Reddit: Endlessly distracting, often fascinating, and sometimes really useful too. These are some of the best subreddits we know about for advice, instruction and information, whether that’s helping define an archaic term or identify a half-remembered tune.
The perfect place to go when you can’t quite remember that movie, or show, or anything else you’re trying desperately to recall — throw in the details that you can remember and the subreddit community sleuths will go about trying to work out what it is you’re talking about. An answer isn’t guaranteed, but you’ll be amazed at how the subreddit can work.
A hugely useful subreddit for anyone who has to fashion words into some kind of order, for a living, for a side hustle, or just for fun. As the name suggests, WritingPrompts is packed with ideas for overcoming writer’s block and getting the words flowing more easily. There’s plenty of inspiration here, and you can read other writers’ responses to the prompts too.
Who knew that numbers and statistics could be so aesthetically pleasing? This subreddit offers up a wealth of infographics, charts, visualisations and graphs, which can not only keep you distracted for hours on end but which can also help you see something (like the trees of New York or blockbuster Hollywood movies) in a completely different light.
The web has more than enough GIFs as it is, but the GIFs on the educationalgifs subreddit are intended to teach you something rather than just pass on the latest meme. It’s one of the most engrossing subreddits we’ve ever come across — find out how matches are made, or how internet cables are laid, or how much CO2 we’re releasing, in seconds.
It’s not a great feeling, being out of the loop, which is where this subreddit comes in — you can quickly get up to speed on any subject you’re not yet up to speed on, from the current status of Fortnite to exactly why English people are getting so excited about a guy called Ben Stokes. If you’re confused by something trending on Twitter, try searching here.
If you’ve got an unidentified object on your hands, head to this subreddit to figure out what it is; if you don’t, head to this subreddit anyway just for the educational value (or to help out other posters).
If there’s something from history that you don’t understand, AskHistorians can help you find the answers you’re looking for — most valid queries are comprehensively answered, which means you can quickly get a handle on something from the past that’s been baffling you. Even if you don’t have a specific question, the subreddit is a very informative read.
Seems like most of us want to be able to cook well without spending too much along the way, and this subreddit is one of the best places to get tips on that very topic. Ask for advice on a specific type of meal or occasion, or pinch some of the many inspired recipes that get posted, or contribute your own ideas for food on a budget (or all three).
A never-ending treasure trove of little details in films that you might have missed: From little nods to the fans, to Easter eggs left by the directors, to connections between movies that you would never have noticed if they weren’t pointed out, MovieDetails is the sort of subreddit where you can easily lose an hour or two without noticing any time has passed.
It can be difficult to find anything fresh on the web, and most of us just end up cycling around the same handful of websites and social media feeds, day after day. The InternetIsBeautiful subreddit is the cure. It’s a constantly updated list of websites that are entertaining, engaging, and often very informative too (here’s one for colourising photos).
You can’t fail to come away from browsing YouShouldKnow without having learned something: The subreddit is packed full of useful tips and life advice on every topic imaginable, including how to pack your dishwasher, how to start a new voicemail when you’ve messed the first one up, how to avoid pickpockets, and so on and so on.
Wanting to dress just a little bit better? Moving to a completely different climate and in need of some clothing tips? Wanting to know if something goes with something else? These two busy subreddits give you access to a plethora of useful advice on how to dress, what to buy, what’s in fashion, and want you need to give your wardrobe an upgrade.
It’s pretty simple: A list of full movies you can watch for free on YouTube. As you would expect in our age of Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+ and all the others, you’re not going to get the most well-known or the most recent movies here, but there are a lot more movies on YouTube than you might realise, and many are well worth a watch.
Truly useful advice from the Reddit community on everything from applying for a mortgage to negotiating a salary. Even just skimming the personal finance subreddit you feel like you’re becoming a better manager of your money, and as you actually dive deeper into the posts and responses you’ll uncover a host of smart tips and strategies to follow.
Anything and everything to do with houseplants. This is one of those subreddit gems that focuses on a specific topic and does it really well — you’ll come across advice for caring for your own houseplants as well as lots and lots of photos of other people’s plants. A great place to go for buying advice, or for inspiration, or to show off your own plant collection.
In our times of growing stubbornness and hate towards people with opposing points of view, we feel duty bound to mention changemyview (CMV): It’s a place (in theory) for reasoned debate without the sort of insults and abuse you might see elsewhere.
One of the better known subs, but we’ll include it just in case it’s passed you by: explainlikeimfive (ELI5) is the sub to go to for simple explanations about complex topics, whether you want to know how Netflix hosts its movies or why holding your breath can cure hiccups. You can contribute to answers as well as asking questions too.
For all your do-it-yourself needs, whether you need help starting a project or some advice along the way, or you just want to marvel at the skills of other people. Just about every kind of project you can think of is covered here, and you’re likely to find it much more useful than just searching the web or YouTube for advice on your home improvements.
If you want to learn something — coding games, doing magic, how to absorb information more efficiently — then IWantToLearn can tell you how to go about it. The subreddit covers a huge range of topics, so it can get quite busy, but it’s a fantastic resource if you’re hoping to improve yourself (just make sure you use the search function before posting yourself).
We live in an increasingly disposable society, but that’s a trend the BuyItForLife subreddit is fighting against — here you’ll find tips and advice on making your stuff last.
You’ll get a mix of clever tips, camera samples, tech support questions and answers, and other random bits and pieces — it should end up being one of the best resources for using your phone during its lifetime.