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How You Can Learn to Code Right Now for Free

How You Can Learn to Code Right Now for Free

Learning how to code is the new black, except that you can’t wear it. But it’s about the most fashionable thing you can do for your resume. If you learn to code it can be a step toward a higher income, a second career, or even a life-changing product. If you’re thinking you need to go back to college for a computer science degree, remember that some of the most famous programmers never got one. Look at Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. If you’re a writer, learn to code can so you can reposition yourself as a website designer or front-end developer. If you’re a nurse, learn to code so you can build a platform for nurses to network. If you’re a carpenter, you can build a website for your business.

It’s easier than ever to learn how to code. Coding can:

  1. Help you build something on a basic level in as little as 3 months
  2. Increase your income with new job opportunities
  3. Get you a freelance side-gig coding for others
  4. Build your online product to take over the world
  5. Help you meet new people and make “coder” friends
  6. Increase your self-confidence
  7. Enhance a blog or website you created
  8. Develop your cognitive and problem-solving abilities

Here are several free, self-paced platforms to get started:

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Codeacademy

Here, you can learn anything from HTML to Python. You have access to free courses via screencasts. Codeacademy also lets you build an interactive website or learn how to use APIs like YouTube and Box to create your own applications. There are some active forums for peer-to-peer help and some support. If you are self-disciplined, this is an excellent bet.

Udemy

Choose the right course and instructor, and you’ve hit the goldmine. Courses in web development, Swift, website building, and WordPress customization are popular, and many are free for a test run.

MOOCs

MOOCs stand for “massive open online course.” Anyone on the web can access them. Top universities like Stanford, Wellesley, and UPenn, as well as Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity offer courses in computer programming, data science, app development, and a variety of coding languages.

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Rails Guides

Rails Guides offers a complete, free course and instruction on how to use Ruby on Rails, the program that Shopify, Groupon, and AirBnb use to build their own sites. Follow each step of the Getting Started guide, block out several hours and get to work! It will show you how to install Rails and start a Rails application.

MIT Open Courseware

You can learn from one of the top institutions in the country. Most of the courses are older computer programming classes, but for the basics and a self-paced experience you can’t go wrong.

Mozilla Developer Network

The Mozilla Developer Network offers a load of coding tutorials to get you up and running fast. You can learn the basics of web development, like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more. Once you get the basics down, you’re pretty much ready to start learning some languages like PHP, Ruby, or Python.

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Codewars

If you need to “learn by doing” and feel like you’re working with others, take a look at Codewars. Codewars lets you strengthen and master languages like JavaScript, CoffeeScript, Ruby, Python, Clojure, and Haskellas as you build in a collaborative community. Codewars is a good next step after you’ve learned some basic programming, or as reinforcement to a language you are currently learning.

Ourcodeblog

Ourcodeblog has a wiki resource for “women of color who are learning to code, design, and program.” Check this out for easy, free access to MOOCs, videos, and guides to effectively plan your self-paced learning objectives, while saving you lots of time on research.

When you are learning how to code on your own, a mentor is invaluable. Attend meetups and meet other coders face-to-face for support. Don’t let finances get in the way. If you don’t have $12k for a coding school, a free course can very well be a powerful new beginning in your personal or career trajectory.

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Featured photo credit: hackNY.org via flickr.com

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Published on October 9, 2018

Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

Note-taking is useful in helping improve your memory and increase your productivity at work. By writing down notes, you have something tangible you can refer back to, remember what needs to be done, and regain control of your work throughout the day.

There are thousands of different note-taking apps you can use on your desktop or mobile device. The two most popular are Evernote and Microsoft OneNote because they are incredibly efficient and effective that each has a following of extremely loyal users and advocates.

So if it comes to Evernote vs OneNote, how do they improve productivity?

An overview of Evernote and OneNote

First, an introduction to the two platforms. Evernote is an app that lets you store content, take down notes, write lists, and organize all of them. While these are stored in Notebooks, the whole concept behind this productivity app is more like a Universal Inbox where you can save everything you’ve collected so you can quickly find it when you need them through the use of tags.

Microsoft’s OneNote, on the other hand, works very much like a digital version of the notebooks you used to carry around in school. Aside from storing all your notes and different types of content you’ve collected, you can also organize them into sections, pages, and containers.

Each of these apps offers their users a host of features to help them improve their productivity and memory. Also, because no app is perfect, each also has their strengths and limitations.

To get a better idea of which app will be your best choice, we’ll be comparing the two based on three key features most used by their users: collecting information, note-taking, and mobility.

Collecting information

Both the OneNote and Evernote come with their own web clipper extension that allows you to quickly collect and store information from different websites as you find them.

Both give you the option to choose whether you’d like to save the entire web page as is, a simplified version without the ads, or just a section of the page. You can also add some notes before saving them to make it easier for you to remember why you “clipped” that particular resource.

Since OneNote gives you more structure to organize your content, its web clipper allows you to choose not just which notebook to save the details, but also what section within the notebook.

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    Source: OneNote.com

    Evernote gives you the option to add tags to your web clippings before you save it, so it’s easier for you to search for it later.

    Premium users get access to Evernote’s Related Results feature located in its Options section. When you search on Google, Evernote will launch a secondary search that will show all the notes related to the keyword you used in searching for information.

      Source: Zapier.com

      This feature, according to Jeremy Skillings, President of Youcanbefound.com, is beneficial because it lets you know what information you already have stored in your notes.

      “In some cases whenever I do my research, I find out through this feature that I already have the exact information I need stored in my Evernote account. That alone cuts back a significant amount of the time I spend on projects.”

      Note-taking

      Both of these productivity apps allow you to create and format your notes to create rich documents. Among these features include changing the font size and color, adding tables, and inserting media files.

      Evernote’s note-taking features are very similar to a Word document in that it’s very structured concerning how you input your notes.

        Professionals who need to be able to build and access well-structured docs in the field make up much of Evernote’s loyal fanbase. One such 2-year user in the real estate field, Anthony Gilbert of RealFX.com, liked the formatting options, but admitted that there were still some downsides to the rigidly formatted approach.

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        While he enjoyed the features, his personal experience with using it in the field revealed that the formatting features,“mean that if you need to change parts of your notes around, it can get tedious”. He continued, “the formatting features are quite finicky, so you may need a bit of patience to get the end results you are looking for.”

        Professionals who need to be able to build and access well-structured docs in the field make up much of Evernote’s loyal fanbase. One such 2-year user in the real estate field, Anthony Gilbertof RealFX.com, liked the formatting options, but admitted that there were still some downsides to the rigidly formatted approach.

        Structuring your notes properly from the get-go can have an effect on your productivity. A blank slate can sometimes be puzzling. Evernote allows the ability to use battle-tested templates and workflows that save you time. They can provide inspiration and structure on what’s possible.

        On the other hand, OneNote gives its users more versatility and flexibility in the way notes are created. You can click at any area of the page and begin typing. If you need to move things around, you can drag and drop sections of your notes to the right place.

        On the other hand, OneNote gives its users more versatility and flexibility in the way you create your notes. You can click at any area of the page and begin typing. If you need to move things around, you can drag and drop sections of your notes to the right place.

          Source: Lifehacker

          Also, it gives you the option to create Templates that you can use to layout your page properly, so all you’ll need to do is to fill in the information.

            Source: MakeUseOf

            This is a particularly handy feature that stood out to many of the people who shared their love of OneNote with me. Steve Lionais, longtime user and Co-Founder & CEO of Dr-Bill.ca, claims that this feature helped him build his business by affecting his memory in a powerful and helpful way.

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            “This [feature] is what makes OneNote great memory retention app,” he said of the templates. “I find that I remember things more when they are arranged in a certain way. OneNote allowed me to do that for my meeting and presentation notes, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to find the next point!”

            However, what really makes OneNote the winner of this round is its ability to allow you to embed media files from other sources like Youtube. In addition to including the link, OneNote launches a media player, allowing you to watch the video or listen to the audio file directly from the page where you saved it.

              Source: Windows Central

              Mobility

              Evernote and OneNote can be used both on desktops and mobile devices. At the same time, they provide their users with the ability to sync the content from one device to the other.

              Judging which of the two productivity apps is best here is quite tricky because it greatly depends on several factors. One of these is the operating software you use.

              Many of the power users we asked were using iOS, and that put some points toward Evernote. Greg Reese of AmeriEstate.com found himself frequently using the built-in camera option (and other iOS integrations) to manage his daily duties as President.

                Evernote’s camera also integrates with Post-It, Moleskin notebook pages, and business cards. When you take a photo of any of these, the camera will capture the information and format this for Evernote so that it’s quick to find it when you search.

                OneNote, on the other hand, dominates the Android environment. In addition to the app, Android users will also find a OneNote floating badge on the side of the home screen. So you can take notes on the go very quickly.

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                  Source: MS Power User

                  Another factor to consider is the cloud storage you use. For you to sync OneNote across different devices, you’ll need to first set up an account with OneDrive, which is Microsoft’s cloud storage service.

                  “This is something that Evernote users like me don’t have to worry about,” according to Matt Willens, Head Attorney for Willens Law Offices. “Whether you use a free account or one of their paid plans, you can immediately sync your devices without having to get a separate cloud storage account.”

                  The drawback here is the amount of storage and number of devices that you can sync. Free users are only given 60MB of storage space and can sync up to two devices. If you need more storage space, you’ll have to get the paid plans.

                  Which app is better for improving memory and productivity?

                  The honest—and most straightforward—answer is:

                  It depends on you.

                  While Evernote and OneNote have their strengths and weaknesses, how well it will help improve productivity and memory greatly depends on what works best for you.

                  If you find that you’re able to work best and remember things more using visual cues, OneNote will be the best productivity app to use. However, if you consider the speed and ease of finding the information you need as your top priority, Evernote will be your best option.

                  Since both productivity apps have free versions, you can give both a try and see where you’re most comfortable. In the end, the right productivity app to use is one that complements the way you work and do things rather than dictating to you how you should get them done.

                  Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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