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Last Updated on August 8, 2019

17 Best Learning Apps to Help You Advance Your Career in 2019

17 Best Learning Apps to Help You Advance Your Career in 2019

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 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.

                                    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

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                                    Last Updated on August 14, 2019

                                    25 Brain Exercises for Memory That Actually Help You Remember More

                                    25 Brain Exercises for Memory That Actually Help You Remember More

                                    The brain is often thought of as similar to a computer. When the brain is powerful and working properly, it will enable you to perform all your cognitive and bodily functions smoothly and efficiently, and the reverse is also true.

                                    Unfortunately, our brainpower tends to decline as we grow older. And as you might have seen in media reports, loss of memory and dementia is a growing concern for people today. Brain wellness is now right up there with heart health.

                                    If you are finding yourself forgetting things more than usual, it can be a little alarming. But you need to know you are not helpless when it comes to keeping your brain healthy and powerful. There are simple brain exercises for memory improvement you can do to boost your brainpower so you remember more.

                                    Benefits of improving your brainpower

                                    According to a 2015 study published in the journal Neurology, older adults who engage in regular physical exercise like jogging and cycling are less likely to be affected by age-related brain illnesses that can limit memory and mobility.[1] And those people who perform regular, targeted brain exercises keep their brains sharp and healthy, which reduces cognitive decline and memory impairment.

                                    When you exercise your brain, you will also improve your creative abilities, which will give you a competitive advantage in your job.

                                    Moreover, brain exercises strengthen your ability to think on your feet and give witty responses, meaning you won’t be lost for words at critical moments in conversations.

                                    Goodbye to awkward silences!

                                    Simple exercises to sharpen the brain

                                    While you can enroll in a number of online brain training programs, experts generally recommend sticking to brain training exercises that involve real-world activities.

                                    According to David Eagleman, PhD, neuroscientist and assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, exercises to strengthen brain function should offer novelty and challenge:

                                    “Almost any silly suggestion can work.”

                                    Here’re 25 simple real-world exercises you can do starting today to sharpen your brain and improve memory.

                                    1. Drive a new route home

                                    As simple as this exercise may sound, taking a different route home stimulates the brain. You are forced to involve more senses to find your way around, which keeps your brain alert instead of mindlessly driving home or to work on familiar routes.

                                    Avoiding ruts and boredom is critical to keeping your brain sharp, says Eagleman.

                                    2. Repeat it out loud

                                    In order to remember anything you have just read, heard or done, repeat it out loud.

                                    For example, repeat out loud the name of someone new you’ve just met and you will nail the name down in your mind.

                                    3. Listen while you read

                                    A study conducted at the University of Puerto Rico found that out of 137 Spanish-speaking students quizzed about an English book they were given to read, those students who read the book while simultaneously listening to an English audio version outscored the group that only read on eight different quizzes about the book.[2]

                                    Listen to audio of something while simultaneously reading or watching it. You’ll engage more of your senses and help your mind remember more.

                                    4. Play crossword puzzles

                                    Simple crossword puzzles and other word games like scrabble, where you rearrange letters and make as many words as you can, stimulate the brain and improve memory.

                                    5. Play chess

                                    Don’t forget to play other brain-boosting, strategy games like chess and checkers. Logic-based numbers games like Sudoku can also keep your brain fit.

                                    6. Learn a musical instrument

                                    Start playing a musical instrument. Studies show that learning something new and complex over a longer period of time is beneficial for the aging mind.[3]

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                                    7. Play a new sport

                                    Start playing a new sport that utilizes both mind and body, such as tennis, golf, or even yoga. Athletic exercise like these will not only improve your physical fitness, but also your mental fitness.

                                    8. Learn a foreign language

                                    Enroll in a foreign language course online or at your local education center. It will help to sharpen and rejuvenate your brain.

                                    9. Draw a map from memory

                                    When you return home from visiting a new place, draw a map of the area from memory. Expand this brain exercise by drawing maps of your commute, neighborhood and other areas to enhance memory.

                                    10. Cook a new cuisine

                                    Take a cooking class. Learn how to cook new cuisines. Cooking stimulates different parts of the brain and different senses including smell, sight, and taste.

                                    11. Do chores with eyes closed

                                    Try washing the dishes, sorting laundry or taking a shower with your eyes closed. This will force your brain to use other neural pathways to get the task done.

                                    Obviously, don’t do anything with your eyes closed that would endanger others or yourself.

                                    12. Eat a meal using chopsticks

                                    Chopsticks will force your brain to pay attention and give your brain a good workout, especially if you have never used them before to eat.

                                    13. Switch hands when doing stuff

                                    If you are right-handed, try using your left hand to do things like brushing your teeth and eating.

                                    For example, if you are already good at using chopsticks to eat, use your non-dominant hand instead to challenge your fine-motor skills that are controlled by the nervous system consisting of the brain.

                                    14. Connect with new people

                                    Every time you connect with other people, you expose yourself to new ideas and other ways of thinking and doing things. This stimulates your mind and widens your world view and thinking process.

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                                    So, be open to traveling more and attending shows and events to meet and interact with new people. It’ll keep your mind in tip-top shape.

                                    15. Savor different flavors in meals

                                    Challenge your taste buds by deliberately savoring your meals. Try to identify the individual ingredients in food, including subtle spices and herbs for a tasteful burst of mental stimulation.

                                    16. Do math in your head

                                    Don’t always rush to use a pen and paper, or a calculator to figure out math problems. Try to do them in your head. Make things a little bit more interesting by working out math problems in your head while also walking.

                                    17. Practice meditation

                                    Training your mind to be quiet is not always easy, but it can be done through meditation.

                                    Some of the benefits of practicing meditation include stress reduction, improved learning ability, increased focus and attention, enhanced memory and mood, and also reversal of brain atrophy.

                                    18. Memorize phone numbers

                                    By memorizing people’s names and phone numbers, you strengthen connections between your brain cells, which can make a big difference for your memory.

                                    Divide 10-digit numbers into sections, such as 801 665 9378 to make it easier remember. It is arguably easier to remember 801 665 9378 than 8016659378.

                                    19. Take up a craft hobby

                                    Craft hobbies like knitting, drawing and painting are now getting more attention for their brain-boosting powers.[4]

                                    Take up any craft hobby of your choice to strengthen your fine-motor skills and boost your brainpower.

                                    20. Tell stories

                                    Telling stories stimulates the brain through recalling and recounting important details. It also helps you remember events and associate emotion with memories.

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                                    Storytelling is so good for memory it is used to improve the lives of people with in Alzheimer’s disease.[5]

                                    21. Create new acronyms

                                    Come up with your very own clever acronyms whenever you need to memorize something in a hurry.

                                    Creating original acronyms or mnemonic phrases, where you use the first letters of words within a phrase to form a name, can sharpen your brain and assist in remembering more.

                                    22. Visualize what you want to remember

                                    Let’s say you want to remember to buy an item you need from the supermarket. Picture the items on your shopping list balancing on parts of your body.

                                    For example, imagine balancing an egg on your nose, a bottle of milk on your head or a package of cheese on your shoulder. It’s fan and you won’t forget that image.

                                    23. Vary aspects of your surroundings

                                    Vary things like the music in the background, time of day and whether you sit or stand when doing something to increase recall.

                                    The theory is that the brain associates words (or whatever you are doing) to the context or environment around you. The more contextual cues you provide your brain, the more it has to draw upon when trying to remember specific things.

                                    24. Space out your learning sessions

                                    Cramming is not always the best way to learn or remember things. Instead, review the information you want to learn or remember (statistics, foreign vocabulary, historical dates, scientific definitions, and so on) periodically over time. By spacing out your study sessions throughout the day, you learn more.

                                    Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus discovered that he could learn a list of nonsense words if he repeated them 68 times in one day and seven more times before being tested the next day.

                                    25. Sleep on it

                                    Get enough shut eye each night. The brain needs six to eight hours of sleep, or at least two cycles of deep sleep each night to complete the necessary chemical changes needed to integrate new skills and information into long-term memory.

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                                    Remember, your brain thrives on variety to keep those synapses firing. Exercising your brain with activities that are challenging, novel, and complex will help you to remember more and keep your brain fit.

                                    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                                    Reference

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