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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

17 Best Learning Apps to Help You Learn Faster

17 Best Learning Apps to Help You Learn Faster

Do you want to learn a new skill or make a shift in your career? Learning apps are the solution.

Lifelong learning is not a fad. With the emergence of search engines more than a decade ago, information has never been easier to accumulate.

Learning apps have quickly become a go-to method of enhancing or accruing skills for students and professionals alike. While college degrees are still seen as high-priority accomplishments in the workplace today, people are becoming increasingly warm to the idea of building skills on the side as an acceptable replacement for a diploma.

With so many credible resources available to jump start a new part of your career, what are you waiting for?

If you’re looking to gain a new skill or improve upon one in which you’re already invested, this exclusive list of the very best learning apps can help you learn more effectively and reach new heights in your career.

1. Lynda

    The current king (or queen) of learning apps is Lynda. Owned by technology super-power Microsoft, this platform boasts a wide array of courses not available anywhere else.

    Lynda was founded in 1995 by a digital arts master named, you guessed it, Lynda Weinman.

    The top skills you can begin accruing on the site include:

    • Software development
    • Web development
    • Photography
    • Business
    • Design

    Once you secure your subscription, you get unlimited access to all courses (for the compulsive types that like switching around). All courses are taught by expert instructors and industry experts.

    Available for iOS | Android | Web

    Pricing: A Lynda membership will cost $25 per month.

    2. LinkedIn Learning

      The professional network has made a massive push toward educating its dedicated users. LinkedIn Learning is their platform to promote positive growth and learning in your career.

      While LinkedIn is also owned by Microsoft, there are key difference between Lynda and LinkedIn Learning. The largest differentiator between these platforms is that LinkedIn Learning comes as a package deal with your LinkedIn Premium subscription.

      This is highly beneficial to those who are already serious enough about their online career development that they hold a monthly membership to Premium.

      The library here is incredibly vast, spanning from Business to Creative and Technology skills.

      Available for iOS | Android | Web

      Pricing: LinkedIn Learning is completely free with a LinkedIn premium subscription, starting at $30.

      3. Udemy

        Not the monthly membership type? This one may be just right for you.

        Udemy is a “learn on demand” website and app that starts their course pricing at $10.99. This allows you the flexibility to take your time on a course you purchase over the course of several months, without worrying about recurring payments before you finish.

        Many career-oriented individuals want to improve their skills and habits, but the reality is that workdays typically require most of their time.

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        This flexible learning app allows you to take things slow, fast, or anywhere in-between with complete control on your end.

        Available for iOS | Android | Web

        Pricing: As mentioned above, courses start at $10.99.

        4. Khan Academy

          For many of us out there, we simply can’t afford to splurge on extracurricular skill-building. We want to improve ourselves and advance our careers, but we would need to do so on a minimal budget.

          Enter Khan Academy, a completely free database of courses where you can learn anything.

          The skills you can anticipate to build here on less focused on business, technology, and design, and more so on mathematics, science, and finance.

          Khan is a great resource for students, young professionals, and seasoned career veterans.

          Averrable for iOS | Android | Web

          Pricing: Free

          5. Udacity

            If you’re looking to master in-demand skills, but want to tackle it all at your own pace, then Udacity is right up your alley.

            Udacity offers what they call Nanodegrees, and help you learn enough to actually consider changing careers altogether!

            The best part? You can learn on Udacity for free!

            Available for iOS | Android | Web

            Pricing: Free for skill videos. The Nanodegrees start at around $599, or payments of $50 per month.

            6. Coursera

              Much like similar platforms, Coursera offers courses and certifications to further your knowledge and boost your career.

              It also offers the opportunity to earn your degree online through prestigious institutions, such as: Yale, Michigan, Stanford, and leading companies like Google and IBM.

              This site is unique in that it provides free information, but the paid information is directly tied to actual accredited institutions.

              Available for iOS | Android | Web

              Pricing: Courses are free. Degrees vary in price.

              7. Mimo

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                One of the world’s most valuable and popular skills to build is coding. Whether you are looking to build websites, apps, or databases, there is a substantial need for this in the workplace.

                Mimo provides you with the opportunity to make a drastic switch in your career to computer science, or simply refine your current development skills.

                Available for iOS | Android | Web

                Pricing: Free

                8. TED-Ed

                  By now, you’ve watched dozens of TED talks and heard a plethora of messages from these events. TED is one of the largest events in the world, and its main ambition is to be a thought leader for anyone seeking knowledge.

                  TED-Ed is an extension of this great effort, taking the form of an online education system. The topics on TED-Ed are not always as tactical as other apps on this list.

                  The courses you find here range from “What is imposter syndrome and how can you combat it?” to “Did the Amazons really exist?”

                  Available for iOS | Android | Web

                  Pricing: Free

                  9. Duolingo

                    Speaking another language may have more of a positive impact on the world than acquiring any other skill.

                    Think about it:

                    How many people are there in the world that, if you sparked up a conversation, wouldn’t understand a word you say?

                    Duolingo is the premiere leader in language education. You can learn to speak 29 different languages, all at the touch of a button.

                    You’ll be invited to not only read new words, but to speak them. You’ll learn grammar, jargon, and conversational tactics.

                    Make your impact on the world by learning to communicate with a new portion of its inhabitants!

                    Available for iOS | Android | Web

                    Pricing: Free

                    10. Headspace

                      Going outside the box, one of the crucial skills you can acquire is mastering your mental health. This is no easy task, but with the help of Headspace, you will be able to make a vast impact on your mindset.

                      Headspace uses exercises in breathing, meditating, and being aware to strengthen your mind and build up resistance against stress and anxiety.

                      Learning to improve your mental health through concerted effort will have a massively positive effect on your ability to seize the day and achieve your goals.

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                      Available for iOS | Android | Web

                      Pricing: Free

                      11. Mind Tools

                        Since 1996, Mind Tools has been helping people boost their careers through lifelong education. It focuses specifically on providing the essential content you need to build an excellent career, striving to eliminate the fluff.

                        If you are looking to make a career change in the most efficient way possible, Mind Tools is a great option.

                        Available for iOS | Android | Web

                        Pricing: $1 for the first month, then $19 per month.

                        12. Blinkist

                          Are you an avid reader with little time to spare? Or maybe you’ve never enjoyed reading because the content is too long?

                          Either way, Blinkist aims to eliminate these issues.

                          Blinkist’s goal is to give you key ideas from nonfiction books in 15 mins. They also offer the ability to read this content offline.

                          Available for iOS | Android | Web

                          Pricing: $79.99 per year.

                          13. Elevate – Brain Training

                            The simple things in life are often the most important. Elevate is aiming to prove that to you with brain training personalized to your needs.

                            Inviting you to stay sharp, build your confidence and boost your productivity, Elevate is an app that organizes games and activities on your phone that will accomplish these goals.

                            By improving small habits, you will see an uptick in energy, efficiency, and effectiveness.

                            Available for iOS | Android

                            Pricing: Free trial, then $45 per year.

                            14. MasterClass

                              While the other platforms for learning on this list provide exceeding value, none allow you to sneak into the mind of an actual expert quite like MasterClass.

                              Do you want to learn to cook like Gordon Ramsey? It may be best to actually have him teach you personally.

                              Want to learn the ins and outs of directing a movie? Ron Howard can offer unparalleled expertise.

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                              On MasterClass, these are the teachers: industry experts, the best of the best.

                              Available for iOS |  Web

                              Pricing: $180 per year for access to all courses.

                              15. Skillshare

                                Boasting a library of over 22,000 free and premium courses, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a larger provider of online education than Skillshare.

                                All classes are online, and strive to take you on a journey from no skill to trustworthy expert.

                                Ranging from topics such as creativity and lifestyle to business and technology, there is very little you won’t find here.

                                Available for iOS | Android | Web

                                Pricing: Free trial, then $45 per year.

                                16. edX

                                  Much like Coursera, edX aims to connect you with educators from highly prestigious universities. If you don’t want to risk learning from someone who barely has more experience than you, edX is for you.

                                  Here, you can learn about computer science, language, statistics, and even humanities from institutions like Harvard, Stanford and MIT.

                                  Available for iOS | Android | Web

                                  Pricing: Free

                                  17. CreativeLive

                                    Focusing more on the creative skills and jobs out there, Creative Live is a leader in helping you “answer your creative calling”.

                                    You’ll be able to learn from key influencers, such as Mel Robbins, Lisa Congdon, and John Greengo.

                                    The key difference here as that courses are not free. The app is free to download and explore, but it will take an investment on your part to get access to these expert-led lessons.

                                    Available for iOS |  Web

                                    Pricing: Starting at $99 per course.

                                    The Bottom Line

                                    No matter what you are trying to learn and where you feel is best for you to do that, the most important thing is that you take action!

                                    Start learning something new today, and repeat the pattern daily for the rest of your life. Visit the apps in this list and find which one is best for you!

                                    Lifelong learning is easier than ever before, and it’s something you really should take advantage of.

                                    More About Learning

                                    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                                    More by this author

                                    Blake Emal

                                    A young entrepreneur who took a leap of faith and moved away from his comfort zone to build his own business

                                    17 Best Learning Apps to Help You Learn Faster

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                                    Published on January 14, 2020

                                    15 Effortless Memorization Tricks To Remember Anything

                                    15 Effortless Memorization Tricks To Remember Anything

                                    The struggle is real!

                                    With so much happening in life, it’s hard to remember the details. In particular, names, due dates, requirements and locations slip from the mind every so often. But the memorization tricks outlined in this article should ensure that you never forget stuff that matters.

                                    I used to have a problem with remembering names and faces.

                                    You see, I meet new people every day from around the globe and it’s just too many new names and faces for my mind to register.

                                    But I’ll tell you this:

                                    It’s certainly quite embarrassing to have coffee with somebody and not recognize them the next day.

                                    The problem is that forgetting is such a passive action that you often have no control over it.

                                    Let me explain:

                                    When you forget something, it’s not like you’re actively trying to. It just… happens and that makes it hard to inhibit your forgetfulness.

                                    I mean, how do you stop doing something that you’re not really doing?

                                    So, I just accepted that this is how it is and I’m going to have to live with it.

                                    But several embarrassing encounters later, I’ve consolidated a list of memorizing tips that worked like magic for me.

                                    I’ve used them to overcome my problem of remembering people and their names which has helped me immensely in improving communication and collaboration within and outside of my company.

                                    Now before we dive into the memorization tricks that I wanted to discuss with you, let’s first take a look at how and why we forget.

                                    The Science of Forgetting

                                    In 1885, Hermann Ebbinghaus put forth his theory that outlined the “Forgetting Curve”.[1] This curve shows how much information we retain after a certain amount of time has passed since initially memorizing it.

                                    You might be a bit concerned about how valid this theory is, given that it was initially presented in the 19th century.

                                    But in a 2015 analysis, scientists found that the Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve was completely accurate.[2]

                                    Fascinatingly, the Forgetting Curve shows that just after a day of memorizing something, we remember about 30% of it.

                                    Before we jump into the memorization tricks in this article, I’d first like to explain to you why you forget in the first place. Knowing the root cause of forgetfulness will help you apply the information that you gather.

                                    When you initially learn something, your mind transfers it into the hypothetical short-term memory chamber.

                                    Your brain doesn’t know which piece of information is important and which needs to be discarded. So, it waits for a signal that helps it recognize important pieces of information that it can then shift into the hypothetical long-term memory chamber.

                                    One of the more obvious of such signals is repetition. As shown in the forgetting figure below, repetition can change the shape of the forgetting curve.

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                                      All the memorization tricks and tips in this article revolve around signaling the importance of memories to your mind so it can move that piece of information from the short-term memory chamber to the long-term one.

                                      15 Memorization Tricks That Work

                                      Enough of science; let’s get into the business end of this article. Here are 15 memorization tricks that work:

                                      1. Say it 3 Times

                                      This is one of the simplest learning methods that I’ve been using and it seems to yield some great results.

                                      Make a habit of saying something 3 times as soon as you hear it. This will help you retain that information longer in your brain. In my case, when someone would tell me their name, I’d say it thrice under my breath. This signaled to my brain that this piece of information is important and I’d like to remember it.

                                      2. Link it to an Established Long-Term Memory

                                      What if you already have something in your long-term memory that you can link your new piece of information to?

                                      Imagine this:

                                      There’s a piece of information that resides deep in your hypothetical long-term memory chamber. Once you claim a new memory, you stick it to the old one.

                                      What do you think will happen?

                                      Of course, the new memory will retain better because of the strong memory that you linked it to.

                                      For instance, people set their 4-digit pin codes for their birthdates (or their spouse’s) all the time. It’s easier to remember because they have an already established link in their mind that’s probably never going to break.

                                      3. Type Away

                                      Writing something down is a common memorizing trick that works for many.

                                      The problem?

                                      You almost never have a pen and paper close at hand when you need it.

                                      So here, I decided to go a bit unconventional and use technology to my advantage.

                                      I started typing notes on my phone that I’d revisit before sleeping.

                                      A lot of times, I wouldn’t even have to revisit my notes because the mere act of typing them would help me retain that memory.

                                      But if typing it out doesn’t help, rereading it at night surely will.

                                      4. Spaced Repetition

                                      As mentioned above, further research on the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve showed that it’s best to revise a piece of information after a certain amount of time as it helps your mind retain it better.

                                      Now, what a lot of people do is that they try to repeat or revise a memory as soon as they attain it.

                                      But research shows that it’s useless to adopt that strategy. The goal isn’t to avoid forgetting that memory; it’s to forget it so you can relearn and solidify its roots in your brain.

                                      The same research suggested 4 repetitions; around 20 mins, 50 mins, 9 hours and 5 days after memorizing something.[3]

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                                      But it might not be practical to revisit a memory in that fashion. So, as we recommend in our article on Spaced Repetition, just revise an important memory 24-36 hours after initially learning it and you should see 90% above retention rates.

                                      5. Grasp the Concept

                                      Back in college, rote learning never seemed to work for me.

                                      No matter how many times I’d repeat a phrase and try to learn it by heart, I’d have completely forgotten it by the next day.

                                      So I tried to memorize the concept, not the words.

                                      This worked great for me back then and still works well when I’m trying to understand the mechanics of a company or a business.

                                      6. Interleaved Practice

                                      If you mix it up, you’ll see better results in memorization.

                                      Most people, when they’re trying to memorize or learn something, keep working at it until it’s all done or perfect.

                                      It doesn’t make much sense if you leave a memorization task in the middle right? Wrong!

                                      Research shows that if you learn two different things at once, you’ll learn them better. This is called interleaved practice.

                                      Now that are 2 reasons why interleaved practice shows spectacular resuLts:

                                      Similar memories get mixed up in the brain

                                      Interleaved practice makes it harder to recall a memory. And the harder the practice session, the better your results!

                                      7. Use Storytelling

                                      Without a doubt, storytelling is one of the most powerful skills that one can master.

                                      And the reason is simple:

                                      Stories captivate us like nothing else.

                                      Look at all the forms of entertainment that we have nowadays and you’ll see storytelling in each one of them; movies, songs, music videos, video games, vlogs… the list goes on.

                                      The reason is simple:

                                      Our brain is obsessed with stories.

                                      So the next time you’re trying to memorize something, try creating a story in your head that would help you remember it.

                                      8. Record Your Audio

                                      Here’s another fantastic memorizing trick that puts technology to great use.

                                      When you’re trying to memorize something, just audio record yourself on the phone and listen to it on repeat.

                                      You don’t need to do this for long. In fact, about 15-20 minutes of listening to yourself should be more than enough.

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                                      This is especially useful for auditory learners.

                                      9. Create Parts

                                      What if I tell you to memorize this number in 20 seconds:

                                      583957304

                                      I’m sure that sounds like a daunting task.

                                      But what about:

                                      583-957-304

                                      This looks easier although both numbers are essentially the same.

                                      The only difference in both numbers is that the second one has two dashes. Now, the dashes themselves aren’t significant. What’s significant is the fact that the dashes break the number into 3 parts.

                                      When you break the number, it becomes easier to remember. Your brain can then focus on individual parts and consolidate them in the end.

                                      In fact, this memorization technique is pretty much a setup to trick your mind into thinking the task is easier than it actually is.

                                      So, the next time you’re learning something extensive, create parts out of it and focus on each part individually.

                                      10. Focus on Keywords

                                      I like to use this method in conjunction with “Grasping the Concept”.

                                      You see, there are just some things that require word-for-word learning.

                                      And if you’re not good at it, then learning keywords becomes your last option.

                                      It’s likely that you’ve used this technique if you buy the groceries. All you do is memorize keywords like “6 eggs” but never “buy half a dozen eggs” because the rest of all the words contribute nothing (or very little) to the message.

                                      11. Say it out Aloud

                                      Here’s another learning trick for auditory learners:

                                      Say your words out aloud.

                                      I’m a firm believer that the more senses you stimulate while learning, the better you’ll learn.

                                      This means that reading alone (using your visual sense only) is not nearly as effective as speaking your words while you read them because it stimulates your sense of hearing as well.

                                      Ideally, you’d want to use this technique with writing or typing.

                                      12. Retain While You Sleep

                                      Did you know that sleeping could help improve your memory?

                                      Well, researchers from Matthew P. Walker and Robert Stickgold sure think so. In their research, “Sleep, Memory and Plasticity”, they maintain that sleep has a major role in “memory consolidation” and “memory reconsolidation”.[4].

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                                      Another research published in Current Opinion in Neurology shows that,[5]

                                      “Sleep is important for optimal learning.”

                                      By that logic, memorizing just before you go to sleep is a nice way of strengthening that memory. While you sleep, your brain should work on that memory’s consolidation and reconsolidation.

                                      Also, it’s important to get a good amount of sleep in for improving memory in general.

                                      13. Challenge Yourself

                                      Most people think that memorizing is all about reading and speaking.

                                      And that’s partly why they aren’t particularly good at it.

                                      Most of the time, we’re trying to memorize something all day but when the right time comes, our memory fails to support us.

                                      A good way to eliminate that problem is to test yourself in the middle of the day.

                                      Challenge yourself in the middle of the day to recall what you’re trying to learn. It doesn’t necessarily need to be in a learning environment. In fact, you could try recalling while you’re in the elevator, having lunch or walking to your office.

                                      14. Mnemonics

                                      Mnemonics have been for ages to learn a list of words in order.

                                      And the only reason why they’ve stood the test of time is that they work.

                                      In this method, you list out the first letter of each word and then try creating a sentence/phrase out of them that can be memorized.

                                      A common example is the “Roy G. Biv” mnemonic that’s used to memorize the colors of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet).

                                      Although recent research on effective learning techniques ranked mnemonics as a low utility learning method, the only reason for that was that mnemonics don’t have a wide variety of applications in general learning.[6]

                                      However, they work like magic if you’re trying to learn a foreign language or increase vocabulary.

                                      15. Use a To-Do List App

                                      The last memorizing trick on our list is to use a To-Do List app.

                                      A lot of these apps come with the added functionality of displaying your notes on the home screen of your phone.

                                      A lot of others come with a sticky notification of that note that appears 24/7 on your phone.

                                      By typing what you want to memorize in that note, you can then read it again every time you use your phone.

                                      And if you’re anything like the common man, this memorization trick should give you the opportunity to review your memory multiple times in the day.

                                      If you tend to forget easily, start trying these memorizing tricks. They’ve changed my life and will change yours too!

                                      More to Boost Your Memory

                                      Featured photo credit: Sincerely Media via unsplash.com

                                      Reference

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