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“Several excuses are always less convincing than one,” said Aldous Huxley. If you need that really good excuse, these five apps can help.

This column typically seeks to help you be more productive by pointing out useful tools. Not today. Today, we’re embracing the dark side and helping you be completely unproductive online How To Be Completely Unproductive Online [Opinion] How To Be Completely Unproductive Online [Opinion] Did you know, that the Internet can also make you alarmingly unproductive? It's true! It may be hard to believe, but constant access to all the world's information - from the average flight velocity of... Read More .

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Got This Thing (Web for now, mobile later): Fills Your Calendar with Excuses

If your friend is moving, or your nephew has a school play, you might want to attend…except that you don’t want to attend at all because that sounds terrible.

If you can’t bring yourself to admit how awful you are out loud, Got This Thing can help by providing you with pretty convincing lies. It instantly fills your calendar with appointments to events actually happening in your area, giving you a plausible reason to not be somewhere in just one tap.

Yep, it’s evil. Their (hilarious) video explains more:

Real events are pulled from Eventbrite, Kimono Labs, Facebook and other services – meaning if your “friends” decide to look up whether your excuse is legitimate, it’ll check out. (Of course, if your friends end up attending your excuse event, Got This Thing can’t help you).

There’s also a “Ghost” button, which you can press at any point to get an instant notification of an event near you – helping you get out of awkward conversations.

It currently integrates with Google Calendar on the web. The upcoming mobile version will hopefully integrate directly with the calendar on your device so users of other platforms can also find excuses. Let’s hope they’re not too busy to actually build those mobile apps, because I won’t be believing any of their excuses.

FakeUpdate (Web): You Can’t Work Right Now Because Your Computer Is Updating

Getting out of work is even harder than getting out of social obligations, but there’s one excuse that’s air-tight: your computer is upgrading. If you want an unscheduled coffee break, FakeUpdate can help by making it look like your machine isn’t usable. The site’s creator explains how the site works in the following video, mostly explaining its prank potential.

Of course, this could work very well for pranking, but I think its natural use is turning on full screen and heading to the break room for a bit. Just don’t overuse it, or IT might start snooping around.

Tech Support Excuses (Web): Explain Away Delays with Reasonable-Sounding Gibberish

Speaking of IT, I dabbled in that industry for a while. It was fun, and for the most part when I took too long to fix something it was because of unexpected problems. Sometimes, though, I just didn’t get to it – but I quickly discovered people seem less mad if you say there was some sort of unexpected problem.

Which brings us to our next evil site, which randomly gives you one of 5,826,168 unexpected problems.


Just head to the site, click “Create Excuse”, then copy-paste your way to respite. The site has been running since 2002, so it’s hardly cutting edge, but still potentially useful. It’s also just fun to head to the site and click “Create Excuse” for a while.

Work From Home Ninja (Web): Random Excuses for Not Heading to the Office

Sometimes you just don’t want to go into the office. If that’s you, Work From Home Ninja can help by providing you with a reasonable excuse for telecommuting.


You can vote on whether or not a particular reason “will fly” with the management, and view what other users thought about particular ideas.

Magic Late Ball (iOS): Explain Why You’re Late

Finally, if you’re on your way to something but not quite on time, Magic Late Ball can help you out with a quick excuse. Just shake the app and it will help you explain why you’re late.


There’s even support for Apple Watch, meaning you can dig up an excuse without having to dig a phone out of your pocket.

What’s Your Excuse?

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I want to hear from you now, so instead of closing this tab and getting back to work let’s hang out in the comments below.

What are your go-to excuses, and do you know of any other sites for finding more?

Image Credits:personal organizer by takasu via Shutterstock

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