Top Tools for Learning 2021

It is time for my top 10 list of learning tools for Jane Hart’s Annual Top Tools for Learning roundup. 

This year’s list is a very similar to last years. But I’d like to call out a trend that is enabling even the older tools to learn new tricks. For example, almost all of these tools can be extended or improved by integrating them with other things. Take PowerPoint as an illustrative example. With add-ins like BrightSlide, NounProject and others, an already great tool is made even better. More and more tools are integrating with other tools in three general ways:

If you haven’t already, start looking for ways to extend and connect the tools you’re using. 

Here is my list for 2021. 

1. Feedly

Feedly continues to be my favorite tool for learning. It allows me to keep up with everything I’m interested in efficiently by giving me control over how I consume information. I’m able to organize everything I wans to see from websites and Twitter to YouTube channels and email newsletters all in a single place. 

If you’re not using an RSS reader, I really believe you’re missing out on an opportunity to better manage your information diet. 

Addins/Extras: Buffer, Kill the Newsletter 

2. WordPress

WordPress has been where I hang my online hat since 2007. Great option for creating a website – it is quick and easy to work with and I’ve never had any issues. (Although with the #NoCode movement gaining momentum, I’m seriously looking at Webflow, if there is a painless way to change. If I were starting from scratch, that is where I’d go.)

3. Twitter

Still one of the best places for me to access the thinking of smart people doing great things. As well as a great place for finding a community of people doing what you do. You never have to send a single tweet to get benefits from Twitter – but I think you’ll get even more if you do!

4. PowerPoint 365

PowerPoint has been adding a lot of new capabilities lately. Which, taken in combination with amazing enhancements like BrightSlide, make it an attractive tool for digital projects including motion graphics, videos, ebooks and more.

Addins/Extras: BrightSlide, NounProject, Pixabay

5. Bublup

I’ve always valued a better way to manage my bookmarks. Last year I discovered Bublup and it has become a trusted way to save, organize and share just about anything including links, notes, files, etc. It will even generate web pages from the things you want to share – they’re called rolls and they’re pretty cool. Here’s an example.

6. Zapier

When there isn’t an add-in or marketplace available for what you want to do, Zapier let’s you connect thousands of apps with each other yourself. And it couldn’t be easier – no code involved. No matter what your role or industry, you’ll find value in Zapier. 

7. Google Docs / Workspace 

Docs is my ‘go to’ for writing and sheets for managing data. Lots of helpful, time-saving addins worth checking out depending on what you’re working on. 

Addins: WordPress, Icons, 

8. MailChimp

Mailchimp powers my newstetter and I’ve used it many time as part of learning campaigns.

9. Zoom 

Not much to say for this one. Other than the rise of tools that integrate like Luma  which adds a bunch of nice features to Zoom including the ability to create much better looking registration pages and more. Also apps like Grain, Otter, and many others that transcribe your meetings and help you curate the highlights. 


10. Airtable 

Sometimes a spreadsheet just doesn’t cut it. If you manage any data (and who doesn’t?), you will love Airtable which is as easy to use as a spreadsheet but far more powerful. Start with one of the many templates and then tweak to suite your needs. 

Even better is how you can customize the display of your data within Airtable or by connecting it with other tools like Sofr, SIteoly, etc to build full-fledged interactive websites from your data. 

Check out this example which uses Softr to transform a collection of Global L&D events stored in airtable into a searchable, softable website: 

Addins/Extras: Softr, Siteoly, Spreadsimple 

Other Top 10 Lists

I always love to see what is on other people’s list as well. Here are a few to check out:

What are your top 10 learning tools?

OK. Now it is your turn. Head over to and contribute your top 10 learning tools. 

Published by Mike Taylor

Born with a life-long passion for learning, I have the great fortune to work at the intersection of learning, design, technology & collaboration.

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