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Learning doesn't have to strain your brain
Sure, learning doesn’t have to be flash cards and lecture halls. But it also doesn’t have to involve iTunes U and carving out an extra hour in your already busy day. Check out 10 unusual ways to increase your brainpower without cutting into your schedule.
…And You’ll Miss It
If only that damned Malcolm Gladwell would take a year off, you’d finally manage to catch up with your nonfiction reading. We’ve all been there. Blinkist is a Berlin-based mobile app that takes the best of the nonfiction bestseller list and distills them into “blinks” – a condensed, well-written read that should take no more than 15 minutes.
Ok, let’s say you’re a purist, and the idea of reading a book summary is anathema to you. Then ReadQuick is your new best friend. The app integrates with services like Instapaper and Pocket to help you speed read through your backlog of longreads in no time at all.
Learn by Mail
The bite-sized emails from Highbrow actually hide something far more powerful – full online courses in everything from philosophy to surrealism. The classes lean a little heavily on TED, but Highbrow promises they’re adding more content all the time.
For the Generalist
Maybe you don’t want to focus on just one thing, your interests are far too varied (the old fox and the hedgehog debate). Then Now I Know is the email for you. Every day you’ll learn about something new – from the original color of carrots to “Swedish Lemon Angels”.
Learning a language typically starts off enthralling before descending into a hell of irregular verbs and endless memorization. That’s why we’re fans of Drops – the iOS app offers language learning in five-minute bites per day. Want to study more? Tough luck.
Random Acts of Learning
Brain Pump plays random educational video on any variety of topics for as long as you can take it. Alternately, you can subscribe to Brain Pump’s mailing list and receive five random videos sent to your inbox every day.
Clearly there’s a lot of educational content out there – so how are you supposed to commit to a 16-hour class on CSS haunted by the thought that there’s a better course lurking only a click away? Gibbon creates learning “playlists” on a variety of tech-heavy topics – selecting the best videos from the web and putting them all in one place.
This one’s a bit specific, but who couldn’t use a quick refresh in how to sell yourself or something? Primer from Google is a mobile app that offers five-minute lessons to assist you in content marketing, PR, search advertising, and more.
Instanerd promises “Be smart, instantly.” Instead of trying to wrap our head around that tagline, we’re too consumed with the site’s content to worry. Instanerd presents useful facts in a series of quickly consumed slides on just about anything and everything you can imagine.
Daily Bits Of lets people learn new business and tech skills from their inbox, with classes that range from a week to a full month long. A lot of the classes happen to be in Swedish, but there’s a whole lot of English content for those of you can’t distinguish a motståndsrörelsen from a fördjupning.
Now go forth (and get learned).
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