Anyone who knows me—be it a friend or a family member or someone on our team—can tell you that I’m always seeking out ways to learn new things. I’m a person who’s consistently tinkering with new ideas, new ways of thinking, and solutions to problems, and I’d be the first to tell you that I am never and will never be done evolving. That’s one of the best parts of the human experience, no?
And I, for one, am incredibly thankful to have access to technology that makes it very easy to do just that—to learn new things at the drop of a hat, and with relative ease to boot. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite apps for developing a brand new skill, broadening your grasp of an existing one, or expanding your knowledge in a new-to-you subject area.
The previous owners of our home left a piano for us in what has affectionately been dubbed the music room. Now that I’ve mastered the art of the ukulele (for the most part), I’ve set out to learn to play the piano, and it’s actually been going relatively well. I downloaded the Simply Piano app to help guide me through the process and it’s been an incredibly helpful resource to learn to play on my own timeline, at the pace that works best for me. While I have no doubt that there are immense benefits to learning to play piano from an in-person teacher, right now this is the method that works best for my lifestyle.
You Need a Budget
Budgeting is a big part of my life—I’ve always been one to focus on spending less on certain things so there’s money left for the areas where I’m willing and eager to spend a bit more. I’ve been relying on You Need a Budget for years to track my spending and stay focused on sticking to a budget. The app is super user-friendly and has helped me stay on budget and allocate money toward savings goals. I’d highly recommend it.
Are you a new plant parent who can’t seem to keep your plants from unceremoniously dying? Or, are you eager to own a few plants but haven’t made the jump yet because you don’t think you have what it takes? Enter Planta, an app that will provide tips for keeping all of your plants alive, including how often (and how, specifically) to water them, tips for the lighting they prefer, and more. It’s a super helpful way to become the plant owner you’ve always aspired to be.
This ever-popular language app is well-known for a reason. Duolingo breaks down the process of learning a language into easy-to-follow, bite-sized pieces for anyone who’s a novice at a given language. If you have the time to spare and are looking to learn a new language at a pace that works for your schedule, this would be a great place to start.
While learning grammar may not exactly be a new skill for any of us, it’s a worthy habit to improve upon nonetheless. Our entire team uses the Grammarly extension as a simple first step in the editing process—for emails, internal documents, and essays alike. You can add the extension to your browser and easily have your work edited, all for free.
I know I can’t be the only one out there who’s found themselves drinking a bit more wine these days than I used to, and the Vivino app is an easy, helpful way to research wine before you buy it. Through the app, you can review wine ratings and reviews, learn about food pairings, and track the wine you’ve already tried for future reference (and so much more). For anyone who tends to buy wine based on the design of the label (raises hand) and wants to finesse their wine buying skills a bit more, this app is a great option.
I feel pretty confident in saying that the majority of us have heard of, and watched, many a TED Talk in our day. The TED app makes it easy to search and watch the talks from the convenience of your phone or tablet, and save your favorites to come back to in the future. These talks teach us about human nature, science, productivity, relationships, and more. There is SO much to be learned from these experts in their respective fields, and I love having the app on hand as a readily available resource for morsels of wisdom and guidance.
Today in History
The Today in History app provides daily headlines, quotes, and images from crucial moments and events throughout history. It’s a fascinating way to expand your knowledge base of historical facts and, once we’re all out engaging with the world again, would be an excellent resource to learn facts for future small talk scenarios.
Alright, your turn! Do you have any favorite apps you’ve relied on as a way to learn a new skill or expand your knowledge in a particular subject area? I’d love to know in the comments!
BY Kate Arends - August 19, 2020
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.