Lifehacker: Twin Cities style

by Amanda Bingham
follow me on Twitter: @amanda_l_b

When I told some peers about the latest monthly Emerging Leaders Networking lunch, “Twin Cities Lifehacker,” I got a lot of blank stares. What is “Lifehacker?”  Lifehacker is an amazing blog that features lifehacks and software. Lifehacks are tips and tricks that just make your life a little easier, usually with plenty of time and money savings. 

The conversation was opened up for local young nonprofit professionals to share their secret “lifehacks” and good deals that one can find around town. While the conversation was open to lifehacks for play and lifehacks for work, most of the suggestions--not surprisingly--fell under “play.” 

Here are some highlights that came out of the Lifehacker ELN.

Lifehacks for work/professional development:

  • Want to beef up your writing portfolio? Hone your journalism skills by writing for the Twin Cities Daily Planet as a citizen journalist.
  • Want to go to a professional development event, but can’t afford it? MCN offers scholarships for most of its events.
  • Want to meet like-minded professionals? Join a professional group, such as YNPN.
  • Need to make some infographs without hiring a designer? Try outPiktochart.
  • Does your organization need volunteers? Post to college job boards or sites like or

Life hacks for personal development/savings:

  • Want to take some free/cheap courses? Give iTunes UStanford University, or Khan Academy a try.
  • Need some help keeping track of your money? Try
  • Looking for some coupons? Check out
  • Get more back for the money you spend. Use credit cards with rewards programs.
  • Save on gas - Super America has double coupon Tuesdays for gas.

Life hacks for play:

  • Looking for a workout? Do some “free week” hopping - try out different gyms for the free trial week and see which ones you end up liking best (or have the best prices). You can find coupons for free trials from places like LivingSocial or Groupon.
  • Want to look good without spending a ton? Thrift stores are the way to go. Want to find the best stuff? Try thrift stores like Arc that are in the suburbs, they are usually less picked over.
  • For awesome “fill a bag” deals, check out events hosted by churches or estates sales.
  • Sad that your favorite restaurant doesn’t deliver? Give Bite Squad a call! They’ll pick it up for you.
  • Looking for good happy hours? Here are a few: RepublicLyle’s in UptownThe Triple Rock Social Club, & The Herkimer Pub and Brewery, to name a few.

What are some Twin Cities lifehacks that you want to share?

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