It’s my favorite time of year again. School is back in session, the summer heat is giving way to comfortably cool evenings and it’s time to make my annual contribution to Jane Hart’s Annual Learning Tools survey.

1. Feedly

[ Personal, Workplace ]

Simply the best way to keep up with the things you’re interested in. Feedly lets you track updates from your favorite blogs, websites and a whole host of other sources in a single interface. Organize everything into folders, flag items to read later, tag them for easy retrieval and share the best on social media.

As if all that isn’t enough, Feedly keeps adding nice new features like knowledge boards, notes and highlights.

Feedly is the hub for my personal knowledge management system (PKM).

http://feedly.com

2. PowerPoint

[ Personal, Workplace ]

In the right hands, PowerPoint is an amazingly powerful and super flexible tool. I’ve used PowerPoint to create everything from presentations, videos, eLearning, graphics and workbooks to software simulations, marketing materials, and even t-shirts!

If you’re interested in digging in deeper, I curate a collection of PowerPoint resources over on Zeef. (Which is a great learning tool itself and listed below.)

https://office.live.com/start/PowerPoint.aspx

3. WordPress

[ Personal, Workplace ]

WordPress is such a useful, versatile tool that has so many uses for L&D professionals. For example, I’m using WordPress for my personal website (which you’re reading now), my grad school portfolio project, a technology tips website, and more.

I’ve even setup a WordPress site to run an online social learning course, Learn Camp, which has attracted participants from around the world.

4. Google Suite (Docs, Sheets, Forms, etc)

[ Personal, Workplace ]

Why do people still insist upon the painful and unnecessary process of emailing file attachments around to others for collaboration? Really! I’d love to know. Working with others is so much easier and more efficient when you all work in the same document. The collaboration and co-editing features alone should make the Google apps part of your toolkit. (Or any other similar alternative.) And I agree that Google Forms might be the most underrated tool of the whole set.

5. Twitter

[ Personal, Workplace ]

While Twitter has fallen from its longtime perch at the number one slot, it is still a valuable place to connect, learn and share with others. If you’re looking for L&D people to follow, here are 50 to start with and Jane Hart has a larger list of 100.

6. Mailchimp

[ Personal, Workplace ]

This is an email marketing tool that you should definitely steal. From communications campaigns and hands-off subscription management to autoresponders and email courses, you’ll find how easy MailChimp can make you look like a rock star! Use if for pre- and post- event content and followup or as a stand alone “course” option.

Want to see what an email course is like? Subscribe to “A Few Things L&D Should Steal from Marketing

7. Zeef

[ Personal, Workplace ]

This is my absolute all-time favorite way to curate the best resources around a topic. Zeef lets you organize items similar to other bookmarking tools like Diigo, Pinterest, etc. Where Zeef excels is with the ability for people to interact and stay connected to what you’re sharing.

For example:

  • By following you’ll get a notification whenever new items are added.
  • Anyone can make suggestions for adding other items

See it in action:

Articulate Studio/Storyline/Rise

[ Workplace ]

I think there will always be a place for elearning authoring tools. There isn’t much to add about Articulate. Tom, David and the crew have got you covered.

TalkBook

[ Personal, Workplace ]

This is a relatively new one for me and I’ve been totally loving it. If you do any kind of speaking, presenting or training where you provide followup resources, you owe it to yourself to check out TalkBook. TalkBook automates the distribution of your contact info, slides, handouts, links, resources, etc. Also, you’ll have to option of collecting feedback and comments from your audience via the web on their smartphone.

Want to see how it works? Give TalkBook a try here

Canva

[ Personal, Workplace ]

Everyone needs graphics, but not everyone is a graphic designer. Canva is a dead simple solution. Anyone can make pro graphics with Canva — even the most design-challenged among us.