Learning More Every day

Every entrepreneur can gain an advantage by learning faster. Industries change every day and the amount of information that needs to be sifted through is monumental. Yet, there are some modern tools and concepts that may increase the speed of learning for a large portion of people. Here are a few of the tools that some of us have found useful for out-learning the competition.

Learn What Is Necessary:

Having the tools is important but knowing how to learn is the other part of the equation. Without knowing what you should be learning, or how to decide whether something is worth studying, the act of learning may still be a waste of time.

If a book contains information that may be useful to you, it may be wise to read up on a review, summary, or report of the material before beginning any reading. The condensed information may be enough to continue or to steer you in the right direction towards the information you need.

When starting a new book, keep summaries in mind as well. The table of contents, index, or last page in a chapter may contain all the information you need.

Warning: Your body may only be able to handle 90 minutes of engagement at a time. Some believe 25 minutes of engagement followed by a 5-minute break is essential. You may learn better by repeating lessons, quizzing yourself on if you understand the lesson, and performing a task using the lesson to make sure you know it. Try not to push yourself too much when learning, and remember to take regular breaks and get plenty of sleep.

Speed Up Learning:

Spreeder is a speed reading program that formats words in such a way to make it possible to read them especially quickly. You might find yourself reading much faster after Spreeder sets a pace, positions words to be in clumps of 5 to 7, and (optionally) removes words that are deemed inconsequential to understanding the meaning of the text. The program also calculates how long it will take to read at your current reading speed, which can help plan the act of reading a book with other parts of the day.

Mercury Reader formats sites in a way that makes them easier to read by removing ads and putting the words in a clear legible font. By using Mercury reader you can also send articles to your Kindle, which puts them in a Spreeder accessible format.

Video Speed Controller speeds up videos on chrome up to 64x their normal speed. Unfortunately, at around 4x to 5x of the average listening speed many voices may be difficult to interpret. However, if you are viewing a video with great subtitles you may be able to silence the voice and treat some videos like Spreeder with increased visuals. If the subtitles are not great you can use the voice to clarify the text.

Anki is a digital flashcard system used to test memorization of a certain topic. The cards are displayed at a decreased frequency depending on how well a person memorizes them over time. Anki follows a belief that memory improves through spaced repetition and effort. Because of this, it starts showing a card to a user less frequently as a user masters the concept.

Learning Sources:

Lynda is an educational service that provides training videos for a wide variety of skills. Many libraries have a deal with Lynda where members gain free access to Lynda’s lessons. In addition, LinkedIn connects to Lynda’s learning network, which can immediately influence your network.

Udemy is a version of Lynda that anyone can join. Individuals can make custom classes, a certificate for completing the class, and a 30-day money back guarantee in case you don’t think what you’re learning is useful. Users have the option of rating each class which helps make the most useful classes more likely to appear. Each class offers a certificate of completion to prove that you have completed the class, which may be important if a user needs a record of taking the class.

Degreed is the Facebook of learning resources. It contains many different educational providers and different resources and comments on the different sources. At Degreed you can pay someone to review your learning plan and potentially earn a degree.

Let us know if you use anything to increase your learning speed. Tell us about the tools you use to learn in the comments below.

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