Oh sure, Twitter is useful for breaking news, conversing with friends and the like. But what about pushing it beyond the limits of simply 140 characters? What if you wanted to find new and exciting ways to make your life easier, all without ever having to leave Twitter?

Here are 5 ways that you can, and we think you’ll like them a lot.

1 – Plan Your Meals

You have some ingredients, but you have no idea what to do with them. While you could browse websites like Supercook to get ideas, sometimes you can’t be bothered.

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There’s a lovely Twitter account that can help you with that. Simply send a message with the ingredients that you have on hand and you’ll get a reply with recipe suggestions. While it doesn’t work flawlessly just yet, it should get better.

2 – Track Your Packages

Well sure, you could keep going to the FedEx or UPS website every few hours to see where your incoming piece of gadgety goodness is hanging out. Or you could send a tweet.

TrackThis is a service that, once you’ve followed it and sent its Twitter account and sent it a tracking number, will update you via Direct Message for each step that happens along the path. The end result? Something like this:

Example of Twitter package updates by direct messages 5 things you probably didnt know you could do with Twitter

3 – Post To Your Evernote Account

OK, this one is dead simple. Follow @myEN on Twitter. In a few seconds, you’ll get a Direct Message. Once you do, head to the URL in the message to link your Evernote and Twitter accounts. Then, send a message to @myEN on Twitter and you’ll get it stuck into your Evernote as a private message. Easy, eh?

Screen shot 2011 02 16 at 12.02.12 PM 5 things you probably didnt know you could do with Twitter

4 – Update Your Google Calendar

While it’s dead simple to open up your iCal or Google Calendar it’s even easier to send a message like “Meeting with Alex on Friday at 3pm.” Twittercal lets you do just that.

In order to take advantage of the service, you’ll need to add @gCal as a friend on Twitter. The account will add you back, and then you need to head to the site in order to grant access to your Twitter and Calendar apps. You can then send it a Direct Message with the details of your calendar addition. That’s handy stuff.

5 – Track Fitness Goals

There are a number of great options for this one, but if you want to track your weight loss then Weight Loss Charts is about as easy as you’ll get. Just sign up (the process is really simple and fast) then send a message with your weight each day. What you’ll get in return is a clean, simple chart displaying your progress.

We’re sure that there are loads of things that you can do that we haven’t covered here. Have some? Add them to the comments. Want more cool ways to do things? Keep reading through TNW Lifehacks.