money and power.
74. Time Out
Time Out has one mission: Help you make the most of your city. With suggestions on where to eat, drink, and play, you’ll always have something on your weekend to-do list with Time Out.
75. Tasting Table
Tasting Table is a dangerous rabbit hole for food lovers. Aside from all the food porn, it has an extensive list of restaurants and recipes you need to try, now.
Go! Get out of the office and take a trip. And use TripAdvisor to research locations, plan where you’ll stay and eat, and do pretty much all the legwork for your vacation.
Then head to Hipmunk, where you can find deals on flights and hotels. Not sure where you want to go? The site will send you notifications on deals from your city.
78. Blue Apron
Do you want more cooking in your life? Blue Apron makes it easy by sending you all the ingredients and recipes you need to whip up amazing meals in your kitchen.
Make your living space a place where you love coming home to relax and unwind. Browse beautiful apartments and tips to beautify your own space.
Get Your News
80. Fast Company
Think of it as the Virgin America of business news: the coolest, most creative corporate reporting around.
Not just a radio program: Today’s NPR offers everything from up-to-the-minute news coverage to smart podcasts for your commute
The “leading source for news, information, and resources for the Connected Generation,” Mashable reports on our digital lives. Which is, increasingly, our lives.
The first place we head on the web for productivity tips, management advice, and secrets of the world’s most successful people.
HBR is where the world’s leaders head for tips on everything from corporate strategy to managing people, but we think careerists at any stage can find great advice.
Smart, in-depth reporting about the biggest business, financial, and stock market issues of our time.
Don’t have time to read the news? theSkimm distills the day’s top headlines into one awesome, fun-to-read newsletter, making staying up on current events a piece of cake.
87. Good Noows
Consider this your personal news stream—all the stories and topics you care about compiled into a personal online newspaper.
88. Thought Catalog
Thought Catalog describes itself as a magazine that represents the worldviews and rhetorical styles of as many people as possible. We think it’s just a great place to read amazing, personal, and interesting writing
89. The Onion
We’ll warn you now: Please, pretty please do not end up on this list after reading The Onion.
90. Had One Job
The most facepalm-inducing site on the web.
Need a little love and a virtual hug? This is the place for you.
Lists on lists on lists. You won’t spend less than 900 hours here after you click through.
93. The Oatmeal
Amazingly funny comics that pretty much nail life. Think the bizzaro version of Family Circus.
94. 22 Words
22 Words is the perfect blend of all the greatest things from the internet. Guaranteed to make you feel every emotion within a half hour of reading.
Get lost online—in a good way. You tell Stumble your preferences, and it offers up great reads. Every time you Stumble, you get a new read.
The best storytelling on the web. As the name implies, perfect for a long read, when you’re tired of the 40th animal picture list from Buzzfeed.
97. So Bad So Good
Everything you need to stay up-to-date on pop culture.
The smartest, funniest comics you’ll ever read. And totally addicting.
Not quite sports news, but probably everything you need to know about what’s happening in the sports world.
About The Author
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