Boost Your Productivity With 12 Google Homepage Alternatives
There’s no place like home… unless your Internet homepage loads directly to Google. When it comes to your default homepage, there’s a lot more out there than your standard ol’ search engine. We’re unloading some awesome alternatives that go beyond Google and aim to simplify, motivate and jump start your day each time you go online. You won’t have to click your mouse three times — all it takes is a few tweaks in your browser settings.
1. For Goal Seekers: If you want to get personal, get Momentum. This dashboard is all about eliminating distraction by putting all the focus on you. Forget having Facebook, Twitter and time-sucking apps right at your fingertips. Instead, use Momentum to fill your homepage with your personal goals, inspo, positivity, motivation, to-dos and daily goals. (Free on Chrome)
2. For The Collaborator: Start your day your way with Start.me, the homepage that’s all about personalization. Organize all of your favorite websites, feeds, notes, to-dos and social updates. Everything is safely stored in the cloud, so you can access your info on any device. Start.me is great for co-workers, teams and friends too, as you can share and collaborate with dashboards. (Free on Chrome)
3. For Minimalists: Currently is after the hearts of minimalists everywhere. If you’re a fan of simplicity and flat design, get this homepage. By automatically pinpointing your locale, Currently displays weather conditions and the current time — that’s it. (Free on Chrome)
4. For Procrastinators: Procrastinate much? With Motivation ticking your life away, you may just find yourself wasting less time on what’s not important. This simple, clean and slightly grim homepage displays a clock that constantly ticks away your age. (Free on Chrome)
5. For List Lovers: For personal or team use, Dayboard is your homepage for getting things done. Dayboard keeps you focused on five primary tasks that you need to complete that day and reminds you to do them each time you open your homepage. Reset your to-do list each day and stay motivated with Dayboard’s graph, which tracks your task history. (Free on Chrome)
6. For Time Managers: Having trouble managing your time? Limitless is your saving grace for amping up your productivity and managing your time smarter. Need a little nudge making your dreams come true? Limitless tracks your goals and motivates you to focus on your objectives with inspiring images and positive quotes. (Free on Chrome)
8. For Instant Access: They don’t call it Lightning Newtab for nothing. This homepage, based on HTML5, opens tabs, bookmarks and favorites lickety-split. Choose from thousands of wallpapers to personalize your background whenever you want, and select from four different interface layout options; whatever suits your fancy. (Free on Chrome)
9. For Savvy Readers: With Feedly, you can curate your very own page filled with all the things you love to read from newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs. You’ll be able to share the stories you read with friends via Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Buffer, OneNote, Pinterest and LinkedIn. (Free on IOS, Android and Chrome)
10. For the Traveler: World explorers, Traveler is your homepage. Venture to a new destination each time you open your Internet browser. Beautiful images from around the globe will fill your homepage, along with useful info like the local time, weather and links to your most visited websites. (Free on Chrome)
11. For Power Users: Created by Opera, Vivaldi is a modern, flat design featuring the ability to take notes, email, use keyboard shortcuts and even change the look of a webpage with page actions. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux, Vivaldi is still in its early days, but you can download a tech preview and give your input. (Free from Vivaldi)
12. For PC Lovers: Microsoft has been buzzing in the news headlines with their announcement of Project Spartan, a code name for a new Internet browser they have in the works, designed to go along with the new Windows 10. The new browser is said to be loaded with features like a built-in notebook and a way to strip webpages down to text only. Keep your eyes open for the unveiling of Microsoft’s new browser. (via MSDN)
What is your “no place like home” homepage set to? Let us know in the comments below.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com