With all the things you have to get done in a day, there just isn’t time for some small tasks. Here are six things you no longer have to worry about if you put the internet to work for you.
1. Pay your bills: If you don’t have this one set up now, it’s the first thing you should do. Yes, it’s basic, but it can keep you from dealing with late fees (and the resulting ding on your credit score). If you already have automatic bill pay set up (well done), take it to the next level by setting up an automatic transfer to your savings account each month so you can really start to save. And when you’re ready to go even further, set up an account on Mint.com where you can keep track of your budget in real time.
2. Buy necessities: You can have everything from razors to laundry detergent to feminine products delivered to you every month. With subscription services like Dollar Shave Club, The Honest Company Essentials, and Le Parcel you can cut down on those trips to the drugstore. And for everything that these services don’t cover there’s always Amazon Subscribe & Save, which allows you to create a custom subscription with tons of products on their site — everything from toilet paper to granola bars.
3. Send birthday cards: Sign up for Postable and keep your address book on the site (you can even have your friends update their own addresses). Then turn on the birthday alerts. Each week you’ll get an email with upcoming birthdays. Then choose your favorite card from the site, write a message and then Postable will send out the card for you.
4. Buy new clothes: Who wants the hassle of going to the mall? You can almost completely eliminate those trips with companies like StitchFix and Fabletics. StitchFix will look at one of your Pinterest boards to get a sense of your style, then send you five new pieces of clothing or accessories each month. You keep what you want and send back the rest, and you can give your personal stylist feedback about what you liked or didn’t like. With Fabletics you can get new workout clothes delivered to you each month to try on and keep or return depending on how they fit. Plus, you’ll get amazing discounts on additional orders.
5. Turn on or off your air conditioner or central heating: If you have a smart thermostat or window air conditioner you’ll never have to adjust it yourself again. Instead, use IFTTT (which stands for “if this, then that”) to adjust the heating or cooling in your home based on the outside temperature. So if the day is hotter than expected, you don’t have to come home to a sweltering house. You can also set it to turn on at a specific time, or whenever you are close to home based on your cell phone location.
6. Back up everything: There are a million different ways to automate backing up your computer. You can use a service like Sugar Sync or Dropbox, both of which give you cloud storage and can back up everything or just specific files like your photos or music. If you want to use an external drive, both Windows and Apple make it easy to set that up. For Windows, simply plug in your external hard drive (you’ll likely want at least a 1 terabyte drive), search for “backup” from the start menu, choose “Backup and Restore” then follow the set-up backup instructions. On a Mac, connect your external hard drive, go to System Preferences then Time Machine and follow the on-screen prompts. Each of these options will provide automatic backups, and you can choose how often they should run. For most users the default settings will be sufficient, but if you want a custom setup, a site like Lifehacker can provide detailed guides for several setup options.