5 Ways To Learn On The Go

learn on the go

“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can – there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.”  – Sarah Caldwell

If you’re reading this article, I’m sure you readily accept the importance of continual learning. However, because modern life can be so busy you may find it challenging to find time to devote solely to learning, whether it be sitting down to read a book or attending an evening class. In this article I will give you 5 ways even the busiest of people -those who are always on the go – can find time to learn.

1. Audiobooks

I’m a huge fan of audiobooks. By listening to audiobooks in the car to and from work I have doubled, maybe even tripled, my “reading” rate. I also enjoy listening to audiobooks in the evening as they allow me to rest my eyes after a day of looking at a computer screen. Finally, I have found that I’m more of an auditory than a visual learner, meaning I retain more information from listening to, rather than reading, books.

Recommended: Audible free trial.

2. Podcasts

If you’re unfamiliar with Podcasts, they are simply pre-recorded digital files (usually audio or video) that are available for download for playback on a computer or MP3 player. When I first became interested in personal development back in 2007 I would load up my iPod with podcasts by Steve Pavlina and Robin Sharma and listen to them on the train ride to work – it was a great way to fire myself up for the day ahead! These days there are many, many podcasts available. The best place to look is in iTunes (iTunes Store -> Podcasts).

Recommended: TED.

3. E-books

E-books can obviously be read on your computer, or you may like to print them off to take with you. Alternatively, you may decide to get an e-book reader such as the Kindle. While I haven’t got a Kindle (as previously mentioned I listen to audiobooks), I have a number of friends who are big fans of these little devices. Unlike a laptop or iPhone, the screen is not illuminated so there’s no glare, no eyestrain and no battery consumption. Also, if you live in the US the Kindle is always online (indoors, outdoors, far away from the nearest Wi-Fi hot spot) as Amazon pays the bill for continual wireless connection in the hope that you will spontaneously buy e-books.

Recommended:  The Definitive List of Free Personal Development E-Books.

4. Books

I know, I know…. this is an obvious one. My one big suggestion here is to join the local library. I find that when I go to the library I borrow a number of books that are of interest, but that I probably wouldn’t buy. I don’t end up reading all the books I have borrowed, but that’s ok as I haven’t wasted any money and the ones I do read have allowed me to read more broadly and outside my comfort zone.

5. People

“A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study” – Chinese Proverb

Three of the methods in this article focus on how modern technology can help us learn on the go. But perhaps the best way to learn is from other people, whether it be friends, family, work colleagues or complete strangers. It may involve a conversation, or you may simply observe them doing something.

What are your favorite ways to learn on the go? Please share your suggestions and experiences in the comments below.

Photo by*Zara

15 thoughts on “5 Ways To Learn On The Go”

  1. Hey Peter!!

    I’m a huuuuge fan of this. mainly because when i finally get home i’ve got other things to do so capitalising on commute and “inbetween” time is great. specially since i’ve got a 10 minute bus ride both ways to university every day. power stuff

    still haven’t really focused on podcasts much. too many audiobooks backlogged but of the few podcasts i’ve read, i’ve loved the informal aspect. the way they’re different to audiobooks.

    personally, i print all ebooks. like to scribble notes and fully use the info. haven’t used a kindle but i like good ‘ol paper myself.

    the last one was interesting. and is definitely different in that you can’t really learn as much unless you’re on the go. and it’s a special kind of learning. not just the content but the emotion and vibe of the person.

    loved the chinese proverb too ;)

    really cool topic btw
    stumbled and tweeted

    keep well and in touch
    alex – unleash reality

  2. Hi Peter.

    I like this post because it is clean and keeps things simple. I like when I see a reminder to head to the local library, as some of the material there can be just as relevant as material in a new book, and a library visit tends to promote learning. Each of these points is a valuable input.

    I went ahead and tweeted the article as well.

  3. Awesome post. I wrote a post called traffc Skool recently on a similar premise. I live in LA and had I come to this realization that time in traffic is tremendously useful right out of college I probably would have started my personal development journey much earlier. I always try to play something along the lines of audiobooks in my car. In fact I got through the whole gladwell trilogy in less than week just by listening to them in my car.

  4. Important topic, Peter. To keep up with today’s rapidly evolving knowledgeverse, you need to be absorbing meaningful information whenever you can. You can be really creative finding times to learn an additional item or two: while standing in line, while someone else is shopping and you’re tagging along, while you’re waiting for water to boil, when you go to the bathroom…

    Some Additional Tips:

    1) POCKET BOOKS: Keep a small book in your back pocket to pull out and read in odd moments throughout the day when you’re waiting for something. (Abridged books are good.)

    2) EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES: Check out executive summary subscriptions. Online delivery is much cheaper and you can get the gist of all the latest business books fast.

    3) MOBILE DEVICES: Mobile devices in general (whether wireless or just synched) are excellent ways to keep up on any Internet sources of info (blogs, articles, online mags, twitter, podcasts, video podcasts etc..)

    For further reading, take a look at my post 25 Ways to Learn How to Do Absolutely Anything

    To Your Success!

  5. These are wonderful suggestions for continued learning. What I do in addition is often, the opposite. While driving for example, I turn off the radio and just quietly be. Problems solve themselves in amazing ways!

    Thanks, Peter, for valuable suggestions!

  6. Hi Peter,

    Listening to podcast and audio books are what I do too. Both ways can help us to save up time and learn on the go. It is a habit that I recommend others to pick up as this can help us to be more efficient in using our time.


  7. I used to listen to inspirational books on CD in my car as I commuted to the job I didn’t like. Sometimes, I would sit in the office parking lot because I wanted to keep listening rather than going to work.

    Finally, I got inspired enough to quit the job. As the Universe would have it, I got a new (lovely) job less than a mile from my home (practically unheard of in So. California).

    I now do walking meditations through the park on my way to work and focus on learning about me.

  8. Hi Peter .. excellent post – and thank you for all the references and sources – really helpful ..

    Great – thanks – Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

  9. A laptop with a 3G card to read stuff online on the go :)

    Gmail on a mobile phone, when you have sent yourself articles to read.

  10. Good post, Peter. I do a combination of all the things you listed above, except podcasts. I went through a phase a couple years ago when I was really into them. But I’ve come to like audiobooks much more, since the information you get from them is more timeless.

    I’ve gotten to a point where I fill lots of “empty” time with audiobooks now. Not just driving time, but while doing other things like showering, chores, shopping, or even watching my son’s soccer games. It’s surprising how many minutes (or even hours) of listening time you can pack into a typical day.

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