top tools 2018

Once again, Jane Hart is asking what are your top tools for learning? You can fill out the survey, write a blog post, or email Jane your list. Check out the link and submit your vote before 21 September.

All of my tools are used for personal/professional development as well as workplace learning. Some of these are not exactly what many people would consider ‘learning tools’ but any tool that gives me more time to learn, or enables learning with others, is in my opinion a learning tool. For me, work is learning, and learning is the work.

10. FramaDate: It’s an open source alternative to Doodle, to set up a meeting date/time or create a poll. They do not sell or share your data. Given that my work is global I can quickly get people together so we can focus on learning with each other.

9: Slack: This social sharing platform, with activity streams, is a great way to stay connected and work in small groups and I am a member of three active Slack ‘communities of practice’: the essential space between work groups and social networks.

8. Diigo: Social bookmarks are a quick way for me to save a web page and find it easily. I have thousands I regularly search.

7: Apple Preview: is the productivity tool I use the most, so I can focus on learning, not fighting with applications. It lets me annotate pictures, resize images, add signatures, and most importantly ensures I do not have to use Adobe Acrobat to open PDF’s, meaning one fewer vector of malware on my system. It is a huge time-saver.

6. 1Password: You could call this a tool for unlearning. This password manager reduces my cognitive load by not having to memorize any passwords as well as create passwords that are much stronger than I could do on my own. It synchronizes across all my devices and helps keep my online presence more secure. It is the best value for my money ever.

5: Zoom: I have a paid pro account and am using this very simple video conference platform to connect and learn, such as with my Coffee Club.

4: Keynote: Apple’s presentation application has enabled me to improve my slide presentations, through its simplicity and lack of clip art.

3: InoReader: My latest feed reader, or aggregator, to keep track of blogs and news sites via RSS. I pay for this subscription service.

2: Twitter: Next to my blog, Twitter is my best learning tool and allows me to stay connected to a diverse network.

1: WordPress: Powers my blog (+3,000 posts), which is the core of my sense-making. It’s easy to use, has a huge community, and there are many plug-ins and additions available. I also use it to deliver my online PKM workshop.

6 Responses to “top tools 2018”

  1. Greg Tutunjian

    Thank you for sharing your list of learning tools here, Harold! I’ll be researching several of these as I’m not familiar them (and I believe I have comparable needs.)

    I use Mind Manager ( frequently for personal/professional development in addition to workshop and training sessions: For the latter events, I’ve found mind mapping a very expeditious way to build consensus, defuse tension (or worse) and establish “reference frameworks” for solutions (either under development, planned or considered.) I’ve also adopted Inspiration ( for more illustrative mind maps and recently adopted iMindMap ( to see what Tony Buzan has been up to.



  2. Greg Tutunjian

    Thank you for this pointer, Harold! My kind of list! I just saw Jane in Twitter (when she acknowledged your tools post) and started following her as well. I can see this will be fruitful.

    I want to become more effective managing information (primarily on my personal computers) through more associative means (versus named folders within folders within folders…) so I’ll work through Jane’s list with this initial goal in mind. I was using mind maps for this purpose, but it became too mechanical and static.

  3. Luc Dancause

    Hi Harold,

    It’s always interesting to get a look at your list. Thanks for sharing.

    I would be interested to know what caused the switch from Feedly to Inoreader. I have been using both in the past years but can’t make my mind on which one is the best for me.



    • Harold Jarche

      I wanted to pay for a feed reader but Feedly seemed a bit too costly, so I switched to Inoreader, which meets my needs.

  4. Betsy Bailey

    Harold what a delight to re-enge with your purpose! Looking forward in the coming weeks to get connected.


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