Shek

Life hackers and life-long learners
12 tools that speed up your learning

12 tools that speed up your learning

Struggle in learning? That’s what I do also, especially when it comes to self-learning because there is no one guiding us. I spend lots of time trying to figure out how to be effective in learning and how to teach myself new skills. Passion? Mindset? No one of this will succeed without having useful tools.

I struggled with learning when I was in high school. But in university, I master the art of learning because I develop my own system of learning with the help of the following software.

In this article, I will categorize them according to their functions. Take what you need!

 

  1. Resources — long term

a. Edx

EDX
https://www.edx.org/

 

Edx is a learning platform where universities put their courses online for the learners and students a. Most of the courses are free, but students can pay to earn a certificate (normally $99). Some course can even transfer into credit for your studies in universities.

I am now taking a course in marketing and psychology. They are not hard to follow, even for a beginner. (I have no experience or knowledge in these fields) For advanced learner, there will be more demanding courses as well, like a digital marketing course which is targeted at master students.

 

 

b. Udemy

udemy
https://www.udemy.com/

 

It is another learning platform, but it is not driven by universities but by original course creators. Unlike Edx, it takes course fees and focuses more on job-related skills and habits, like Gitarr playing. However, some of its course can transfer to universities credit as well.

I don’t use as much Udemy as Edx as it takes course fee. But I have joined a writing course on this platform, which is taught by a renowned journalist. The quality was satisfying, so I still recommend it to others. Plus, there is always discount, so you should wait for it before buying.

 

 

  1. Resources — bit learning

a.highbrow

highbrow
https://gohighbrow.com/

 

It is a website that offers online courses, which is only 5 minutes per lesson. and send it to the learners through email every day so that people can learn something every day. Some of its courses are free, but some are only for premium members. So you can check it out to see if you find it useful.

b. Blinklist

blinklist
https://www.blinkist.com/

 

Blinikist also features in packaging knowledge into small, instantly read-message. Most of its teachings are from the best-selling books and it provides text and audio at the same time. All of the lessons are being condensed into about 15 minutes read (or listen). It has a 30 days free trial period, after that it charges $49.99/ year.

I find the audio functions pretty practical as I can listen that audio on my way to school.

 

c. Castbox

Castbox
https://castbox.fm/

 

If you like listening to audiobooks or learning when you are walking, I recommend an app called Castbox. It is one of the best radio apps I’ve found. It collects lots of radio programs. Unlike others radios apps, it classifies the programs into different themes, but not by channels. So you can find your favourite programs according to your interests easily. In addition, it also has audio books.

 

 

  1. Productivity — Focus and attention

 

a. Clock Tomato

clock tomato
clock tomato

 

 

Pomodoro Technique, I bet most of you must have heard of it. It suggests people break down the concentrating interval into 25 minutes, with a 5 minutes break afterwards. The clockwork tomato is a more flexible version of this technique. It allows users to set intervals for different purposes. Most importantly, it creates a statistic for them and it is helpful for tracking how to focus they are.

 

b. Focal Filter

Focal filter
Focal Filter

 

You get distracted by Internet all the time, but you have to work in front of a computer? This is the tools for you. It is a free software that allows its user to block your website within a certain amount of time. Also, to stop the software, you have to restart the computer. It is complicated and time-wasting to free yourself from the blocking, but it’s why it is so effective.

 

c. Crackbook

Crackbook
Crackbook

 

If Focal Filter is too strict for you, Crackbook maybe your solution. It is a chrome extension. Unlike Focal Filter, Crackbook doesn’t block the websites completely, rather it extends the time its user is going to browse a website. The more times the user is trying to visit a blacklist website, the longer he/she will need to wait.

 

  1. Time Management

 

a.  Any.do

any. do
any. do

 

The main functions of this apps are to create a checklist. You can create items not only for today but also for another day; therefore it is useful for planning. Its interface is simple and user-friendly. If you hate using timetable, like me, I recommend using it to monitor your daily activities.

 

b. Google Calendar

Google calendar
Google calendar

The almighty Google. The Google calendar likes nothing but the search engine. The functions are well-rounded. It, of course, allows you to create a timetable but also helps you in tracking goals and forming habits. By analysing your routine, it will help you to find the time to fit the habits you want to build.

 

  1. Method of learning

a. Quizlet

Quizlet
Quizlet

 

It is a flashcard, but with many additional features. Except for the traditional flashcards, you can play with others games to strengthen your memories. Also, there are lots of ready-to-use sets that help to save your time. In addition, it has an automatic reading function, which I think very useful and the pronunciations are accurate enough. There are 2 kinds of membership, free and premium. But I think the free version can satisfy most of your needs.

 

b. Diiago

Diigo
Diigo

It is an annotation tool, which allows people to drop notes and highlight web pages. At the same time, it has an outliner function, which is practical for grouping information. Whenever you saw a meaningful sentence and ideas, highlight it! You will never know when it is useful.

 

 

Here is what I use or used daily. They really help me a lot in learning, especially languages. Some of them even accompanied me when I was having public exams a year ago (it was a horrible memory). I hope they can help you too. Learning is important. But learning with efficiency is even more important. Spend little and Earn more.

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