Wow! It was not easy to choose which tools to explore. One because I had not even heard of many of these and two because there were just SO MANY!
I began with OpenTable.com. I had heard of this and seen people use it, but had never used it myself. This is a great tool that I will definitely use in the future. The purpose of this tool is to be able to find and make restaurant reservations via the Web. Which obviously streamlines things, cutting down on the annoying phone call to multiple restaurants. When entering the site, you can choose a location by city (Chicago), the area (i.e. Near West Suburbs) and then "smaller" towns (i.e. Oakbrook). For each restaurant, you will see the price point, type (i.e. Italian), and reviews. In this way, you can search for one particular restaurant. If you are not sure where you want to eat, you can look through a number of lists based on reader reviews. (i.e. best service, best overall, best food, more romantic).
I really like this site, but unfortunately would not use it in my classroom...unless, of course, we are going on a field trip :)
I also took a look at ETSY. Ironically, I am in the middle of using this tool for the first time. I just ordered birth announcements for Ellery, and I am also ordering invitations for her baptism soon. A friend told me about this tool over the holidays, and it has blown me away. My approach to this site was different than the norm. What this site is is a place to find just about anything that you want to purchase. You search for something, let's say birth announcements, and then a list of sellers who make birth announcements comes up and you can then search their creations, just like you would on Snapfish or a similar site. There are literally THOUSANDS of sellers on this site, and you can not imagine the extent of the what you can purchase via this tool. I did not complete a search like this and then purchase. I had a friend tell me about a seller on this site who made AWESOME holiday cards for her. What I did was search the seller because I knew I wanted to deal directly with her. I found her easily and I have to say the announcements were AWESOME! You could literally spend hours on this site searching for an item...the options are endless!
RemembertheMilk.com is another tool that I explored. With everything that is going on, I often forget things like buying the milk. Basically this is an online to do list. You can make your list and include the days that you need to accomplish each task. You can receive alerts to your email or even directly to your phone (there is of course an IPhone application...isn't there one for everything).