- Need to brush up on your Microsoft Office skills? Envious of that colleague who knows every computer shortcut? Did you know that Excel has thousands of functions? A number of courses are offered on Lynda.com, an education website that offers video tutorials on everything from Microsoft Word to project management. If you do not want to shell out the monthly membership fee, check out sites like coursera.org or edx.org. I find the tutorials on Lynda to be very thorough, and probably because it is a paid service. But other educational sites also offer a great experience.
- Interested in what’s going on in the world but can’t afford or don’t want to pay the hefty subscription fee of your city’s newspaper? Pick up the Economist, a weekly news publication that covers news on four corners of the globe. One year’s subscription works out to be anywhere between $100-$130 depending on where you live. It also has in-depth analyses of all current events. It still works out to be cheaper than paying a monthly paper subscription free which can be from $25-$50/month or $300-$600/year at least in my city.
- Interested in reading non-fiction? But none of your friends are interested in your books? Join a meetup.com club in your area that has the same taste in books as you do.
- A lover of books? The New York Review of Books is a great place for book reviews and also additional articles written by some of the best minds in the arts and sciences. Of course, the writing is fantastic. Another great website which is linked to Facebook is goodreads.com where you can access book reviews and also post to Facebook which books you are reading. Think of it as a virtual bookshelf. There are also some book giveaways there, so keep an eye on that.
- Want to write better? They say the best way to become a better writer is to read, read and read. The New Yorker offers some of the best pieces of writing (fiction and non-fiction) out there and of course the New York Review of Books. If you are from Canada, you may be familiar with the Walrus, a smart publication with great writing as well and a Canadian flavour.
- Are you interested in learning to do non-profit work? There is a website called charityvillage.com that has workshops and courses for grant/proposal writing in addition to volunteer and job postings all in the non-profit sector. This is is a Canadian website but the courses can be helpful for all interested in non-profit.
- Looking for educational activities while stuck on a bus or train for that daily long commute? Pick up a logic puzzle like KenKen (Sudoku’s underrated cousin) to brush up on your logical deduction skill. I mention KenKen because I feel KenKen tests your skill in more ways than Sudoku can. It’s the additional mental math you have to perform that gives the brain a nice workout. There is a website and also an app with the same name. I am not sure how familiar people are with these Penny Press Dell puzzles, but they are extremely cheap if you buy their subscription (but expensive individually). They are a collection of logic puzzles (grouping and sequencing games) and number puzzles including both Sudoku and KenKen. Penny Press Dell puzzles have also been recommended for anyone wishing to take the Law School Admissions Test.