TWiB Notes

As a kid growing up with the dream of being a major league baseball player, one of my favorite shows was  “This Week in Baseball“.  It was a fun, fast-paced recap of highlights from recent games, interviews with players, and other regular features. I can still hear Mel Allen’s iconic voice and vividly recall the amazing things Ozzie Smith seemed to do every game. It’s easy to see TWiB’s influence in today’s sports programming like SportsCenter and others.

So with Mel and Ozzie as my inspiration for finding and sharing the best things of the week. (and a huge technological helping hand that I’ll share in a future post) I’m relaunching my regular FridayFive recap of the best things I discovered during the week.

You can follow along here every Friday. Or if you like, have things automatically served to you via email, you can subscribe here for your choice of daily or weekly updates.


Discover is a directory of over 200 top-notch newsletters that can help you stay plugged-in to the best sources for the topics you’re interested in. There is something for everyone whether you’re into design, tech, news and a whole lot more.



Skuawk is a curated set of public domain photos you can use for both personal and professional projects.

Take a peek at my big and growing list of free design assets for even more great sites for photos and other design resources.


10 typography tricks every designer should know


This CreativeBloq article shares some typography tips and tricks you can use to boost your design skills to impress friends and colleagues.

$0 Design Tools to Help You Create Your Next Project


21 of Product Hunt’s favorite free (or close to free) design resources. They are sure to make your next project visually stunning, whether you’re a design novice or a professional. 

Five Popular Myths


What you think you know about how learning works could be completely wrong. Counter to common myths, here’s what actually works for retaining new information and skills.

View story at


eLearning Guild Spotlight: Boosting Your Design Skills

I’m super excited to be part of the eLearning Guild’s “Boosting Your Design Skills” Spotlight coming up on June 7th.  Who doesn’t’ want to boost their design skills?

In my session, “Filling Your Design Toolkit: Premium Assets on a Shoestring Budget“, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite places for finding great looking design assets even if you’re on the smallest of budgets. Even if you don’t have any budget you’ll find free options that will have you and your projects looking like a million bucks!

Can’t wait until then? Check out the collection of free design resources I’ve assembled and I hope to see you there on June 7th.

Free Design Assets
Free Design Assets

You can register for the eLearning Guild’s “Boosting Your Design Skills” Spotlight here.

The Art & Science of E-learning

This was a fun 7-minute “lightning talk” I gave today at the Lectora User Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.  If you’d like me to send you the links and resources contained in this talk, just drop your email here.

Links & Resources:

Performance Consulting: A Strategic Process to Improve, Measure, and Sustain Organizational Results

51heyxwnswl-_ac_ul320_sr200320_In America, organizations spend $175 billion in training initiatives and more than $500 billion in human resource solutions every year yet often have little to show for it. One reason is that people “jump to solutions” before they identify the causes of the problem. Performance consultants are effective because they partner with clients to clarify business goals and determine root causes for gaps between desired and current results. Only then are specific solutions agreed upon and implemented.

e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning

1119158664e-Learning and the Science of Instruction is the ultimate handbook for evidence-based e-learning design. Since the first edition of this book, e-learning has grown to account for at least 40% of all training delivery media. However, digital courses often fail to reach their potential for learning effectiveness and efficiency. This guide provides research-based guidelines on how best to present content with text, graphics, and audio as well as the conditions under which those guidelines are most effective.

Design for How People Learn (Voices That Matter)

51fmdqsdstl-_sx384_bo1204203200_Products, technologies, and workplaces change so quickly today that everyone is continually learning. Many of us are also teaching, even when it’s not in our job descriptions. Whether it’s giving a presentation, writing documentation, or creating a website or blog, we need and want to share our knowledge with other people. But if you’ve ever fallen asleep over a boring textbook, or fast-forwarded through a tedious e-learning exercise, you know that creating a great learning experience is harder than it seems.

Visual Design Solutions: Principles and Creative Inspiration for Learning Professionals

9781118863565_front.pdfNo matter what medium you use to deliver content, if the visual design fails, the experience falls flat. Meaningful graphics and a compelling visual design supercharge instruction, training, and presentations, but this isn’t easy to accomplish. Now you can conquer your design fears and knowledge gaps with Visual Design Solutions: a resource for learning professionals seeking to raise the bar on their graphics and visual design skills.

Are you looking to stand out from the crowd? A visual resume might be something you should consider. To that end, here is a template created with PowerPoint that will give you a nice head start and help you avoid starting from scratch and recreating the wheel.


Don’t forget that you can easily change the look by changing the color scheme and font set under the Design tab.

Download a copy and try it out for yourself!

If you’re looking for even more ways to snag the best opportunities, you might also be interested in this collection of tools for creating a standout portfolio and online presence. 

Some of the best options from that list are highlighted here along with additional information on creating a professional portfolio:

Learning Solutions 2017

Looking to download the exercise files?
Grab the link from here.


It is getting to be that time of year again. Time for my favorite learning conference, Learning Solutions. I’ll be leading a BYOL session on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 pm.

Session #LS310 – You Already Know How to Build mLearning (You Just Don’t Know It)

Here is a quick trailer I put together for my session. I hope to see you there!

For more information and to download the files for this workshop jump on over to this page You Already Know How to Build mLearning (You Just Don’t Know It)



My Favorite Learning Quotes

This is the last post in this year’s 12×12 Days of Christmas series. In case you’ve missed any of them here is a list of the previous posts. With today’s final post that makes 144 of the best things I can share. Hope you found at least one of them valuable.

  1. Top 12 Tools for Learning
  2. 12 Add-ins That Will Upgrade The Way You Work
  3. 12 Best Books for Learning Professionals
  4. 12 Best Places to Find Presentation Templates & Design Inspiration
  5. 12 L&D People You Should Be Following on Twitter
  6. 12 Incredibly Useful Blogs for Learning Cool Stuff
  7. 12 Top Presentation Slide Decks
  8. Top 12 Things in My Presenter’s Toolkit
  9. 12 Super Useful Cheatsheets & Job Aids
  10. 12 Little-Known Things You Should Know About
  11. 12 Free and Easy Ways to Learn from L&D Masters

Thank you for visiting and no matter what holiday you are celebrating this time of year I hope it is happy and bright!

I always love a good quote. So I think it is fitting to wrap up with some of my favorite learning-related quotes.

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“Learning never exhausts the mind.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

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“He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”
― Confucius

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

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“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”
― Albert Einstein”

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“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”
― Phil Collins”

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“Learned we may be with another man’s learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.”
― Michel de Montaigne,

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Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
-Chinese proverb

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“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”
– Richard Branson

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”
– Anthony J. D’Angelo

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“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
-Albert Einstein

“Change is the end result of all true learning.”
– Leo Buscaglia

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
– Alvin Toffler

12 Free and Easy Ways to Learn from L&D Masters

As the holidays are rapidly approaching many folks will get some well-deserved time out of the office to celebrate with friends and recharge for a new year. One good idea for filling the down time between family visits, gift-giving and holiday meals is to spend some time learning something new.

One of my favorite things about being in the Learning & Development world is how freely so many people share their knowledge. Here are a dozen great places to find super smart people sharing uber helpful information that will make you smarter than ever before.


The TV channel for all learning and performance professionals. Over 200 items available to watch for FREE on any device. New programmes and podcasts released every month


Elearning Guild

The Elearning Guild has sots of great resources including webinar and recorded video sessions which are available with a free account. Be sure to check out the DemoFest recordings.


TrainingMag Recordings

You’ll find loads of good topics from popular speakers in Training Magazine’s collection of recorded webinars.


Training Journal Webinars


InSync Recordings

A nice collection of relevant topics from pros like Jane Bozarth, Karl Kapp and others.


Principles for multimedia learning with Richard E. Mayer



Free access to materials including interviews on cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.


ATD Webinars*

*Requires paid ATD national membership


Lynda has something for everyone. Check out great courses by Karl Kapp on learning and John McWade on design.


PRO TIP: Check with your library. You may be eligible to acces via your library.

Talks at Google

It’s no surprise that Google attracts some amazing speakers. Check out their list which includes people like Daniel Kahneman Thinking Fast & Slow, Nancy Duarte “Illuminate” and John O’Keefe GPS of the Brain,


Stanford Graduate School of Business

The Stanford Business School has a host of great talks including great topics like Design Thinking and Three Secrets All Inspiring Messages Share.


LinkedIn Speaker Series

The LinkedIn Speaker series highlights prominent members and influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk and many more.


LinkedIn Speaker Series

This is the 11th post in a 12 part series. 

12 Little-Known Things You Should Know About

Here are 12 things many people have probably not heard of that I use all the time to help me get things done better and faster.

Everything Search Engine

Most of us have about a gazillion documents we regularly have to navigate to find exactly what we need. Instead of wasting time on fruitless quests, this little app will zoom you right to the file you need in the blink of an eye. This is a huge time saver if you are searching shared Dropbox folders where your colleagues don’t share your organizational logic. (Can anyone tell me the difference between the Development and Production folders?)

The Everything filename search engine is lightweight, super fast and allows you to use wildcards when you don’t know all the exact details of what you’re looking for.


PathCopy Copy

Amazingly, Microsoft has never given us a good way to get the full UNC path information we need. Enter PathCopyCopy – an add-on for Windows Explorer that will. With PathCopyCopy, right-clicking will give you a number of new choices including two that are relevant for us here today.



Trello is one of my favorite ways to keep track of all the things flying around in my world. Using Trello to manage projects and other tasks is a great thing by itself. But did you know you can also leverage Trello boards for a lot of great things beyond project management?

Check out some of these  other creative ways to use your Trello boards:

You can find even more from Trello’s inspiration page.


As much as many of us would like to stay away from email, it is often inescapable. For times like those, you can make things better and keep track of things with an app like SortD. Sortd is a Gmail add-in that transforms your email into organized lists.

I’ve got a few invites left, so let you know if you’d like one so you can try it out for yourself.


Speaking of email, MailChimp is a must have for anyone who manages any kind of email lists for newsletters, marketing, etc. You can even use Mail Chimp for crazy cool email-based courses. Mailchimp is one of the tools you should be stealing from the marketing department.


SMS/MMS Texting

Recently, I’ve started seeing more and more SMS/MMS texting uses in a training context. Like MailChimp and other marketing tools, you should at least be looking into some of the ways marketers are using text messaging platforms to see how it can benefit your training programs.

Like email platforms, text campaigns can reach people and places your LMS or content management system can’t as well as giving you some insightful analytics.

Curious to see how it works? Grab your phone and text “MINDSET” to 555888

Online Forms

I’m a big proponent of the idea that if you’re putting things out,  you should put your name on it and provide some way for your audience to communicate with you. One easy way to do that is by using online forms. For example, I always like to include a link to a feedback form in all the courses I build.

I like Survey Gizmo because it lets me collect feedback from multiple courses and identify which course the feedback comes from with a single form.  If you’re curious, this is what it looks like.


Animated GIFS

giphyWhen most people hear ‘animated GIF’ they probably think of something like this:

Sometimes a good animated GIF can be fun, but I’m talking about how you can use them as a video option that plays on virtually any device with no plugins of any kind required and even plays automatically INSIDE emails and Microsoft Office documents?

For example, take a look at this animated gif that was part of my weekly tech tip series email newsletter. Yes, I run it with MailChimp! 😎


There are a lot of ways to make animated gifs. My favorite is TechSmith’s Camtasia. What is yours?


I know, EVERYONE has heard of PowerPoint. But most people don’t use it the way I use it. Beyond just creating slides I use PowerPoint for creating:

Think Headlines

Marketers know this and L&D pros should too. HThe titles and headlines you choose change the way people think! Today, it is harder than ever to get people’s attention. Without a good headline or title, you may never get most people to even read or see your stuff.

Want to learn more? Check out Copybloggers free “How to Write Magnetic Headlines” ebook.

Try out this online tool to help you generate loads of title/headline ideas. 

Google Music

At this very moment, I’m listening to Google Music. Similar to Pandora or Spotify, Google Music lets you search for an artist and get a station of similar music. The thing I like best is the option to choose music by your mood ( Calm, Angry, Mellow, Happy, etc  ) or the activity you’re doing (Barbequeing, Cleaning House, Family Time, Getting Pumped Up, etc.)

In a previous post, I mentioned how I like to play music before and during workshops and presentations. Google Music is what I use for that.

Social Media

You are using social media professionally, aren’t you?  There are a lot of great reasons and lots of great people to learn with but I’m continually surprised at how many people aren’t tapping into social media.

What do you say to people who tell you things like “I don’t have time for that stuff!”

This is the 10th post in a 12 part series.


12 Super Useful Cheatsheets & Job Aids

Learning & Instructional Design

Multimedia Learning Design Principles

Based on Richard Mayer’s

Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction

Anyone who designs any kind of learning materials should bookmark this interactive guide to Robert Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction created by Montse Anderson (@mlearning)


Multimedia Learning Design Resources

This collection of resources will give you a nice headstart on finding the things you need when you’re ready to start building.

Articulate Storyline Shortcuts

Give your work in Articulate Storyline a boost of speed with these handy keyboard shortcuts.


Presentations & Design

Here are some useful presentation & design-related guides. For even more, check out this big collection of curated resources for PowerPoint and multimedia design.

10 PowerPoint Shortcuts You Should Know


Character Map for Wingding Icon Fonts

If you ever use any of the winding fonts in your designs, you’ll love having a copy of this complete map created by Bruce Gabrielle. This has been on my office wall for years!


Canva Shortcuts

I’ve mentioned Canva as a great tool for designing just about any type of graphics you need and you’ll have them done in no time with these useful shortcuts.


General Office & Others

Top 10 Document Time-Saving Tips

No matter what job you’re in, you probably deal with documents. These time-saving tips will help you polish them off in record time.


Google Docs Cheatsheet


Google Sheets


Google Drive



Loads of folks regularly share files with Dropbox. This is a useful guide for those who are new to Dropbox of others you’re sharing Dropbox files with who aren’t regular users.


Thanks for stopping by. Do you have any cheatsheets posted on your wall? What are they? I’d love to know!

This is the 9th post of a 12 part series.

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