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5 ways to learn when you don’t have time

The spring has finally arrived! Birds are singing, the sun is shining and you are ready to wake up from your winter comma.

You want to learn something new, yet don’t have time between tight schedules and full inbox? Here is a few ways to learn in the meantime/on the go!

Mobile Apps

Min. time: 1 minute

Apps dedicated especially for mobile are usually designed for short attention span.
You can use it while commuting to work and during work breaks. There are at least a few apps that are easy and fun to use and won’t take much time.

Language Learning – Duolingo

Duolingo is a language-learning app that is also available as a website. You can use it for free but it has ads or buy a premium (premium features allows to use the app offline and get rid off the ads).

Duolingo - app interface

Service has the biggest offer when you’re learning in English (as for December 2017 – 28 courses available e.g. Danish, Swedish, French, Spanish, Hebrew and Polish).

Duolingo - app interface

But you don’t feel comfortable enough to learn as a English speaker you will also find courses in other languages – for example English for Polish speakers. Lessons have a form of short games and you can do it one at the time.

Duolingo - app interface

So are you ready to join 200 mln users and level up your language game?

Download DuoLingo:


Code Learning – SoloLearn

Learning how to code on the go? If this idea sounds crazy to you should try SoloLearn App. This app allows to learn to code as you go. Courses contains questions about the theory of coding, commands and so on. You can also take part in challenges.

SoloLearn - app interface

Yes, this app has a built-in command field!

SoloLearn - app interface

Ready to start your coding experience?

Download SoloLearn:



Min. time: 5 minutes

This way of learing is not as demanding as actively usage of mobile app. You can listen to educational, inspiring podcast not only while you’re commuting but also actively driving. It’s so accesible that nearly everyone can use this.

You can listen to podcasts through:

or some other podcast app of your choice.

Podcasts on iPhone

You can find a podcast about almost every topic that you have interest in. Personally, I mostly listen to language learning podcasts and some connected to self-development.

Here are some podcasts I recommend:

  • Simplify – “Inteviews with bestselling writers, productivity wizards, sex geniuses, and happiness experts to find it for you.”
  • The Minimalists – “Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus discuss living a meaningful life with less. The Minimalists Podcast is often the #1 Health podcast on Apple Podcasts, and it occasionally charts in the Top 10 of all shows.”
  • TED Daily Talks – “Want TED Talks on the go? Every weekday, this feed brings you our latest talks in audio format. Hear thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable — from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between — given by the world’s leading thinkers and doers.”


Books or e-books

Min. time: 5 minutes

These are pretty old-fashioned way to learn in the meantime. The key for making a use of book during short spans of attention are short chapters of book. Once again – you can read a book written in simplified language or – for example – solve some puzzles.

I recommend to use e-book readers because you can find many free materials that you can transfer to it and read in the meantime for example from Project Gutenberg.
Picture below shows my old device and a cup of tea 🙂

Ever since I bought my Amazon Kindle Reader I consider it one of the best electronic gadgets I’ve ever owned. I strongly recommend to equip yourself with e-book reader – of course if you like to read. I guarantee that even the most busy person will find a minute to read something with it – and having it in your bag will certainly make it easier.


Online courses

Min. time: 5 minutes

Online courses are one of the main topics on this site. Many online services have mobile apps that allow you to use them in even the most unconventional situations. I still remember doing my UX course on Udemy during one hour getting stuck in the toilet. And I can’t deny – maybe it wasn’t the most funny experience in my life but definitely something to remember!
The course itself is definitely something worth checking!

Learning How to Learn - 2nd step

Most online courses are divided into smaller lessons, which you can take during office break or commuting to work. Check services where you can take an online course:

Remember that in all those services you can find some free stuff. Enjoy!



Min. time: 1 minute

Last, but not least – just a manual flashcards of something you want to memorize. You can made them yourself or buy a set ready to use. It’s handy, it’s easy to use and you can learn as much as you wish. Personally, I love it and always try to have some with me. Of course I’m joking – but definitely use them from time to time.

Flashcards by Czteryglowy

Hope that you will find something for yourself to start with.

Let me know what do you use to develop new skills!

Main photo credits: by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

Published in Learning

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