There are lots of tasks you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. From the weekly grocery shop to booking a haircut and paying your bills. Most of these tasks can be done online.

Doing these tasks online can save you time, as you can update, check details and access your information in an instant. Being able to do these tasks without having to go to different shops means you can spend the time on things that matter to you.

In this series of lessons, we will help you to begin using the services you use day-to-day, online. This lesson will give you a brief look into using these services online. We’ve split this into three main areas: household tasks, local services and travel. Our next few lessons will then go into more detail on shopping, healthcare, bills and utilities and accessing Universal Credit online.


  • Know what tasks you can do online.
  • Understand the basics of doing your to-do list online.
  • Learn to do household tasks online.

Read time

13 mins

Chapter 1

Chapter 1


Read time

1 min

Saving time on your household tasks

There are lots of tasks involved in looking after your household. In this lesson we will help you to identify the ways you can use the web to save time on these tasks. Don’t worry if you don’t know everything right away, this is just an introduction into the services you can use online. Let’s take a look at household tasks first.


Household tasks you can do online:

  • Using Government services - By going online, you can access a lot of services that can help you look after things like your taxes, and any benefits and pension details
  • Looking after your money - For example, you can use your bank account and access universal credit online
  • Doing some shopping - Whether you are looking for groceries, furniture or essentials. Shopping is another way you can save time by taking your task list online
  • Paying your bills and utilities - You can pay, check, and save on your bills online. This gives you instant access to allow you to make quick changes and check you are on track
  • Paying for insurance cover - You can look after the things that matter to you online. Using online services you can compare cover and apply for and check your cover

Chapter 2

Chapter 2


Read time

2 mins

Imagine your local Highstreet

There are lots of services you may be using in your local areas. From getting a haircut to going to the fish and chip shop. Going online to access these services does not have to mean you are replacing your high street shops. Online services can actually be a way of supporting them.

How you can support:

  • Firstly, many local shops now use online services to reach more people and to make things easier for their customers. When you order your fish and chips online for delivery instead of in person, this still funds your local shop
  • Booking appointments on a website can save the shop time. For example, when you go online to book a hair appointment, this means the hair salon doesn't have to spend their time on a call. With time saved on calls, the salon can put it towards improving the shop
  • Local services can also save time by providing details and advice online. The more you are able to go on and find answers to any questions you might have, the less time you both need to spend on the phone


What kinds of local services can I use online?

  • Hairdressers – You can’t get an online haircut, but you can book a hair cut through your local salon’s website. You can use their system to book with your favourite hairdressers and to choose the services you want. You can look for online salons online using a search engine
  • Food services – A lot of restaurants and takeaways now allow you to order online for collection and deliveries. Some have their own website where you can order. Others use common food delivery services. Some of the most popular ones are Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat. You can download these apps from your device’s app store
  • Doctors – You can find out more in our lesson on ‘managing your healthcare online’, but most doctors now have a website. Some will use it to give you advice and resources. Others will have systems to allow you to book an appointment or register online without having to phone. To find your GP online, the NHS have a tool you can search for your GP and access their website
  • Dentists – Like with doctors, the level of detail you will get on a dentist’s website will vary. On some you will be able to get advice and information only, on others you may be able to book, register and look up the prices of treatments
  • Council services – There are different levels of councils. From county councils who look after things like education and transport to district, borough, city, and town, parish and community councils who look after things like council tax and rubbish collections. The government website has a helpful tool to help you find your local council. Once you type in your postcode, it will direct you to their website. Depending on what you want to do, you should be able to find help or advice. Some councils will have online systems you can create an account for and do a lot of what you need to online. Others may just give advice and guides to help and won’t require you to sign-in


Most councils will offer online guides to help with:

  • Bins and recycling
  • Admin around births
  • marriages and deaths
  • Business help
  • Community concerns
  • Council tax
  • Environment and health issues
  • Housing benefits
  • Parking
  • Penalty notices
  • Planning and building
  • Roads
  • Schools and learning
  • Social care

Chapter 3

Chapter 3


Read time

10 mins

Arranging travel online can help in two main ways:

  1. You can book and change travel while on the move - There’s no need to go to a ticket booth or a travel agent. You can get everything you need on your device. Depending on the company you are travelling with, this means that when plans change you can often reschedule or cancel your travel plans in the moment. Plus, you can keep all your documents in one place on a mobile device
  2. You can save money by comparing prices - As you can view travel prices all in one place, there’s no need to go from provider to provider to compare the cost of travel options. There are even price comparison sites which allow you to see lots of different travel options and their cost all on one website. We will tell you more about these later

Booking transport online

The easiest way to start most travel bookings online is using a search engine. There are lots of companies and options for most trips you will do. So, by heading straight for one company you might end up paying a lot more. You could search for, for example, flights from Glasgow to Alicante or hotels in Birmingham or trains from London to Manchester. Whatever you’re looking for, the search engine will start to narrow down a search for you and provide options.

At the same time, you need to make sure you are safe and that you are using websites and companies you trust. Always make sure the sites and sellers you are using are well reviewed and ideally - have been used by someone you know. Online criminals can sell fake bookings online, so taking the time to stop and check can help you stay safe. We will cover more on how to stay safe in our lesson ‘Ten tips for staying safe online’.

There are also tools and websites that can help you to compare sellers and stay safe. These are different for each type of travel, so let’s take a look at a few of your options now.



With trains, you have a couple of options. You can go direct to a company. There are different companies which work on different railway lines and in different regions. Often the best way to find your local provider or who runs different lines is by using a search engine, as we mentioned.

Your other main option is using Trainline. Trainline lets you see options from lots of different providers. It also lets you book and keep your ticket in their app. This means you can book a journey with several changes and different providers and pay all in one place. This is also an easy way to keep the cost down because it often costs less than booking one longer, direct journey.

You can also get and manage your railcards online. So there’s no need to carry anything other than your phone on journeys. With the railcard app or website you can buy railcards which can save you money on each journey you take in the long run. Trainline also now allows you to buy and use Railcards from their app too. So you can keep everything in one place. You can download the Railcard app and the Trainline app from your device’s app store.



Like trains, there are many companies which provide flights. You can go directly to their sites by using their address or a search engine. If you want to compare the cheapest options, you can use websites/apps like Skyscanner or Kayak to help.

They both work in a similar way to Trainline, in that they show you all the flights or the combination of flights you can use to reach your destination. You can sort and filter the results to fit your needs. They will then direct you to the airlines’ website to book. Both Skyscanner and Kayak also allow you to book flights and hotels together. This can be a useful way to get everything done at once and see your total spend.

It is worth noting that there are lots of other ways to compare flights. You should do your own research and get recommendations from people you know and trust.

There are also advantages of going directly to one provider every time. Some airlines will have loyalty or ‘frequent flyer’ programmes. These can get you access to better deals or flight upgrades over time. At the same time, the cost of flights from just one airline might not always be the cheapest.


Once you’ve booked your flight

Once you’re all booked you can use the airlines app to manage your flight and check the details. You can check-in online and you can access your boarding pass directly in the app. This means you have easy access to everything in one place whilst on the move.



Taxis and ride services can both be booked online. Online, you can access the details and numbers of local taxi services. You can then call them to book. You can also sometimes book the taxi or ride directly through the website.

Your other option is using apps. Some taxi services may have their own apps, but most often in the UK, they will work through the ‘FreeNow’ app. Ride services like Uber or Bolt mainly work through their own apps.

Finally, some map services like Google Maps and Citymapper have ride/taxi booking built in. So, when you search how to get from one place to another, it will show you taxi and rides as one of the options. It will then link you through to book. You may need to have the app for the ride service downloaded to your device.


Buses & trams

The easiest way to start booking buses and trams online is to use a search engine to find your options. From there you can find out who the best provider is and book through their website or find out how to book. As always, be sure to check the website and company you are visiting are real and well-reviewed.



You can manage your travel on the Underground in many ways online. It depends which Underground it is you are using, but all UK underground services have a website: London, Newcastle, Liverpool & Glasgow. You can find details of the underground routes, buy tickets and find other useful information.



Ferry booking online will depend on where you are travelling. We recommend you start with an online search. Most ferry services now give you the ability to book online. Once you have booked, you will receive an email with your tickets.


Booking hotels

There are so many ways to book and compare hotels online. From using search engines to going directly to a hotel’s website. There are other options to think about before you take the direct route. Like with other services, using comparison sites is a helpful way to find the best place for you at the best price.

We mentioned earlier that Skyscanner or Kayak can help. They allow you to book your hotels via the providers at the same time as you book your flights.

There are other sites and apps like, Trivago or Expedia which are well-known as comparison sites for hotels.

However you choose to book, remember to be safe and always check before you book. Some online criminals will try to book you into hotels that don’t exist. If the price seems too good to be true – it probably is!


Navigating using maps

While you’re travelling, you need to be able to find the places you’re looking for. When you’re on the move, accessing maps online can be really useful. Most search engines have maps built into them. When you search, you can click the ‘maps’ tab at the top to see and access these.

On these map services you can usually navigate from location to location and set waypoints in between. You can then get an estimation of how long it will take to travel between these points using different types of transport so you can plan your journey.

Once you’ve selected your mode of transport, maps will show you the route between the two and give you a set of instructions which you can either look at before you set off or you can follow as you go. If you’re in a car or can’t use your phone safely, you can sometimes get maps to speak the directions out loud to you.

Accessing a map through a downloaded app can be easy on a mobile device. ‘Google Maps’ and ‘OS Maps’ on Apple devices are popular. You can search for these and other map apps within your device’s app store.

Using language services

Another handy tool when you’re travelling abroad is using translation tools. These can help you speak to people you meet or navigate language barriers in other countries. The most popular free tool for this is Google Translate, but there are other tools like Bing Translator, or Linguee.

Some apps and tools also use Word Lens. This allows you to use your camera to point at text on posters, signs and boards in the real world and receive a translation.


Travel insurance

If you travel or go abroad, you need to make sure you protect yourself. This is where insurance comes in. You can buy travel insurance online using a search engine or by using comparison sites. We will give you more details on how to do this in our lesson on 'managing your bills and utilities'.

Buying online can save you time by helping you compare all your options in one place. It can also save you money by showing you what options are cheaper and what they will cover you for. With travel cover, it can also help you to have easy access to your policy if you need it when you didn't expect.


Module complete!

Well done on completing this lesson! You should now have an idea of the online services you can use. We covered some of these topics to just a basic level, so the next step is to help you in more detail. We suggest you keep your learning going with our lesson on 'Shopping online'. It will help you to feel more comfortable shopping safely online. You will understand the ten general steps to buying online and learn some tips on how to save money on your online shop.


Up next for you:

Next module: Shopping online

Back to: Using online services

Scottish Widows Be Money Well is committed to providing information in a way that is accessible and useful for our users. This information, however, is not in any way intended to amount to authority or advice on which reliance should be placed. You should seek professional advice as appropriate and required. Any sites, products or services named in this module are just examples of what's available. Scottish Widows does not endorse the services they provide. The information in this module was last updated on 31st Oct 2022.