Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Free Spanish Lessons

No habla Espanol? No problemo!

Learn basic Spanish with Study Spanish, a website that features free basic Spanish tutorials. Although the website actually sells CDs of conversational Spanish lessons, the free resources available on the website are very useful and extensive. It's a great way to start learning about one of the most spoken languages in the world.

Study Spanish presents lessons that are easy to understand. The grammar explanation is in-depth starting with the gender of nouns - the use of el and la. It also has a long list of vocabulary words which are categorized, cultural notes about the language, idiomatic expressions used in everyday conversation, and sample quizzes. It also has "Listen and Repeat" drills to help you pronounce the words like a native speaker.

The site is useful to anyone who either needs to study the basic of the language, or to just brush up on the Spanish lessons learned in high school.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Free Superhero Maker

Move over Superman! Now, everyone can be a superhero with this cool application from Kodak - Make Me Super, a website that makes anybody feel like a member of the Justice League. Make Me Super transforms you into a superhero instantly with a video and picture to boot. All for free!

The website is really fun to try. I got a kick out of making a video of my "super husband." First, choose your gender. Second, enter your superhero name or what you want to be called, (Super Mom, Super Girl, etc.). Third, upload a picture that you want to be placed on the superhero face template. You can choose a picture either from your Kodak Gallery account or from your desktop. Once the picture has been uploaded, adjust the size of the picture by scaling or rotating it to fit the face template. Then click on the video button and enjoy your superhero 10 seconds of fame. You can also share the superhero video with your "super friends" through e-mail. Also as a bonus, you can download your superhero picture onto your computer!

So go ahead and see if you look good in a spandex and a cape. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Love Your Blog Award

Wow, I am really honored to have been awarded the I LOVE YOUR BLOG Award from The Freebie Blogger. What a joy to be considered such, even if lately I haven't been updating this blog due to my super crazy work schedule. Thank you, The Freebie Blogger!

The rules of the award are as follows:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you have nominated.

So "paying it forward", I would like to give the I Love Your Blog Award to:

Freebie Trading - legitimate ways to make money on the Internet

Me Find Home - homeless animals in the Philippines in need of help, features great photos too

Designs of Tattoos - informative and comprehensive guide to all about tattoos

Paperback Designs - offers free chic and amazing blogger templates

Tip Junkie - creative crafts and ideas for the whole family

Kay's K9s...& Kritters - artistic, unique handcrafted dogs and cats miniatures

Freebie Blogger - real guide to free goodies...(to Freebie Blogger, you don't need to write back another I Love Your Blog award :) )

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Totally Fun and Free Online Games

Bored? Need to kill time but do not have anything to do? Or perhaps, you need a short break from what you're doing? Visit Friv for free, fun and addicting games.

Friv offers 200 free games, from easy to difficult. The website combines some of the best flash online games, which are displayed randomly in small squares. They are neither categorized nor arranged alphabetically, but the games' titles are revealed as you point the mouse on them.

From Tetris to Sudoku, Friv's selection of games is very vast. If you get tired of playing action games, you can go back and try a puzzle game. Because of so many selection of games available, just deciding on what to try first could take a lot of your time. But surely, once you get started, you definitely won't notice the time passed by.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Free Printable Graph & Line Paper

Need graph paper for a calculus project fast? Ran out of music sheet template? No worries, you can easily get some from Printable Paper, a website that offers hundreds of free lined paper to download and print.

Printable Paper is an awesome tool, especially for students who use a lot of graph and other lined papers for school projects and assignments. Its got polar, octagon and hexagon graph paper and isometric paper, while their selection of grid paper come in a variety of square dimensions and line thickness.

If you are a musically-inclined person, or someone who composes arrangements, this website offers free printable music paper that comes with various number of staves. They also have chord and tablature paper.

The website also offers free printable penmanship paper, which is useful if your child is just learning. These penmanship papers are best for handwriting practices.

All free printable paper styles are available in PDF format and come in letter, legal and A4 sizes. Also, if you see a type of graph or line paper you need, but it's not available on the website, you can always let the developers know about it, and maybe soon, they will have it on the site.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Send Free Photo Messages

If you can't say your message in words, then say it in picture, Polariod style!

Using a Polaroid-style background, Photo Notes lets you send cool photo messages to your friends and loved ones for free. It is so easy to use. Even children can "play" with Photo Notes.

To start, choose a photo that you want to send and upload it. Then, choose a polariod-style frame that you want to use for that photo. Next, click on a style font and color you want. Type your message on the box provided. Be concise as possible, as you only have a maximum of 50 letters for your message. Click preview.

If you're satisfied with your photo and message, enter the e-mail address of your recipient(s). You may also import e-mail addresses from your address book. Lastly, to make sure that it's a human who is using the Photo Notes services, enter the code shown and press e-mail. Your recipient(s) will get your photo message within minutes.

I had fun using Photo Notes, and I admit it was quite addicting. Here are some photos I made from the website. These are photos of some of the lovable dogs available for adoption at the Peninsula SPCA:

Sinatra is a brindle male German Shepherd Dog and Boxer mix; Peaches is a purebred Staffordshire Bull Terrier; Muttley is a sociable black and white Labrador Retriever mix.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Send BIG files up to 2GB free!

When my husband and I needed to quickly send our 1.35GB video message for my sister's wedding last month, I had a hard time looking for a website that could let me send a file that big for free. It was quite frustrating searching for a website that could do it, because most of the free file sharing applications only allow you to upload a file for a maximum of 100 MB. But alas, discovering Filemail was an answered prayer!

Filemail is a file sharing website that allows you to send documents, photos, videos and other files for up to 2GB. But what's even better is, you do not need to create an account, log in or verify an e-mail to do this. Upload your file directly on to the website (uploading can take a while depending on how big your file is), enter your recipient's e-mail address and your e-mail address. You can also include a message to your recipient.

Filemail sends your recipient an e-mail containing the link where the file(s) can be downloaded. It also mentions the number of times the file can be downloaded and the number of days it will be available on their server.

Even if it took me two hours to upload our video message. But still, using Filemail was totally worth it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Free Birthdays & Events Reminder

If you're the type of person who has difficulty remembering dates such as birthdays and anniversaries, then you need the help of Remime. It's an easy-to-use website that sends you free reminders of those special dates and appointments you don't ever want to miss. Now you can greet grandma exactly on her birthday or send a congratulatory present to a friend on time.

Remime categorizes the dates into birthdays and events. You can put as much or as little information you want about these dates. For birthdays, you can add your friend's e-mail address, mobile phone and homepage. And if you don't know their birthdays, the website allows you to send an e-mail to your friends and ask them about it. For events, you can set up the alarm type (if event is one-time or repeating) and include tags to better organize them.

Remime allows unlimited number of dates on your account, so put in as many dates and events you possibly can think of. To save the birthdays and reminders, you need to create a free account and verify it through the e-mail address you've provided them.

Because you've been reminded by Remime, you will never have to miss your child's ball game, a wedding anniversary or even a cousin's birthday.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Create a photo mosaic for free

Now you can create your own photo mosaic, without the hassle of compiling thousands of photos on your favorite photo editing tool.

PicArtia lets you create free online photo mosaics in a breeze. This cool mosaic creator is fun, simple and totally easy to use. First, select a photo that you want to transform into a beautiful mosaic. You can upload a picture from your computer or from the Internet. Then, click on the gallery and select a category, which includes paintings, flowers and birds, among others. You can also view the photos of each category before deciding on choosing one. The photos from the category will compose your mosaic. After you've decided on a category, you can now finalize the setting of your mosaic.

Finally, provide a name and an e-mail address where you want the mosaic to be sent. PicArtia will send you an e-mail with a code that you will use for downloading it, which will be in high resolution. You can also share your mosaic to your friends by e-mail or by embedding it on your social networking site.

PicArtia is a fun and addictive tool. You can also use it to make unique event invitation, gifts or greeting cards to your friends and family. I only hope that in the future they will add more categories in their gallery, or include a feature where you can use your own photos as the composition for creating a mosaic.

Above mosaic is a photo of Toby, a fun-loving hound and beagle mix, that is available for adoption at the Peninsula SPCA.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Free Rhyming Tool

A song, a story,
Or a poem to say sorry.
Here's a website to find a rhyme,
Even when you are pressed for time.

Whether you are a poet, a lyricist or someone simply looking for a rhyme for a word, Write Rhymes is the website you can bank on. Simple, direct and easy to use, Write Rhymes is a cool rhyming machine that does not require any registration, password or e-mail verification. It directly provides the user the rhymes for words.

To start, type in the text, press alt and click on the word that needs rhyming. The website then shows you all the words that rhyme with it, from one to three-syllable words. When you're finished, you can copy, print or save your work as text document.

So whatever piece you are working on, perhaps a song, a rap or a poem, you can rely on Write Rhymes for the "right rhymes."

By the way, does anybody know a word that rhymes with orange?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Free High Quality Wallpapers

Jazz up your computer's wallpaper with free high quality wallpaper designs from the website, Your #1 Wallpapers Resource. If you're tired of seeing the same wallpaper selection from your PC, the Wallpapers Resource offers unique and interesting pictures of various wallpaper categories, such as architecture, nature, places, and my favorite, animals. It also has wallpaper of abstract, movies, cartoons and Vista-themed designs. For car enthusiasts, there're a lot of stylish car wallpapers to choose from.

Downloading the wallpaper is easy. Just right click on the wallpaper you want to download, and click "Save as..." You don't even need to register or set a password!

Designed as a blog, the site is a free wallpaper service from Share2life.com. I look forward to more wallpaper designs from this site. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Free Budgeting Tool

While at the supermarket, my husband, who noticed that a gallon of milk cost higher than a gallon of gas, asked, “Is there a shortage of cows?” Well, there might not be, but the rising cost of gas does seem to affect the price of everything. The key to living within the means of your income and keep your spending under control is to budget. A budget helps you prioritize your spending, keep track of your savings and may keep you from having debts.

Most of the time, it is difficult to stick to a budget, and this is where Spendji comes in. As a budget-planning tool for your finances, Spendji helps you make budgeting simple and manageable. It lets you create spending plans for any activity, be it a long-term project like house renovation or an occasional event such as a birthday party.

I like the "cleanliness" of the website's layout. There are no annoying banners or pop up ads, and everything is just simple, direct and easy to navigate. If you're not sure how to begin a budget, you can click an activity listed on a cloud tag of popular things Spendji users are doing, and see suggested budget items. For example, click on vacation and the suggested budget items include airfare, airport parking, camera, entertainment, etc.

Also, if you do not want to budget alone, you can share your spendji budget plan with friends, family, or even an entire organization. Import addresses from your e-mail account (Yahoo, G-mail, Hotmail, Outlook or Plaxo) and invite your friends to collaborate with you on spending plans. You can even control their level of participation either as administrator, contributor or viewer.

Since Spendji is concerned about how to help you get the best out of your hard-earned money, the budget-website also features "Research Prices." Here, you can compare prices for travel or shopping expenses, such as airfare, car rentals, hotels, and cruises.

More than just a budgeting tool, Spendji also includes a calendar, a to-do-list and a discussion section to keep everybody in your project in sync with everything planned. It even has a money transaction feature, where you can request or receive payments which is powered by Amazon.

There is this saying that "A budget is just a method of worrying before you spend money, as well as afterward." However, with Spendji, it is not about worrying, but creating a clear guideline to spending your money wisely.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Free Classroom Management Tools for Teachers

Whatever subject you're teaching, whether it is chemistry, algebra or grammar, you know that classroom management is no easy task. There are assignments to check, attendance to record and scores to compute. Instead of spending more time to prepare for the next day's lesson, the "administrative" part of being a teacher takes up a lot of your time. Surely, you deserve a reliable tool that would make managing classes more efficient. A good friend has inspired me to look for a free Internet tool that would help her, along with everyone who are into the "noblest profession of all" that is, teaching.

Engrade is a website dedicated to helping teachers with classroom management online. Its features include free online posting of the grades and attendance of your students, the assignments, and upcoming projects for your class. It is easy to use so teachers who are technically-challenged will be able to set up their own account and use the website's features with ease. As mentioned in its video demo, the website can be used by any teacher from any country and language.

To start with the class creation page, enter your class information such as the class name, school year and grading period. Set up the grading scale you want. The site has a pre-grading option which allows Engrade to automatically calculate the grades. Or, you can customize it depending on your needs.

Next, you can create assignment categories like tests, quizzes and homeworks. You may choose to include if the assignments weigh in the total grades of your students. For quizzes, for example, you can choose to say that they constitute 30% of the total grade. After that, you may start typing in the name of your students where you assign a unique number for them, which they will use as code to log in and view their grades on the website. You may use their student ID number as their code. You can always edit your classroom settings even after you've created the class page.

As mentioned, aside from the gradebook, Engrade also features an online calendar where you can display upcoming activities, projects and deadlines. You can also upload files for up to 50 MB. Now, your students do not have anymore excuse for not knowing when an assignment is due since the online calendar is accessible 24/7.

One of the great things about the website is it aids in improving communication between you and the parents of your students. Oftentimes, parents are busy with their work and do not have time to drop by the school to talk to you. With the website, you can allow parents to send you messages and let them view the grades of their children, see their progress and be up-to-date with what's going on.

Since we know that students always refer to the Internet for their research, it helps to let them know that their teacher also reaches to them online and gives them access to view their grades. If you haven't done so, it's time to bring your classroom on cyberspace through Engrade.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Free Sign-up Sheets

Organizing a product launch? Throwing a birthday party for a friend or loved one? Whatever event you plan to hold, knowing the number of people who will show up is important. Instead of merely calling, why not provide your guests with an alternative way to confirm their attendance? You can count on Sign-up-sheet.com for a manageable way of keeping tab of your guests' attendance by creating free customizable sign-up sheets. Plus, if most of your guests or target audience are web-savvy, Sign-up-sheet.com might be a more convenient way for them to register to your event.

To get started, sign up by creating a free account. You will then receive a welcome e-mail from the website to confirm your e-mail address. Click on the link for confirmation and then log in. There are four steps in setting up your sheet. The first step is to input the general information of your event, such as the sheet title, description and maximum number of guests who will sign up. Whether your gig is only for 10 persons or for 1,000 guests, there's no limit as to the number of sign ups.

The next step is naming the sheet web address, which is how the users/invitees will access the sheet. The address should be in lowercase and contains no spaces. As advised on the website, try to make it simple and meaningful for your users to easily find the sheet.

The third step is setting up the time period. Click on a date on when you want the sheet posted or when you want to make it unavailable. Make sure you have the correct time zone when you were signing up to create an account.

The last step is customizing your sheet. The options include getting additional information from your users or sending them an e-mail confirmation about their attendance. It is also here where you may want to make your sheet private by creating a password. Or, you could also write a thank you message or add your own website address on the "Custom Thank You" feature.

Sign-up-sheet.com also provides icons to show your sheet's status. A plus sign means that the sheet is currently active and accepting sign ups. A sheet with a padlock icon means that it is private and requires a password to sign up. A red X on the sheet means that it is not currently posted and is not accepting sign ups. The website also has a waiting list capability and allows you to print and download the sheet onto your desktop.

Although the website's features are user friendly, very direct and with no annoying pop-up ads, I've noticed some "glitches" after I tried to register on the sample sheet I've set up. The site told me that it couldn't find the sheet, even if it has already been posted. But when I checked the sign ups, the attendance has been updated. I recommend that you enable the e-mail confirmation feature to let your guests know if their registration went through. The website also needs to be proofread as I've noticed a lot of typographical errors.

But even with these "minor errors", still Sign-up-sheet.com is a useful tool for every event planner. As organizing an event requires a lot of attention to details, the website saves you from the stress of determining if only a few or too many guests will be showing up to your event, giving you time to solve an attendance problem. So for your next shindig, you can rely on Sign-up-sheet.com for a hassle-free guest tracking.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Send video messages for free

"Eye can see you!" That's what Eyejot is about. It's an e-mail, a voice mail, and a video chat rolled into one.

Eyejot takes e-mail a notch higher by letting you send video messages for free and making Internet communication more personal. Using it is as easy as sending a regular e-mail, as shown from one of its sample videos of a grandmother using Eyejot to communicate with her daughter and grandson. There's nothing to install or download. All you need is a webcam, a microphone and a fast internet connection. You can then create a free account and start recording your video messages for your friends, family or business associates. Your free account allows you to send unlimited video messages with 60-second duration. But if you want additional seconds, you may sign up for a "Pro" account.

Even if you are camera shy, Eyejot is enjoyable (and can be addicting) to use. Using the site, my husband and I sent a video message to my father-in-law showing our new apartment. He was able to view it better, instead of us just sending pictures of our new home.

From Eyejot Website:
Eyejot is the first, comprehensive, client-free online video messaging platform ideal for both personal and business communications. It offers everyone the ability to create and receive free video messages in a self-contained, spam-free environment. With no client to install, you can start using Eyejot immediately with any browser, on any platform.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

100% Free Online Movies & TV Shows

Treat yourself for a good movie and save on gas by instead by watching your favorite movie or show online. Hulu is a website that allows you to watch movies and TV free online. It's a collaboration of movie/TV network bigwigs like NBC, Universal and News Corp.

TV Shows and movies are arranged alphabetically, by popularity, ratings or date added, and according to networks. So if you're a fan of Comedy Central like my husband, you can watch The Colbert Report or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart online.

Although its list is not as extensive as SurftheChannel, Hulu offers better quality resolution of videos. Videos are crisp and "studio-like." You can also clip a video, embed it on your social networking site and blog, or e-mail it to your friends.

Not all movies on Hulu are full-length, some are just clips. Also, expect 7 to 30-sec advertisements in between the programs, since I think this is how the website gets its revenues.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Free Fast Online Dictionary

Need to know a meaning of a word fast? You need Ninja Words, a fast free online dictionary.

With no other fancy stuff, Ninja Words is simple, easy to use, and lives up to the meaning of its name. Like a ninja, the dictionary-website gives you really fast results on searching for word meanings. Type on the search box the word that you need to define, press the look up button, and almost instantly the online dictionary provides you with a list of definitions. You you even can look up more than one word at a time. Just type in all the words and separate them with a comma. They will not take a minute to load, perhaps because the website does not contain advertisements that can cause delays.

Ninja Words also displays a history of words you've looked up so that when you want to go back and check it's meaning, you can just click on that word instead of typing it again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Free Dance Lessons

Impress your friends on the dance floor and feel like a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance by learning all the right moves on DanceJam, a website created for anyone who loves to dance or just wants to learn how. MC Hammer, late '80s-early '90s rap icon, created this website, which has been called the YouTube of dance. People from all over the world post videos of themselves or their group dancing. There's a free registration if you want to upload a video or post comments, but you can access almost all the site's main features without signing in.

DanceJam contains a comprehensive list of different dance steps, from "Breakdancing" to the New York originated "Chicken Noodle Soup." Each dance step includes interesting information about the dance and video lessons on how to do it. I was surprised to know that Krumping came from the acronym KRUMP which means Kingdom of Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise. How's that for a dance move?! From the number of videos available, Popping seems to be the most popular with over a hundred dance videos uploaded.

As DanceJam also works as a social networking site, the website offers "Battles", which is a virtual dance showdown among its members. For instance, a dancer from Illinois, USA can compete against a dancer from Netherlands. Each one uploads a video showcasing his/her dance skills. Visitors then watch each video and vote for the best one.

So if "Running Man" is the only dance step you know, dig into DanceJam to learn a new strut.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Free Hotel Bedbug Reports

Traveling or staying at a hotel for a vacation can be fun and exciting! And what better way to cap off a day's trip than staying in a soft, comfy hotel bed without fear of being bitten by bedbugs? Yes, those pesky, annoying, wingless creatures that prey on us warm-bloodied creatures as we sleep. But how can you know if the hotel where you're planning on staying during your travel has been reported of bedbug infestation?

A website called Bedbug Registry was designed to help travelers check if a hotel has or hasn't been infested with bedbugs. View first-hand accounts of people who have experienced staying in a hotel with bedbugs! The website has a database of hotels' and buildings' reports from across the US and Canada. So far, I have not found any hotels that we've stayed in in the past, and that's a big relief.

Bedbug Registry guarantees anonymity to anyone who will report about a hotel with bedbug infestation. However, it also leaves a disclaimer that they cannot guarantee the veracity of bedbug reports submitted, and encourages people to contact them for any errors on the site.

More than a service to travelers, I think Bedbug Registry can also serve as a good warning to hotels in ensuring that their place is free of bedbugs, lest their hotel end up being listed on the website.

Now that summer's officially kicked in in this part of the planet, a Bedbug-free vacation could help travelers make the most out of the warm season.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Free Funky Avatar Creator

Want an original and personalized avatar?

BeFunky lets you create and customized a personalized avatar for free through its Cartoonizer, Uvatar and Video Cartoonizer. Creating an avatar is made simple as it provides an animated step-by-step use of the site's features.

The Cartoonizer instantly transforms your pictures into a sketch or a digital painting. Simply upload a favorite picture from your desktop, a webcam or any website, then click "sketch" and watch the picture instantly become cartoonized. You can adjust the level of sketch, add color, or warp the picture. You can also add "goodies" like frames, jewelry, or text.

The Uvatar is my favorite feature of the avatar-creating website because of the variety of options you can do with it. Choose a picture where the whole face is visible. Using the site's tracing tool, click the areas of the face that you'll be using for the avatar. Choose a gender of your avatar and adjust the size of the face on the avatar body selected. The fun part comes in choosing the avatar's clothes, costumes and background to go with your style. When you're finished creating your avatar, you can share your avatar with friends, or post it on your favorite social network.

If it's not too late and you're still thinking of a unique (or belated) gift for your dad for Father's Day, log on to BeFunky and create an uber-unique avatar for him. The avatar picture on this entry is actually a picture that my husband and I made out of our (his) dad's picture. To us, he is truly a Super Hero!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Free Picture Editor

For easy and instant adding of oomph to your pictures, Picnik is one site you could count on. It is a free online picture editor that makes picture editing as easy as, well, just going on a picnic.

Picnik is user-friendly and does not require much technical expertise. You don't have to download any software to start using it. Once you've signed up for a free account, the website lets you edit your picture that are stored on photo-sharing websites like Flickr, Facebook, or Photobucket. You may also upload your pictures directly from your computer, a webcam, or from results of a Yahoo search.

The editing tools of Picnik are very direct and properly arranged. You will not get confused or overwhelmed by what tools to use. Although most of them are standard such as cropping, sharpening, auto-fixing and rotating, there are many effects to choose from which are easy and so much fun to use. You can posterize, pixelate, add tint or even gooify your pictures. Just click on the effect you want and adjust it according to how you much effect you like. And if you're not satisfied, you can always undo the effects you've made.

My favorite part on the digital editor website is the polariod frame effect. Again, using my husband's picture when he was a child (I totally adore his child pics!), here's a sample picture I edited on the website:
Like most free online picture editors, Picnik does not have the advanced features of Photoshop. But it surely is one useful website you will want to bookmark.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Free Educational Games for Kids

Welcome Tutpup, a new website for children that offers free educational online games. It's a good venue for your child to improve on his/her math and spelling skills, as the website features four types of games: Math, Spelling, Math-Mix, and Times Tables. Each game, which lasts for a minute, has several levels of difficulty ranging from "Easy Peasy" to "Smarty Pants."

Tutpup works by letting your child compete with children from other countries. Each is represented by an animal and a color of their choice. Your child can be a pink cat, a golden koala or a blue crab. This definitely can spark some imagination and creativity!

Although Tuptup allows quick games, it is still best to sign up for a free account so your child may build his/her own "Win-Wall", where the games won are displayed. The site also has a graduation feature which lets you track your child's progress on the different levels of the games.

Since Tutpup is an educational games website for kids, it is proper and very protective of its users. Your child will need to get your approval before he/she can play these educational games on the website. Once your child signs up, you will receive an e-mail from Tutpup asking for your confirmation on letting your child play their online games on their site. Also, the website does not allow its users to communicate with the other players. For example, there is no area for players to chat or send messages. I think this is good since you can never really tell if your child is up against another child or an adult.

Overall, Tutpup is a welcome addition to the few good learning online educational sites dedicated to children as it offers purely free educational games without any disturbing ads and pop ups.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Free Plagiarism Protection

I put a lot of effort into my writing. Before I feature a website on this blog, I try it out first and/or sign up for it so I could write well about it. Sadly, there are some who just copy other people's writings and ideas without acknowledging the source. My best friend, who runs a website on Freebie Trading, was a victim of this. Several people copied her website verbatim! Just an example of how plagiarism has truly become a rampant problem on the Internet.

Therefore, I'm thankful that there's a service like Copyscape. It's really a laudable project, and a very useful tool for writers and bloggers. Copyscape is a website that helps you discover if your content has been copied without your permission. It works like a search engine. Just type in your URL and Copyscape searches for websites that have copied your content, including those that have the same sentences as yours. Pretty neat, huh?

One cool thing about Copyscape is that it provides free plagiarism warning banners that you could post on your website. Of course, you should only post such banner if the content is originally yours. The banner may not totally protect you from "copycats", but hopefully it decreases the chances of your content being copied without your permission.

Copyscape's free service allows you up to 10 searches a month, while a premium account provides you with thousands of searches and an unlimited number of results.

So plagiarists, beware. The next time you attempt to plagiarize someone else's work, there's Copyscape to track you down and expose you.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Free Jigsaw Puzzles

My high school best friend got me hooked into this: Jigzone, a free online jigsaw puzzle website where you can solve puzzles ranging from the easy 6-piece to the difficult and dizzying 247-piece triangle-shaped puzzle.

As mentioned on its website, Jigzone is truly a jigsaw paradise as it has got thousands of puzzles to choose from. Every day, the jigsaw website features a puzzle of the day. If you don't like the day's featured puzzle, you can view the puzzles from their gallery, which are categorized according to their theme.

Registration to the jigsaw puzzle site is not required, as you can just play instantly. However, it's still best to sign up for a free account so you can compete with your friends and share your "solve times" with them. But the best part of having a account is on this jigsaw website is that you can upload your pictures, and turn them into your own jigsaw puzzles, which you can post on your website, or send as a puzzle postcard to your loved ones. Here's a picture jigsaw puzzle I made with my husband's baby picture:

Click to Mix and Solve

Like real jigsaw puzzles, Jigzone can be truly addicting. I'll bet once you've tried a jigsaw, you'll never be content with solving just one puzzle.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Free Online File Storage

Join 4Shared Now! It often bothered me that in order to open some of my files from another computer, I had to save them on to a USB disk drive or e-mail them to myself. It took up so much time. Well, 4Shared freed me from doing that whole process.

4Shared is an online file storage hosting site that lets you store files online, and share them too. Upload documents, pictures, music, or even videos, and access them anywhere without having to worry about using a different computer.

4Shared is easy to use file storage. You don't need to download or install any software, just register to sign in. It's like creating a folder in a "My Documents" folder since the layout is similar. It also doesn't take too long to upload your files, even if you select the "multi-upload." This online file storage website also provides a link for each folder or file to share to your friends or colleagues.

The maximum online storage space for a free account is 5GB! Not bad considering that the storage website can serve as an online data backup for your important files. You may upgrade to a paid account if you want more space.

From the 4Shared website:
"4shared provides its users with high-quality free online file hosting and sharing services. Our staff is a team of highly qualified specialists in the sphere of programming, web-design, and marketing."

Friday, June 6, 2008

Free Snapshots Of Your Website

Forget about pressing the "Print Screen" when taking a picture of your website. Instead, try SnapCasa, a web application that takes a free snapshot and thumbnail of any web page without much delay.

I like how SnapCasa encourages its visitors to try their service. You don't feel pressured to sign up just to know how the website works. Just input the website's URL and SnapCasa gives you a screenshot of the website in four sizes. Here are the thumbnails of this blog when I tried the website's service:

Signing up for an account is free. Once you've signed up, you need to post a special IMG code into your website to link it to SnapCasa so that the screenshots can be updated regularly.

From SnapCasa website:

"Snapshots appear with no delay if they have been captured before. Depending on server load new snapshots may be processed in realtime or are placed in a queue. Snapshots are updated periodically depending on how often the site being captured is updated and the demand for the particular snapshot."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Free Money Management for Kids (and Parents)

Who says money management is just for adults? Through Zefty, children learn to manage their money for free, using a virtual money and a virtual bank account. Zefty is a website where parents can help their children learn how to spend their money wisely, and responsibly.

Zefty lets the parents set up a virtual bank account for their children by depositing an a virtual amount of "money" as their allowance. Parents may add more, or withdraw some money from it as desired. A "ZeftyCalc" assists in calculating an estimate allowance for the kids by basing it on the household income, child's age, difficulty of the chore, and frequency of giving the money.

Once the virtual bank account has been set up, the parents may then sign in their children to the site and guide them on how to spend their money. The kids may add or subtract money depending on how much they want to spend. For example, if a child wants to spend some money on a video game, the ZeftyCalc can estimate the number of days (or months) the child needs to save so he/she can have the money to buy that game.

The website also has a cool feature on teaching children how to sign a check. Through its "ZeftyCheck," children can generate a check with the amount of money that they want, download it, and print it for free.

Zefty may not involve real money, but it does serve as a great Internet-bonding-moment between parents and their children, as well as teach children how to manage their money (now and in the future) wisely. Definitely something invaluable, and cannot be measured by real money.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Build your own online library for free

I love reading books, and I've always dreamed of having my own library. But because limited, I've decided to build my library online for free at Shelfari.

Shelfari is a website where you can build lists of books that you've read, and rate them as well. I like the visuals on Shelfari. They provide the cover page of the books, and are literally displayed on a shelf. You can also add more information about a book, write a review, or include the date that you read it. You can put as many books as you want for free. And you don't have to own the book to add it to your shelf, but if you do, whether you read it or not, you can add it. My husband added every book he owns to his Shelfari book shelf.

Since Shelfari is also a social network, you can make friends with other book lovers worldwide and exchange notes on books that you like or dislike. Let others know if you're reading the book now or if you already have read it, or if you would like to read a certain book. There are also book interest groups that you may join, as well as receive updates from your favorite artists who have Shelfari book shelves (and many do!).
On a not-so-good side of Shelfari though, I’ve read some articles about the site using all your contacts to invite them to sign up without your knowledge, so please be careful.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Free Online Freelancer Portfolio

Being a freelancer can be a challenge, for you constantly need to look for clients and ensure that they keep you. But what's more challenging is marketing your freelance service and being discovered by organizations that need your service.

Created by Brian Konradt, a freelancer-turned-Internet-entrepreneur, FreelancePortfolios lets freelancers create free portfolios online so that they can advertise their freelancing services and get clients locally and internationally. On the homepage, you can view the featured freelancers, as well as the newest and most popular freelancers on the site. A typical portfolio on the website shows a person's specialty, his/her e-mail address, location, summary of qualifications and sometimes, the rate for the services.

Since the website also has a section on Writing Jobs, most of the members are writers. But it does also cater to freelancers of many disciplines such as, photography, graphic designing, and marketing.

FreelancePortfolios' website is maintained by webmasters of Freelancewriting.com.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Free Name Tag Creator

If you're like me who depends on name tags to remember people's names when in a gathering, then you'll enjoy Big.first.name, a web application for creating free name tags.

True to its website's name, the sizes they provided for the name tags are really BIG, thus making it easier for people to read and recall names. This is an ideal tool for any event such as seminars, conferences, or product launches.

To create your big name tags, you must first register on the website. Once logged in, add an event title then click on "Add Nametags" and start encoding your guests' names. If you don't feel like typing and already have a file of your guests' names, you can upload them onto the site. They provide an instruction on the file format, although I think your file should be in spreadsheet.

After you're done with the names of your guests, you can preview the layout of your tags in PDF format. If you still want to adjust the size of the tags, you can choose another layout for them. A preview of the available tag layouts are available by clicking "Avery Templates" on the homepage. You can also make your name tags colorful by assigning different colors for the big first name, full name and details, and the footer. Don't forget to customize the footer because the default footer is the website of Big.first.names. When you're finished editing your tags, click on print.

Big.first.name provides examples of real nametags created from their website.

Related Links:
Free ID card maker
Free brochure maker
Free certificate templates
Free scrapbooking kits

Friday, May 30, 2008

Free Travel Checklists

Let's see, vacation list: remembered the milk, took out the garbage, turned off the lights, remembered the sunblock, unplugged the computer, locked the door...did you forget anything? Are you sure? Oh wait, DontForgetYourToothbrush!
DontForgetYourToothbrush is a UK-based website that helps you plan the things you need for your travel or vacation. It serves as a free personalized travel checklist by giving you planning and packing lists depending on the type of travel you're planning, whether it's a beach vacation or a European driving vacation. The website's planning list contains recommended activities you will need to do from months before your vacation, up to the day you leave your place. The list is very extensive, from checking the validity of your passport to unplugging your computer and TV in case of lightning strike during your travel. To personalize your planning list, check the boxes beside the activities that you want added to your list.
Once you're planning list is done, the website then takes you to its list of recommended things to pack. The list is categorized by clothing, cosmetics and medication, documents, etc. There's also a packing list for your baby or your pet. When you've finalized all your lists, you can then print them and/or choose to receive e-mails, reminding you of your checklist items.
As traveling can be stressful, DontForgetYourToothbrush helps you keep your sanity when planning for travel. The website's name may sound funny, but it's no laughing matter when you forget your favorite swimsuit on your way to a vacation in Bahamas, or your toothbrush on a romantic getaway.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Free Brochure Maker

 Here's a useful tool for small businesses and organizations that have little or no budget in producing company print collaterals.

My Brochure Maker is a free web-based application that makes it available for everyone to create professional-looking brochures and flyers. It is simple and easy to use even if you don't have any knowledge on desktop publishing.

Click on the "Get Started" button to begin. A new window will appear where you'll be creating your brochure. Select the type of brochure you want to create, and then choose which theme you want. Do not worry if the theme you like is not in the selection. You can always replace the stock photos with your own and customize it according to the brochure theme you want. Each theme has already been laid out. All you need to do is provide the text for the spaces available. I strongly advise that you finalize your text before you start doing your brochure or flyer, because it is difficult to edit them on the website.

After you're done with the text and have reviewed everything, click "Next" to print your brochure. There will be instructions on how you can print it properly. In case you cannot yet finalize your brochure, you can save your work without having to create an account. Just give your e-mail address, and the website will provide a link for you to retrieve your project.

My Brochure Maker might not have any of the advance editing tools that other professional design software have, but it's got the basic tools needed which are simple and easy to follow. And best of all, it is free! Students and non-profit organizations might also find this application useful for their projects, campaigns, or events. It's a great tool for everyone who does not know how to use Adobe Photoshop, does not like MS Publisher, or have the budget to buy expensive desktop publishing software.

Here are some more resources to help you create a great and readable brochure:

The Best of Brochure Design 10 Before & After: How to Design Cool Stuff Design Matters: Brochures 01: An Essential Primer for Today's Competitive Market (v. 1) Brochures: Making a Strong Impression: 85 Strategies for Message-Driven Design (Creative Solutions) How to Make Newsletters, Brochures, and Other Good Stuff Without a Computer System Layout Index: Brochure, Web Design, Poster, Flyer, Advertising, Page Layout, Newsletter, Stationery Index

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A stylish way to advertise your blog for free

I never realized that there are so many websites to advertise your blog until I joined several forums. Although most are free, some require certain conditions before they advertise or include your blog in their list. BlogUpp is an easy way to advertise your blog for free.

Launched in March 2008, BlogUpp was created to provide real value for the online community. It's got a unique way of promoting your blog by linking it to other blogs with the same category. It's also very easy to use. You don't need to register, sign up, or participate in forums. Just enter your blog's URL, copy the code for the widget, and wait for their approval which doesn't take too long. You may already put the widget on your blog page while your blog is being approved.

Perhaps one of the great things about this blog promoting service is that for every 10 readers of your blog, BlogUpp will show it to 9 other readers. This increases more traffic for your blog without any efforts on your part. What they do is take a picture of your blog and read your RSS on a regular basis. The number of blogs varies from language to language, and they are not mixed while sharing. Right now, the number of blogs on BlogUpp is rapidly increasing, which means more exposure for your blog. If you want to know how it works, you can check the widget on the right side of this blog.

According to the authors of the site, BlogUpp service will remain free and quality-content oriented. They said that they will soon be introducing, along with stats, the possibility for everyone to buy additional impressions for extra promotion. I hope when they said "buy additional impressions" they don't mean we will have to begin to pay for it.

With a lot of blog advertising venues to choose from, BlogUpp is definitely one worth trying.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Get free recipes based on ingredients that you already have

I admit, I'm such a lazy cook. Oftentimes, I find myself staring blankly at our pantry or the inside of our refrigerator and I'll still be clueless on what food to cook. We would have meat, pasta, veggies, and spices, but I still wouldn't know which would go best with what ingredient. But now, I've found a new savior to help me during those what-can-I-cook-today moments.

RecipeMatcher is a website that helps you generate free recipes based on ingredients that you already have. Just enter your available ingredients and RecipeMatcher will come up with tons of recommended free recipes based those ingredients. The free recipes are ranked based on the ingredients that you already have. They also show you the additional ingredients you may need.

With RecipeMatcher, you may either sign up for a free account or just go directly to the "What's in your pantry?" area and input your ingredients. One good advantage of having a free account on the website is that you can have an ePantry where you can keep an inventory of all your groceries and ingredients that you have at home.

Aside from free recipes, RecipeMatcher can also generate alcoholic drinks based on what's in your bar.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Free Online Video Editor

UPDATE: As of June 2009, Yahoo has decided to discontinue Jumpcut.

Yes, you can edit your videos online for free. Jumpcut is a free online video editing tool that makes it easy for you to create/edit a video whether or not you are knowledgeable on video editing.

What makes Jumpcut easy to use is its drag and drop feature. Upload a photo, video or music and automatically adds a template for you. You can also add titles, transitions or cool effects. It may take a while though for some videos or music to load or when you want to preview your work. I strongly recommend a fast and reliable internet connection when you're working on your video on this website.

Some videos on are public and are remixable, that is, you can edit them in whatever style you want. But if you want to keep your video private or final, you can choose to label it "not remixable."

I discovered Jumpcut in 2007 after my then boyfriend (now husband) and I got engaged. I wanted to surprise him with a short video of "our story," but I didn't have any video editing software in our PC, nor do I have any video editing skills. I searched online for any free video editing tool and saw. The website can be a little slow, but I was satisfied with the results.

With its many great features, there's only one thing that disappoints me. The website doesn't allow you to download your video. You can only share it by e-mail or posting a code to your website.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Free Fonts

They say fonts help establish the identity of a brand. That's why it is important to choose carefully what font to use when designing a logo. However, if you're someone who wants something more than the limited standard fonts, then check out Dafont.com, a website of free fonts.

DaFont.com is a great font resource for graphic designers and anyone who wants unique and personalized fonts. As of today, they have more than 8,000 fonts available, most of which are free as long as they're not for commercial use.

For easy selection, Dafont.com has categorized their fonts alphabetically, or grouped by its author. But the best way to search for their fonts is through themes. They have font themes that are: Fancy, which has fonts for cartoon, comic, stencil, horror or old school; Foreign Look, such as Arabic, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and Greek-looking fonts; Techno; Gothic; Script; Dingbats which has animals, aliens, bar code and even sexy type fonts instead of the alphabets.

Dafont.com also makes it easy for you to view the fonts before download. Just click on the font you like and it'll show the rest of the individual letters or characters. When you want to download the font, click on the download icon and the font will be sent to your desktop in a zip file. Instructions are available for both PC and Mac users.

Registration to Dafont.com is optional but not necessary to download their fonts, unless you want to submit your own fonts or leave comments.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Free Online Highlighter

My husband and I love highlighters. We have almost every color of it - pink, blue, orange, purple, green, and the very common yellow. They're very useful, especially when reading a very interesting book. My husband even uses highlighters to color code sentences that he likes. So imagine our joy when we learned about Awesome Highlighter, a tool to highlight things you think are important on the web. Finally, we can highlight text not just on paper, but also those on the web (and without having to own one of those fancy tablets)!

Awesome Highlighter is a free tool that you can use when you want to highlight a text on a webpage. It helps you show others the important messages you want them to see on a particular webpage. Like the other web applications I've featured on this blog, Awesome Highlighter is easy to use.

Type in the address of the website where you want to highlight some text, and Awesome Highligher will then take you to that website. Using your mouse, start highlighting the text that you want to emphasize. Click "Done" when you're finished. Awesome Highlighter then shows you a summary of the text you've highlighted and the highlighted address. If you're not yet sure about the text you've highlighted, you can also go back by clicking "edit highlights" for any changes you want to make. When you're done highlighting, you have the option of either sending the page by e-mail or copying the highlighted address onto your blog or website.

I like how the website provides a summary of the highlighted text. It makes it easy for the recipient to understand why you're sending them a particular website. You could also make a note on the highlighted webpage for your personal message.

As my husband and I were trying the highlighter application, he couldn't help but say, "awesome!"

From the website:
"The Awesome Highlighter makes it easy to show your friends, co-workers, or the annoying person on the message board the important parts of any web page. By highlighting text, you help the reader focus on what you want them to see."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Free: Appear on a Magazine Cover

Who says only stars can be magazine covers? With MagMyPic, everybody gets a chance to be on the cover of a (fake) magazine.

MagMyPic has 20 realistic fake magazine covers with the font styles of real and well-known magazine covers. Land on the cover of Vague, Sports Celebrated, or Natural Geography. Whatever title you choose, you grace its cover for free.

The site is very direct and easy to use. You don't have to register or download anything. Just upload a picture you want as a magazine cover. The site then generates a selection of all their fake magazine covers with your selected picture as the cover. Choose which magazine you like and the size, whether small or medium. The website then finalizes your selection and gives you a code to paste onto your sites like My Space, Facebook or Friendster. You can also just right click on the image to save it directly to your desktop.

I had a fun time with this website, especially in putting my dog's picture on their magazine covers. I never thought being on a magazine cover can be this addicting! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Free Lecture Notes

With vast resources readily available online, the Internet has truly become a virtual classroom for all of us. One such site that proves this is Varsity Notes, a website where professors can share their lecture notes to the world. As written in its homepage, it claims to have the "world's largest directory of free lecture notes."

Read a lecture on Corporate Finance from a professor of New York University; learn more about Geophysics from a professor of Cornell University. Enhance your knowledge about Organic Chemistry from a professor of University of Toronto, and get more techniques in Probability and Statistics from professors of Imperial College of London.

Varsity Notes contains lectures ranging from Accounting to Sociology (Biology has the most number of entries). They are available either in pdf format, MS Powerpoint or HTML. College professors and students might find this site useful, although I've noticed that most of the lectures came from professors from universities in North America.

Whatever field you want to study, Varsity Notes shows us that learning knows no boundaries. So go ahead, make your learning "world-class" and maybe a gaining a little knowledge might not be dangerous at all.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Free Online Task Manager

If you're going bananas over task delegation for your team, then you might need a little help from a monkey. Monkey On Your Back is a simple and very easy-to-use website of to-do lists for other people. Let me explain:

Once you've registered, Monkey On Your Back lets you create a monkey for each task you want to assign to somebody. You may include a brief note about the task and the specific date for its deadline. The website then sends through e-mail a "highly trained, super-intelligent monkey" to let that person know about his/her assignment. Monkey On Your Back will also send e-mail reminders about the task or its deadline. Once a task has been done, you may "kill" the monkey and move on to giving new assignments.

The free basic account lets you send up to five monkeys to remind your people of their task. You can upgrade your account for only $20/year if you enjoy sending more monkeys. I only wish the developers of the program would make the monkeys more colorful or animated to make reading a work assignment more fun and enjoyable.

The next time you're faced with a task, stop monkeying around and get on with your (hopefully not a monkey) business.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Free Online To-Do List Manager

I am such a "to-do list" person. Call me obsessive-compulsive, but oftentimes, it's only after I've written down the list of things I need to do that I feel organized and ready to start my day. And I get a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction whenever I cross out or check a task on my to-do list. So when I've read about Remember the Milk, I couldn't help but sign up and try this free online task manager.

With the website's cute name, Remember the Milk helps you organize your tasks and categorize them into Personal, Study and Work lists. If you want more than a simple list, you could add more info about a certain task such as its due date, time estimate, location, or simply just add notes about it. There's also a color coding guide to label a task according to your priority.

Remember the Milk is not just for your computer alone. You can take your to-do list with you and be reminded via e-mail, SMS and instant messenger.

With a cool to-do list like that, who wouldn't forget the milk?

Related Links:
Free Travel Checklist
Free Online Task Manager
Free Birthdays & Events Reminder Tool

Other tools to help you keep organized:

Survival of Motherhood Mom Sticky Note Pads Home Office Work Get 'em Done To Do List Organize Now!: A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life