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15 Websites To Learn A Skill On Your Own Time (Without Disturbing Your Schedule)

15 Websites To Learn A Skill On Your Own Time (Without Disturbing Your Schedule)

Are you too busy to learn something new?

We get it. While new technology and communication tools have made it easier for us to become more productive, keep in touch with each other, and learn anywhere, it’s also buried us with too many options.

Since there are so many things we can be doing at any one time, there never seems to be enough time in the day to learn a new skill, like how to speak Spanish, pick up a new hobby, or play the piano.

Luckily for us, there are amazing websites that already exist to help us learn something new without disturbing our busy schedules.

If you feel like you’re too busy, check out these 15 websites today:

1. Skillshare

What you can learn: Design, marketing, business
Type of learning:
Recorded video lessons

All of us have a skill that we can teach others, which means we can also learn from others. Skillshare has designed an entire company built on this concept.

With your membership, you can have access to over a thousand classes designed to teach you everything from marketing and business to design and more.

skillshare

    2. CreativeLIVE

    What you can learn: Photography, money, software tools
    Type of learning:
    Live broadcasting

    CreativeLIVE differs from Skillshare in a couple of ways. They provide a free, live broadcasting of their classes, then you can buy the full version which you can keep forever. They also have some world-class experts teaching on their platform, including New York Times Bestselling authors, Pulitzer Prize winners, and top entrepreneurs, all sharing their craft.

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    You can learn just about anything — software, design, photography, business, and much more.

    CreativeLive

      3. Rype

      What you can learn: Foreign language (Spanish)
      Type of learning:
      Live one-on-one coaching

      Have you ever thought, “I’m too busy to learn a language.”?

      Think again. Rype is a website that provides private Spanish coaching, specifically for busy people. You can get unlimited one-on-one Spanish lessons with your membership, anytime, anywhere.

      Learn spanish

        How is it specifically built for busy people, you ask?

        With coaches around the world, they allow you to book lessons at any time of the day, any day of the week, whether it’s a relaxing morning on a Sunday or 3 AM on a weekday (for the nightowls).

        No matter how busy you are, now you can always find the time to learn how to speak Spanish. You can try it for free to see if it’s right for you and decide for yourself.

        4. MonkeySee

        What you can learn: General
        Type of learning:
        Recorded video lessons

        MonkeySee is like Youtube, but specifically dedicated to short, educational videos.

        You can watch thousands of videos on dozens of different topics, like parenting, personal finance, gadgets, and more.

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        Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 6.08.19 PM

          5. HowStuffWorks

          What you can learn: General
          Type of learning:
          Articles and videos

          Have you ever wondered, “How does X work?”

          HowStuffWorks is a destination built specifically to answer every type of “how it works” question by giving you a dedicated article explaining it in detail. Travel, money, electronics, computers, and more — you can learn just about how anything works on this website.

          howstuffworks

            6. Podcasts

            What you can learn: General — business, health, love
            Type of learning:
            Audio recording

            Podcasting is not only an app or website, but it’s an entire industry. It became a hit over a decade ago, but only returned to fame a few years ago after the smartphone became mainstream.

            Just like Youtube, you can subscribe to different shows based on business, health, relationships, comedy, and much more.

            itunes-podcast

              7. Lumosity

              What you can learn: Mathematics, pattern recognition, memory retention
              Type of learning:
              Gaming

              Got some time to kill while you’re stuck in traffic, waiting for the bus, or taking the train? Why not improve your brain?

              Lumosity offers free and premium games that have been specifically designed to improve your memory, math skills, and more. It’s available on desktop or your mobile, so you can enjoy it at home or take it with you wherever you go.

              lumosity-5

                8. Duolingo

                What you can learn: Foreign languages
                Type of learning:
                Gamification

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                If you want a fun, free, and easy way to learn a language, then check out Duolingo. Now with over 50 million registered users around the world, Duolingo is recognized as one of the top free apps to learn a language.

                Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 6.09.00 PM

                  9. Hack A Day

                  What you can learn: Life hacks
                  Type of learning:
                  Articles

                  Hack A Day is a website that teaches you new hacks that you can apply in your life. If you’re into unique or weird facts that you can talk about with your friends, then this website is worth checking out in your spare time.

                  Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 6.34.57 PM

                    10. Khan Academy

                    What you can learn: Mathematics, physics, coding
                    Type of learning:
                    Video lessons

                    Khan Academy is an educational platform developed by Salman Khan. This website caught the attention Bill Gates, who stated that Khan was his favorite teacher. I personally used it during my university days, as they make complicated topics seem incredibly easy to understand.

                    Most of the topics taught on Khan Academy are fairly academic topics, like Calculus, Mathematics, and Physics, rather than general topics like business, design, or marketing.

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                      11. Udemy

                      What you can learn: General
                      Type of learning:
                      Video lessons

                      Udemy is recognized as one of the top leaders of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) industry. They’ve got a massive library of educational courses, but compared to CreativeLIVE or Skillshare, the quality isn’t as high. Nevertheless, you can find very affordable and free courses that you can take advantage of.

                      The one benefit of Udemy is the quantity of content they have, and you can find courses on anything from LSAT and SAT preparation to history, which is something that won’t exist on many other MOOC websites.

                      udemy-courses

                        12. Codeacademy

                        What you can learn: Coding
                        Type of learning:
                        Gamification, learn by doing

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                        With software eating the world, learning how to code is starting to become as standard as knowing how to use Microsoft Word. The good news is, you don’t need college or innate talent to learn. Codeacademy provides a unique and fun solution to teach you how to code by doing, instead of through textbooks.

                        HTML, CSS, JS, or Ruby on Rails, you can learn by building your own projects using their program.

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                          13. Startcooking.com

                          What you can learn: Cooking
                          Type of learning:
                          Video lessons

                          Startcooking.com is like having a personal chef trainer wherever you go. Whatever dish you want to cook, chances are you can find it on this website and get a step-by-step tutorial on how you can make it in your kitchen.

                          You’ll also notice that they classify each dish in terms of difficulty, so if you’re new to cooking, you can always find the low-hanging fruit.

                          Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 6.12.55 PM

                            14. edX

                            What you can learn: General (university subjects)
                            Type of learning:
                            Live and recorded video lessons

                            Wish you’d gone to Stanford University or Columbia University? Now you can, for free.

                            edX, a non-profit organization, empowers you to take online courses from the world’s best universities. You can get a free stream from the lectures of these top institutions and learn anything from business, marketing, economics, and more.

                            You can watch it online anywhere you are in the world.

                            edx

                              15. Lynda

                              What you can learn: General
                              Type of learning:
                              Recorded video lessons

                              Lynda allows you to learn a new skill on your time. It’s not a whole lot different from Skillshare or Udemy, but Lynda does have a larger library of content to provide. They’ve also just been bought out by LinkedIn, so it may be an essential integration that you will see on the professional networking website as well.

                              Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 6.13.18 PM

                                They provide a 10-day free trial to explore thousands of classes before you decide if it’s right for you.

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                                Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                Joe’s Goals

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                                  Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                  Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                  Daytum

                                    Daytum

                                    is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                    Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                    Excel or Numbers

                                      If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                      What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                      Evernote

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                                        I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                        Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                        Access or Bento

                                          If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                          Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                          You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                          Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                          All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                          Conclusion

                                          I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                          What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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