My sister, Jen, introduced me to the Cricut; and since she is so busy with her 4 amazing children (but still wants to get more skilled with her machine without having to sift though the gazillions of terrific websites in order to find what she needs), my aim this week is to clear a path for her.
For starters, cheat sheets for the Cricut are always wonderful to have. :)
Here is a link to a compact little cheat sheet that you can print out and adhere to your Cricut lid and have whenever you need it: Cricut Settings Table (scroll down to the bottom of her post). Also, here's a posting to a Cricut Forum that gives more detail, but isn't easily printable. And a third Cricut cutting guide by Megan at Above Rubies Studio can be obtained by clicking on this link and subscribing to her newsletter. Megan's guide provides detailed Cricut settings to cut out just about every name brand paper/cardstock out there, as well as general materials like vinyl, fabric, grungeboard, transparencies, blue painter's tape, magnets, foam, vellum and posterboard--to name a few.
Also available are the online versions of the Cricut Cartridge Handbooks. Just click on the cartridge and scroll down. Under the "Details" tab, if the online handbook is available (and most are), it will be listed under Cartridge Resources as "digital handbook" and you can view the PDF version of the handbook.
Another type of cheat sheet is this one by Linda (Just-a-Scrappin blogger) that lists all the cartridge features, as well as the phrases and shapes located on the cartridges. You subscribe to an email listserve and you'll get the Cheat Sheet notifications when she updates. It's a handy resource.
Finally, the Cricut Bible Library. Cynthia's project has pictures of the sample charts from about 90 or so of the Cricut cartridges, as well as pictures of the keypad overlays. A very nice reference tool; however, if you plan to print it all out, I think it has to be done page by page (individually).
So grab the cheat sheets that will best suit your needs. :)