Most of us want to learn new skills, but feel we have “no time” to add anything to our busy schedules. Between work, family, friends, homes, and all our other activities it’s intimidating to try to set aside time to study a new subject or try a new hobby. But could you spare just five minutes? What about time spent in transit? Lunch and coffee breaks? Prepping/waiting for dinner? Before you get out of bed? When you’re settling down for the night (you know you’re on your phone anyway)?
Instead of browsing social media or playing Angry Birds, try some of these free apps (also web-based). Five minutes a day is all you need to start picking up some new knowledge.
- TED – TED Talks offers free videos on a huge array of interesting topics. Use the app to find specific subjects or simply select a video length (5-60min) and let it surprise you. There’s even an “audio-only” function if you’d like to listen to the talk in the car.
- Memrise – While some suggest Duolingo, I prefer Memrise to pick up a new language (Duolingo doesn’t offer Russian). Five minutes lets you test your vocabulary.
- Lumosity – Fun games (yes, games!) that help you exercise your brain, testing your memory, speed, and attention. While there is a paid subscription available, you can get a lot out of their free offerings.
- Business Insider – I love this app for its combination of news, business/tech info, and career advice. The latter offers tips and strategies that apply to almost all professions.
- GRE Vocabulary Flashcards – While you may not be taking the Graduate Record Exam any time soon, this app offers flashcards for a large set of words and lets you mark whether or not you’ve learned them.
- Tenuto – If you’re interested in learning to sight read or enhancing your musical abilities, get some practice with this noteworthy app (pun intended).
- The Bible App – Whether you’re religious or you’re just curious to learn what it’s about, this app offers plans that suggest different readings each day from both the Old and New Testaments.
If you’re looking for more ideas, try the following:
- Flashcard app – There are a bunch available where you can make your own flashcards or download a question pack.
- News aggregators – Get quick headlines all in one place to stay informed about the world.
- Books – I’ve heard they’re great (:-P). In all seriousness, they’re your best bet before bed and you can set a timer to keep to your five minute rule.
Are there any apps you’d like to add to this list? Share below!