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books

Good Reads, Life & Style

How To Learn Something New From Home

how to learn something new

Let me show you how to learn something new from home.

When I want to learn something new one of the first things I’ll do is check online to see if I can take a class.  Taking classes is fun, and a great way to meet like-minded people.  However, what I’ve found from trying to find or take classes is that:

a) the class you would be most interested in taking isn’t running in your area

b)  a six-week class sounds quite intense when you just want to learn at your own pace from the comfort of your own home

c)  sometimes or you just don’t feel like talking to a bunch of strangers towards the end of the day AND learn a new skill.

d) the cost of classes can be a bit of a barrier to taking part

4 Resources to Learn Something New At Home

If you can relate to any of these points then never fear!  I’ve been researching some of the best ways on how to learn something new at home:

Do Books

do books

Have you heard of Do Books?   I’ve only just come across them. And I have to say I’m a little bit smitten.  Produced by The Do Book Co, Do Books are a series of inspirational pocket guides on a variety of topics.  From advice on how to live more sustainably (such as Do Grow and Do Beekeeping). To advice for startups and entrepreneurs (such as the intriguingly titled Do Fly and Do Disrupt).  Do have something for everyone to just get up and do something that catches your eye.

If you’re itching to learn something new.  Whether that’s the mastery of a new skill or craft.  Or need a simple mind-shift.  Or a shot of inspiration, the Do Books want to give you the tools and inspiration to try new things out in the most accessible manner possible.  Each book is fairly short – about 100 pages. This is because they focus on the ‘doing’ rather than bogging you down in the background theory.  Of course, the background theory is useful to know.  However, sometimes that side of things can be a bit overwhelming when you just want to try something out to see if it’s for you.

Skillshare

how to learn something new from home

If you learn by watching and doing rather than reading, then Skillshare is the place for you.  At Skillshare you can take online classes, where experts teach via video on a wide variety of topics and learn at your own pace.   There are over 15,000 classes to choose from.  I’ve tried learning to crochet in the past, rather unsuccessfully, so this one looks good.

What I like best about Skillshare is that each class has a project for you to complete, which you then post on the Skillshare site.  This lets participants exchange feedback and learn together.  This makes it feel like a class rather than just you sitting at home learning a new skill in isolation.  You can browse past projects here – it’s really interesting.

Craftsy

If you are looking to learn craft-based skills then Craftsy is one to check out.  From sewing, drawing, photography, jewellery making, paper crafts, and more, Craftsy covers all the main crafts with hundreds upon hundreds of high-quality video classes.  Each class has a dedicated message board for asking questions and sharing projects, and tutors do check in on these boards and reply, giving it a nice community feel.

Creativebug

Similar to Craftsy, Creativebug offers high-quality video lessons on craft-based endeavours.  What makes it different is that they also run great quality classes specifically for kids, such as this class on finger knitting.  This is a great way to introduce kids to different crafts, and maybe crafts classes that aren’t necessarily running in your area.

Do you have any favourite learning resources?  Pop them in the comments below!

ps: do check out my guide to free winter self-care ideas.

Good Reads, Life & Style

Readly Review

Readly review 2017
Readly review 2017

Curious about Readly?  Find out how I got on in my Readly review.

Are you a big magazine reader?  Me, not so much.  With some spare time on my hands, I could happily flick through a magazine on food or music or interiors, but I’d never go out of my way to buy a magazine.  I have a blog reader set up (Feedly) so that I can catch up with all of my favourite blogs in one place when I get the chance, and that satiates my magazine reading itch.

Also, I don’t find WH Smith a fun place to shop.  I hate being hassled at the checkout to buy their special offer chocolate or bottled water, when I just came in to buy a magazine.  Just me?

My partner, on the other hand, has varied specialist interests.  Some of these include graphic design, photography, drumming, making music, gardening…  I could go on!  Anyway, he would buy a couple of magazines a month and would have easily bought more. However, at £5+ a pop, it’s a pricey habit, so always limited himself.

A few months ago we saw an advert on TV for an online magazine service called Readly, a magazine subscription app that sounded too good to be true.  With Readly, you can access thousands of big-name (and smaller) magazines from around the world, through your mobile, tablet or computer. It comes at a flat monthly fee, allowing you to read as much or as little as you want.  Too good to be true, right?

It sounded like there should be a catch. However, we read a bit about Readly and read some Readly reviews, and couldn’t see anything about a catch. We, therefore, signed up for a free month-long trial to try it out. So here’s my own Readly Review for your benefit.

My Readly Review

readly review

How Much Does Readly Cost Per Month?

After the month-long free trial, we found we loved Readly so much that we signed up for a subscription.  And a good six or so months on of using Readly we still haven’t found the catch.  

We’ve been paying the fixed monthly price of £7.99 a month for unlimited access to over 1900 new magazines (and up to 12 months of their back issues) from all over the world.  

I’ve been enjoying flicking through whatever magazine takes my fancy, whenever the mood strikes, and I don’t feel guilty if I’m not paying my full attention to the magazine, or idly skimming through articles.  You can cancel a Readly subscription at any time, so you aren’t locked into any fixed-term contracts either.

Are There Many Good Magazines?

My partner and I have each set up our own profiles on Readly, which saves all of your favourites and offers recommendations based on what you’ve been reading.  You can save up to five profiles, which is handy for families.  

Most magazines are available for reading on the day of publication, and you get a notification from Readly when one of your favourites has published a new issue.  My favourites on Readly include Delicious, Mollie Makes, Olive Magazine, and Veggie magazine, but there are so many different titles and types of magazines on offer (even kids titles) that it’s difficult to list them all here.

What I like is that the magazine streams to your device, rather than being downloaded. This means you can read a magazine within seconds of opening up the app.  However you can also download magazines for when you are going to be somewhere without internet access – e.g. a bus or a train, so you can still access magazines on the go.

Is it Easy To Access?

You can access Readly through a variety of platforms – from tablets, phones, laptops and desktop computers.  I’ve tried it on a laptop and tablet. However, I think it works best on a tablet.  Flicking through a magazine is easy. If you have a tablet it’s simply a case of swiping the page over with your finger. Whilst on a laptop it’s a case of clicking through to the next  page.

What Are The Cons?

What I’m not 100% sure of is what the impact on the magazine publishing industry is.  From what I can understand, Readly pay publishers based on the number of pages read and the time spent on each page.  So publishers get more money per magazine that is read rather than quickly flicked through.   This data also provides publishers with deep insights into how their content is being consumed, which is useful for deciding which features work and don’t work.

Whether this is a good or a bad thing, all in, I don’t know.  Perhaps for people like me that don’t buy magazines particularly often, then these magazines are gaining readers (and therefore eyes on the advertisements they run) that they wouldn’t normally have. This would mean that Readly is a good thing for publishers.  What I don’t know is if you replace a magazine subscription with a Readly subscription, what the difference that has for the magazine publishing industry.

What I do is that all in all we’ve really been enjoying using Readly.  It’s saving us a little bit of money a month. We’ve expanded our reading options massively. And it means that we’re not using so much paper/resources, which is always a plus point.  And if you have Readly in lieu of a magazine subscription then it saves the magazine being posted in one of those annoying plastic magazine wrappers.

Have you used Readly?  What do you think of it?  And do you understand the magazine publishing industry better than I do?  Is Readly a good or bad thing for the publishing industry?

It goes without saying that I have no affiliation with Readly. I just wanted to share a find that I’ve been enjoying using through this Readly review.  Sponsored posts are always disclosed at the top of each post as such :)