Life Hacks – Spoken Edition



Daily weblog on software and personal productivity recommends downloads, web sites and shortcuts that help you work smarter and save time. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It's perfect for times when you can't read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at


  • How to Try WhatsApp's 'Disappearing Messages' Feature When It Finally Arrives

    03/04/2020 Duration: 02min

    Good news and bad news for WhatsApp fans. We’ll start with the former: The app, in all likelihood, is going to soon receive a fancy little feature that will let you automatically delete messages—group and private—after a set period of time. And here’s the fun part: You decide how long that time is going to be. Well, sort of. According to screenshots from WABetaInfo, you’ll get to set your messages to disappear after an hour, a day, a week, a month, or a year. While I’d like to see a bit more granularity for times within 24 hours—in case you’d want your message to be automatically deleted after a few hours, so people see it but it doesn’t linger forever, the feature’s existence is still better than nothing. About that. As WABetaInfo reports, WhatsApp is currently testing the auto-deletion aspect. So odds are good that you aren’t going to find the feature in the app if you’re using its regular version. If you’re lucky enough to be a beta tester, you might see it, but you also might not; I grabbed the beta vers

  • How to Get Into DJ D-Nice's Virtual 'Club Quarantine' Dance Party

    02/04/2020 Duration: 01min

    Nightclubs around the country are closed due to coronavirus, but in their absence, a new virtual club has opened its door, and it has a pretty A-List guest list. You may know DJ D-Nice, Derrick Jones, as a member of the 90s hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions. He was also the DJ for Barak Obama’s farewell party at the White House. DJ D-Nice launched “Club Quarantine” last week, and on Saturday the “club” was open for nine hours with guest appearances from celebrities like Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell, Chaka Khan, Halle Berry, Rihanna, Kerry Washington, Diddy, and Jamie Foxx. Tonight’s virtual club doors are already open, and more than 100,000 people are currently watching him spin tracks, presumably from his apartment. Spike Lee, Vanessa Williams, and Donnie Wahlberg all popped in while I was writing this, and there’s bound to be more names you recognize popping by. You can watch and dance along at home by going to his Instagram page on your mobile phone and then clicking his profile picture to join the

  • Skip Grocery Delivery, If You Can

    01/04/2020 Duration: 03min

    Grocery stores are a madhouse right now. The bottled water is gone, staples like milk, eggs and bread are flying off the shelves, and there’s barely a roll of toilet paper to be found anywhere. Added to this equation is the risk factor of navigating a crowded store. To counteract exposure, a lot of people are shifting to curbside pickup or delivery. Before you hit click on that list of groceries, take a moment to consider those who depend on grocery delivery.

  • Make Sure You Don't Look Like a Big Weirdo Before Jumping on That Conference Call

    31/03/2020 Duration: 01min

    Now that many of us lucky enough to be working are working from home and hosting our meetings virtually, we’re hyper-focused on making video conference calls less terrible, starting with making sure we look good on camera. But how sure are you that you actually don’t look terrible or that there isn’t something embarrassing in view behind you? Don’t you want to check one last time before hopping onto that Zoom call? You should probably check. Hand Mirror is a Mac app that lives in your toolbar and allows you to perform a quick one-step check on the view from your webcam. Click the little mirror icon to instantly open a widow that offers a peek at whatever your webcam can see right now, allowing you a chance to smooth down your cowlick or move your underwear off of the bed behind you. It’s a pretty simple idea—so simple the App Store rejected it, according to designer Rafael Conde—which is why it’s so useful. Especially if, like me, you constantly mix up your keyboard shortcuts and end up searching in an act

  • You Can Virtually Tour the Winchester Mystery House For Free While It's Closed Due to COVID-19

    30/03/2020 Duration: 02min

    Like many other places around the country, the Winchester Mystery House is closed now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of physical tours, the house is offering a 40-minute video tour of the property for anyone that’s interested. The house’s website says that it is offering free video access until April 7th, the day the Bay Area’s current “shelter in place” order is set to expire.

  • You Can Play These Popular Board and Card Games Online With Friends

    27/03/2020 Duration: 03min

    Social distancing doesn’t have to mean the end of game night with your friends, it just means that rather than breaking out a game board and inviting your friends over you need to take things online. Turns out, almost every board game you can think of can actually be played online, and there are a number of websites out there to make the magic happen.

  • It's Time to Go Wild With Your Comcast Downloads

    26/03/2020 Duration: 02min

    The only good news to come from the coronavirus—unless you have a crystal ball and have been making a small fortune in the market, /r/wallstreetbets-style—is that Comcast has finally shown that its network can probably handle all the downloading you typically do. In other words, data caps are bullshit. I don’t want to be too hard on Comcast, though, since it is nice of the company to give everyone 60 free days of limit-free downloads. The company isn’t boosting everyone’s speeds to the max—if only—but it is allowing you to download as much as you want for the next two months. Were I you, I’d do two things right now: Grab every Steam/Epic Games/ game you’ve been meaning to put on your computer but didn’t, and set a calendar reminder for May 10 to reduce your habits—as the data cap enforcement should kick back in right around then, and you don’t want to be stuck with a gigantic bill for your carefree downloading. Comcast is also letting everyone—Comcast subscribers and regular people alike—take advant

  • How to Tell if an iPhone Bug Is Eating Up Your Data Plan

    25/03/2020 Duration: 02min

    A strange iOS bug is eating up mobile data and spiking monthly bills for iPhone users. You might not be affected, but it’s worth checking out (just in case). The bug has been reported on all iPhone models that run iOS 13, and it affects nearly every major cell provider. Some users are only seeing a few kilobytes of their data plan affected, while others have reported losing several gigs of data to the bug.

  • These Free Mobile Games Can Help You Cope With Cabin Fever

    24/03/2020 Duration: 02min

    Everyone needs a distraction right now. You know it. I know it. Game developers know it, too, and a few of them have generously decided to make their iOS games temporarily free for anyone looking for a fun distraction to help them stay sane while socially distancing. If you’ve never tried the tower defense series Kingdom Rush, an early iOS app store favorite, you’re in for a treat.

  • Find Out How Long Your Toilet Paper Stash Will Last With This Site

    23/03/2020 Duration: 02min

    Toilet paper is now a more precious commodity than gold—or at least, that’s how I felt when a friend of mine reported that she was offered $40 the other day for a single roll (one roll!!!) upon leaving the sold-out supermarket. Assuming you have a pretty decent stash at home, the website “How much toilet paper” is going to be your new best friend over the coming weeks and months. As you hunker down during all things coronavirus, the site will help you get a quick estimate of how much your stash will last. Of course, there are plenty of variables at play, here. First and foremost are the aforementioned bathroom habits; if you act like you’re trying to take the finish off a table with sandpaper, you’re probably burning through number of extra (and unnecessary) rolls. You’ll definitely want to click on the site’s “Advanced Options” to increase your “average number of wipes per trip” and get a more accurate result (you savage). That’s also important for managing all the crazy configurations of rolls you can buy.

  • Uninstall These VPN and Ad-Blocking Apps That Spied on Your iPhone or Android

    20/03/2020 Duration: 03min

    A recent Buzzfeed investigation discovered that several popular VPN and adblocking apps for Android and iOS secretly collected user data and sent it to Sensor Tower, a cross-platform data analytics service for app developers.

  • Check to See If Your Upcoming Flight is Cheaper Now Due to Coronavirus

    19/03/2020 Duration: 02min

    If you have a flight coming up soon, then you might be considering rebooking it. An airplane obviously isn’t the most ideal place to be right now given coronavirus concerns. While rebooking your flight might give you some peace of mind, it can also help you save some cash. Airlines, in general, are dealing with a pretty significant number of canceled flights right now. With the demand lower than usual, airfare for flights is also going down.

  • Never Store Things in The Seat-Back Pocket on Airplanes

    18/03/2020 Duration: 03min

    Coronavirus had made air travel something that a lot of people are reconsidering right now. When getting on an airplane more and more people are also considering giving their personal space a little wipe down to try and catch any germs that might have been left behind by the last passenger to sit there. One place you might not consider: the seat-back pocket.

  • How to Deal With Coronavirus Anxiety

    17/03/2020 Duration: 03min

    If the COVID-19 outbreak has got you checking the news a little more often—or asking yourself whether it’s time to stock up on food or medications, cancel travel, or prepare to work from home—you’re not alone. But there’s a difference between preparing for the coronavirus and letting thoughts about the coronavirus take over your brain. The former can be productive; the latter rarely is. I reached out to Dr.

  • How to Properly Care for Cast Iron

    16/03/2020 Duration: 02min

    Cast iron is a favorite tool for serious home cooks. But what most people find really serious is the proper way to maintain their heavy metal cookware. Some people swear that soap is the enemy of a properly seasoned pan. Others hold firm that the correct method for seasoning a pan takes five hours. Well, the good news is that cast iron is easier to maintain than you may have previously thought. It does, however, require a more intensive care process than most other dishes and cookware.

  • Use Out of Office Messages Even When You're Not on Vacation

    13/03/2020 Duration: 03min

    Email is something that consistently absorbs a lot of my day. I start everyday checking and responding to email, but as the day progresses, find myself checking my inbox pretty much constantly from my phone and computer. This week Fast Company made an interesting suggestion on how to combat that problem: Using an out of office message. One of the best pieces of advice in terms of not getting distracted by email is to only check your email at certain times.

  • What's the Fastest Way to Get Through a Traffic Jam?

    12/03/2020 Duration: 02min

    Ah, there’s nothing like zooming down the highway on a bright, sunny day—wind in your hair, sunglasses on, and... all of a sudden you come to a screeching halt in a traffic jam. As you sit in traffic, it’s pretty easy to succumb to the urge of switching to a lane that appears to be moving faster.

  • Know When to Stop Overdelivering at Work

    11/03/2020 Duration: 03min

    When I was in the early stages of my various careers—both as an executive assistant and later, when I retooled as a freelance writer—I was all about the overdelivery. I had read in some business book that the secret to becoming a valued employee was to always turn things around a little bit faster and a little bit better than expected. To go the extra mile, if you don’t mind the cliché. And I did become a valued employee—and, later, a valued freelancer.

  • The Internet Archive's VHS Vault Is a 1990s Pop Culture Goldmine

    10/03/2020 Duration: 02min

    If you’re someone who has lost hours, if not days, watching old TV clips from your childhood on YouTube, block off some time in your calendar, because you’re about to lose another chunk of your adult life. The Internet Archive—aka the Wayback Machine—now has more than 20,000 VHS recordings available to view for free on its website.

  • You Can Get a Free Donut Every Friday in March at Dunkin'

    09/03/2020 Duration: 02min

    Dunkin’ is offering customers a little bit of an incentive to grab a cup of coffee on Friday mornings: free donuts. The donut chain is launching “Free Donut Fridays” for the month of March. Customers can score a free donut of their choice, including the ‘Lucky Shamrock Donut,’ every Friday when they purchase any beverage.

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