I know – we’re all busy and have lots of things to do, running from meeting to meeting and trying to catch up on our emails in between. But when can we learn and develop? With the world changing at an ever faster speed, we need to keep up with technology and constantly develop our skills.

The pace seems a bit frightening: I read a study a recently, which predicted that 70% of what Australian students learn now at university will be outdated and irrelevant in 10-15 years. For many people in established careers what we learnt years ago often isn’t relevant any more – and there are new areas popping up, like Virtual and Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence etc., where there aren’t even courses you can take.
So how can we all learn when our days are packed already? Well, there are a few websites, apps, tricks and behaviours that can help.

Learning-on-the-go on the Internet

The Internet offers a multitude of learning opportunities: one of my personal favourites is www.ted.com, a site that offers videos on all imaginable topics, presented by the most brilliant minds on this planet in titbits of eight to 20 minutes, and all in an immensely entertaining way. TED will show you that learning is immense fun and will make you addicted to learning! And seriously: you can always watch a video in between and learn. TED also has a great app to learn on the go. Try it out with this three minute TED talk.

Another tip: try out the so-called MOOCs, the Massive Open Online Courses such as Coursera, Coursera offers a huge catalogue of courses from the best universities in the world – for free! You sign up for a course, and participate online often with hundreds of thousands of co-students over four to six weeks, whenever you have (and take) the time. Time investment is around two to four hours per week. Some of the most enjoyable courses I took there were a brilliant course on “Design Thinking”, “Museum Teaching Strategies” by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and “The Dirty Little Secrets of Archaeology”. There are lots of other MOOCs such as the Khan Academy, EdX, Udacity, etc. They all have apps to keep you organized.

For really easy learning I recommend mobile news aggregators that you can fine-tune to your specific interests: start with Flipboard, which comes pre-installed on most mobile devices and which even allows you to publish your own e-magazine. I personally like News360, which I’ve configured to keep me updated on my specific interests like Future Trends. You can flip through easily, and if you like or dis-like an article, the tool will learn and show you more or less on that topic. It’s also very easy to share articles to Twitter, Facebook and via email or save them to read later on Evernote (where you can file, tag and find all your articles, bookmarks and notes online) or in Pocket.

Fine-tune your reading list with the help of mobile news aggregators like News 360.
Fine-tune your reading list with the help of mobile news aggregators like News 360.

Learning through networks – and mentoring

Personally, I learn a lot through my networks, the people – and topics – I follow on Twitter, on LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook, etc.

“Take the time to clean up and re-focus your timeline, whom you follow and whom not. Especially on LinkedIn, follow the experts and influencers in your specific area and read their articles and updates.”

And the more you invest in your network by sharing articles and insights, by commenting and joining discussions, the more you will get back.
Also: get a mentor and become a mentor! There’s so much you can share, teach and learn in a good mentoring relationship. Now you don’t have time for that? Really? Well, honestly, I think that’s an excuse. If you first get the right apps and configure your platforms properly, you’ll easily find time to learn on the go and develop small learning routines. Not only is constant learning and development part of every job, if you take it seriously, but I can also promise you that you will very much enjoy learning!
Geek tip: connect your platforms and automate processes with IFTTT. For example, you can connect Twitter with Evernote, LinkedIn and Facebook, so whenever you tweet something (an article out of News360, for example) this will automatically re-post on Facebook and LinkedIn, and save it in Evernote.

And a final tip: get lost on Wikipedia from time to time!

If you have any other ideas, please share in the comments!

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by Benjamin B 22.03.2016
Thanks Christian, this is a great and useful article with different options and list of tools ! As you mentioned, don't forget to get lost on Wikipedia or in the technology/science/finance whatever other topics of your favorite newspaper to discover new topics that the aggregators such as News 360 will not because of your 'preferences'.
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by Rosen Dimov 23.03.2016
What new stuff did I learn by reading this article? Why don't you elaborate more on this peer-to-peer networking part and the multiple tools enabling it? Perhaps this ia an idea for a follow-up article.
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by Mike Mooney 23.03.2016
News360, everything you want to read!
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by Henry Neumann 24.03.2016
Many great tips in this article! Can't wait to try out IFTTT...

I also enjoy TED(x) talks, but additionally really like to listen to podcasts. You can even listen to most of the TED talks as a podcast, which is perfect for work commutes or anytime you're in a car. Instead of listening to the same songs in the radio over and over again, you can learn a lot while driving. My personal favorite podcast is the one by Tim Ferris as he also shows techniques to increase your learning curve dramatically.
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by Valtteri Rinne 25.03.2016
Man, I haven't even heard about stuff like Coursera - I am amazed how many courses they have - like programming in Python or learning new languages. That's cool! Thank you Christian for sharing this article with us!
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by norman 28.03.2016
I believe Coursera is no longer free in many cases - is that correct?
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by Wisnu Somalinggi 29.03.2016
Thanks Christian it is use full article, totally agreed "don't forget to get lost on Wikipedia" is one of the tools
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by Adam Negron 30.03.2016
I know that one should always try to make time to learn or stay informed due to the constantly changing environment that we live in, so I think the suggestions are valid and worth exploring...
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by Tian Zhang 07.04.2016
Thanks Christian for the sharing. There is an APP called Primer which is worth reading even I have only 5 min. It separates various topics from marketing, strategy or advertising into small sections, making it ease to pick up and drop.
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by Gabriela Wong 08.04.2016
Christian thanks so much for this article, it has added so much value, I have never heard about those apps...and already enjoying so much Tedtalk and News360. Looking forward for your next article...
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by Shale L 11.05.2016
Kadenze is another great option for online learning! Great read.
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by Natalia 24.05.2016
Nice article! Very motivating and I've immediately started to download some apps) Thank you, Christian!
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by Stellea 04.06.2016
Hey Christian Kuhna,
You came up with nice topic. Now a days there are many Android as well as iOS apps which are really good for staying Updated and Continue Learning on the go.. some are feedly, Pocket, evernote.. etc..
they really save my time and i recommend as "Must have" app for people who need to travel lot while working.. and for those who cannot spare some time specially for learning/staying updated..
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by Tayo Adaran 27.06.2016
Hello Christian,

Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips!

I am always looking for ways to become more efficient and will implement some of the recommendations you provided.

Best regards,

Tayo
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Nina Weihrauch
Nina Weihrauch | Editor Tayo Adaran 27.06.2016
Hi Tayo,

we're curious to hear about your experience with Christian's tips.
Make sure you let us know ;)

Best,

Nina
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by amanda 18.07.2016
Great advice and reminder! I also love listening to NPR's Ted Radio Hour. Its a beautifully curated show of Ted Talks all centered around a particular theme! I have made a habit to listen to it in the morning when I am getting ready. It really helps me get inspired for the day ahead!
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Nina Weihrauch
Nina Weihrauch | Editor amanda 22.07.2016
Hi Amanda,

thanks for your comment. The routine you described is a great idea to kick off the day with some inspirational input. If you have a specific link, which you think could be interesting for the GamePlan A community, feel free to share it via the contribution page (GamePlan-A.com/contribute).

Best,
Nina
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by Todd 28.07.2016
Great read. I recommend you check out the collaboration between Watson and Ted. You can ask Watson questions and it will source individual Ted segments into a compilation video for you to watch.

Watson will also do some interesting personality analysis of you if you past some text or enter your twitter handle. This is an interesting use of AI (sentiment from text analysis) matching to relevant content.

http://watson.ted.com

-Todd
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by Erik Meyers 13.09.2016
great article! One aspect that is important is to plan time for learning and getting things done. As you note, we are often running from meeting to meeting, but is that really productive? Not really. The number one thing to do is to take back your time and don't let others take it over.
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Nina Weihrauch
Nina Weihrauch | Editor Erik Meyers 20.09.2016
Hi Eric,

thanks for your comment. Love your statement "Take back your time and don't let others take it over." How do you make sure that you run your meetings efficiently?

Best,
Nina
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by Aman Sachdev 02.10.2016
Amongst all these amazing resources to keep learning , I love flexing and excercising my brain muscles as concentration and deep diving in some of the topics stimulates critical thinking neurons of the brain . For this I play lumosity and elevate everyday . As you Abe Lincoln said" Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."

P.S. I am super fan of EDx ! And ITunes U podcasts .
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Nina Weihrauch
Nina Weihrauch | Editor Aman Sachdev 04.10.2016
Hi Aman,

thanks for sharing your personal learning routines and tools. Sounds great.
Maybe you're also interested in a way on how to flex your creativity muscles during a lunch time run?! Sascha, creativity coach and GamePlan A community member, shares his method on one of his stories: http://www.gameplan-a.com/2015/11/flexing-your-creativity-muscles-with-lunch-break-runs-guest-post/.

Let me know if that story was valuable for you.

Best and happy running,

Nina
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by M 19.11.2016
I've found this article really insightful and the practical tips invaluable, already loaded Ted Talks on my mobile. This is also the first time I've taken the time to comment in an article so thanks for inspiring me to take action.
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by Gabriela Moscoso 14.02.2017
Another great post Christian, I did a couple MOOCs, keep always updated with my favorite topics on TED, had a mentor during my MBA and now I am a mentor at Aspire foundation, I am learning a lot from my mentee and feeling motivated and energized, you can really learn by helping others. Will try News360 sounds exactly What I have been looking for.
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