Top 8 (useful) Things I Learned in 2018

About two years ago I started keeping a Word document on my computer of Things I Learned. I realized that I learn so many great things each week – that enrich my work life, or make it easier – and often I forget them just as quickly as I learned them.  To ensure that doesn’t happen too frequently, I started keeping this document, parsed by month because I can often remember when I learned something, (such as, that webinar on LinkedIn I took back in the spring) even if the actual “what” has escaped me long ago.

One of the things I really love about the list is going back over it and refreshing my memory of great tips, tools and techniques I’ve learned in the last year.  I often find myself saying, “Oh yeah! Why did I stop using / doing that?” 

Here is my Top 8 list of things (culled from over 12 pages of stuff!)I learned in 2018 – I hope you get value from them as well.

  1. Google Forms – allows you to create all sorts of things like surveys and registration forms and then lets you put a URL to them in an email as a way to promote or invite. Also allows you to download responses in an .xls format which is very useful.
  2. Grouping in PowerPoint – I consider myself fairly adept at PowerPoint but just in the last year I learned that you can click on multiple elements (images, text boxes, etc.) by holding down CTRL and clicking each – to enable all the animations to occur at once. Goodbye “start with previous.” Such a time saver!
  3. Royalty free music from and – both allow you to search both by genre or mood, which is helpful. (Note: As a result, The Training Doctor has its own theme music now!)
  4. Free stock photos at and (with photo credit) – very edgy and engaging – useful for social media posts.
  5. Persona Generator – helps you to “nail down” who your buyer is so that you can craft advertising specific to that “individual.”
  6. The center for American Progress  Great articles and insight / research on learning, K-12, post-secondary, etc.
  7. When recording videos, add 2 – 3 seconds between concepts – it seems like an eternity to you but not to the listener and it is super helpful for editing (like adding a slide or image to support the concept).
  8. – a project management tool (free) that works like my brain does (it’s very visual, allows you to make “notes” and move them around, assign to others, etc.). Goodbye numerous Excel spreadsheets!